What Types of Compensation Do I Get in an Ageism Lawsuit?
If you’re over the age of 40, you’ve probably been in the workforce a while, and you may have a cynical outlook when it comes to the HR practices of your company. Over the course of your career, you’ve probably seen how cutthroat employers can be when it comes to layoffs, and you may have even seen a few cases of workplace discrimination.
The EEOC states that over 70,000 workplace discrimination lawsuits were filed in 2019, including those on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, and disability. However, these statistics only count the employees who moved forward with their lawsuits. Many workforces rely on the fact that their mistreated employees will not seek legal action.
Being a veteran in the workforce, you’re not naive when it comes to employer mistreatment, and if you’ve been suddenly let go with little to no reason, you may have a case of discrimination on your hands. It’s not uncommon for workers over the age of 40 to be let go under the guise that the company “needs new blood” or likes younger employees because they carry less healthcare costs. These kinds of comments may leave you asking “Do I need a lawyer for age discrimination in Los Angeles?”
Age discrimination lawyers Los Angeles can tell you that this kind of discrimination happens all the time. The AARP estimates that 3 in 5 older workers are the victim of a discriminatory workplace based on their age.
Since you know age discrimination is alive in the modern workplace, you may have a case for a Los Angeles workplace lawyer, but even if you win your lawsuit, you may be unsure of what the outcome means for you.
Damages that age discrimination attorneys for the workplace typically win are:
- Lost Back Pay and Future Pay
- Lost Benefits
- Emotional Distress Damages
- Punitive Damages
- Attorneys’ Fees
Lost Back Pay and Future Pay
When you’ve been let go due to your age, your income stops, meaning you no longer have incoming money to pay for your bills and groceries, let alone your retirement savings. If you and your lawyer for age discrimination prove that your employer fired you unfairly, you can win back the paychecks that you were not receiving up until the date of the trial (called “back pay”).
You may also be able to recover the wages that you will not be making in the future (called “front pay”). As an older applicant, you may find it hard to get a new job, and by showing the courts that your firing had a long-lasting negative effect on your career, you can secure front pay.
Most employees rely on their companies to help pay for their healthcare and retirement plan. In your age discrimination lawsuit, you can be compensated for your lost benefits.
Many age discrimination lawsuits result in financial compensation that reflects the monetary value of such benefits.
Emotional Distress Damages
Getting fired as an older individual will undoubtedly cause you a great amount of stress as you scramble to cover your monthly expenses and figure out how you can reach a happy retirement. Your attorney can argue that you need emotional distress damages for the pain and suffering your employer’s ageism has caused you.
Since the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) does not cover emotional damages, you will need to examine your state’s age discrimination laws. Emotional damages are a bit harder to argue in court since there’s no set monetary value on pain and suffering. You can have a mental health expert testify to your distress at your trial.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their egregious acts in order to prevent them from exhibiting such behavior in the future. Again, each state has its own policies on punitive damages, so whether or not your lawsuit can include them depends on the circumstances and location of your workplace.
ADEA does allow for liquidated damages, which are awarded in the event that your workplace’s ageism was willful and intentional. This will be proven based on evidence from the time of your employment. Disparaging comments about your age, being pressured to retire, and being denied time off because you don’t have young children at home are all clear evidence of ageism.
Hiring a Los Angeles workplace lawyer for age discrimination is going to cost money, and your attorney fees can be added to the damages you win. This means that the defendant basically pays your attorney and court fees for you.