There are many kinds of employment law cases filed each year in the United States. Federal regulations prohibiting discrimination in the workplace provide a legal basis for employment law cases to be filed. These suits are often filed for charges such as:
- Religious Discrimination
- Racial Discrimination
- Gender and Sex Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
Labor disputes between unions or nonunionized workforce members and employers can sometimes escalate and become litigious. New mothers file lawsuits regarding breastmilk pumping rights and maternity leave issues. Harassment suits, particularly sexual harassment suits, arise out of employment law grounds.
Three particularly heated areas of employment law where employment suits are common are: on-the-job personal injury issues, overtime pay issues, and alleged wrongful termination suits.
How Are Employment Law Cases Remedied?
Since trials are expensive, lengthy, and very stressful, employment law cases are often settled. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal organization that investigates charges of workplace discrimination, will always attempt to settle a case first if it finds charges of discrimination have merit.
Damages for employment law cases aim to provide the plaintiff with the resources he or she would have accumulated had the discrimination not occurred. This can include:
- Back pay dating from the date of the incident and continuing until the judgment date.
- Reimbursement of benefits such as vacation pay, sick pay, retirement contributions, and health insurance contributions.
- Interest on damages awarded.
Punitive damages are often awarded in employment lawsuits as well. Plaintiffs can receive monetary awards for pain and suffering, medical or mental injury, or emotional conditions that arise as a result of the discrimination, injury, or overtime issue that is the cause of the suit.
Federal law caps the amount of damages the court is allowed to award for compensatory or punitive damages. The cap of the award is set according to the amount of employees the company has on staff. There is no cap for back pay in discrimination employment cases.
What Are Some Defenses in Employment Law Cases?
The kind of defense an employer can use will be dependent on the nature of the case, the type of claim, and the strength of proof the plaintiff’s attorneys can provide. Discrimination defenses can include assertions that the lack of advancement, hiring, or termination of an employee was due to performance or other factors rather than the alleged discrimination. Personal injury defendants may focus on proving that the defendant took reasonable precautions to prevent the injury and for that reason isn’t financially responsible for resulting damages. If the defendant can prove that the plaintiff was partially responsible for the employment-related injury, the amount of damages awarded can be decreased. A defense for a wrongful termination suit may focus on issues and risks associated with at-will employment.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with an Employment Law Case?
Civil litigation for employment law issues is a very complex process that requires high level legal representation at every step of the process. If you think your employment law case has merit, you should consult an employment attorney to help you devise your case and represent you during all phases of the litigation process.