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Compensation for Workplace Sexual Harassment Claims


Learn about what compensation you can receive for your sexual harassment claim.

Workplace sexual harassment occurs in all businesses. Service industries, warehouses, professional offices, retail establishments, and other businesses report sexual harassment regularly. Victims of sexual harassment at work deserve to be paid damages or relief for these injustices.

Sexual harassment at work occurs when employees or job applicants receive unwelcome sexual advances, comments, or contact. Harassers are anyone within a workplace, including: Coworkers, CEOs, Employers, Managers, Supervisors, Clients, Customers, Nonemployees.

Statistics show that women and men are both victims of sexual harassment at work. In today’s world of women-owned businesses and #metoo, sexual harassment has not subsided. Instead, it has become more fluid.

What Are the Claims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Four claims result from sexual harassment at work.

  1. Hostile Work Environment. This claim occurs when employees or job applicants are intimidated and unable to perform daily work functions.
  2. Quid Pro Quo. This claim means “this for that.” An employee has a quid pro quo claim when his employer offers advances in employment in exchange for sexual acts.
  3. Retaliation.  Retaliation includes negative (or adverse) actions taken against employees or job applicants who refuse sexual advances or complain of sexual harassment.
  4. Wrongful Termination. A wrongful termination is a form of retaliation. When an employer fires you because you refused sexual advances, complained about sexual harassment, or for any reason related to sex or gender, you can file this claim.

Contact a sexual harassment lawyer to learn more about what type of claim you should file relating to your sexual harassment charge.

What Laws Protect Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex or gender discrimination. Sexual harassment falls under the heading of sex discrimination. The law prohibits sexual harassment against employees working in companies with 15 or more employees.

State laws also prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment at work. Your state laws may offer more protection for employees working for smaller companies. Many state laws protect employees from sexual harassment if they work for a company with 1 to 15 employees.

What Types of Damages Are Available to Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment?

Courts award plaintiffs (victims of sexual harassment) remedies to help make them whole again. These remedies are known as damages. They get requested through a demand letter to the court.

Keep in mind, the results of sexual harassment cases vary. Every case is different. Therefore, every request for relief is different. The results of one sexual harassment case will not dictate the results of your sexual harassment claim.

Below are the available awards for your sexual harassment claim.

1. Injunctive Relief. Injunctive relief relates to the court mandating that your employer performs specific actions to correct the sexual harassment issues and concerns. Some examples of injunctive relief may include:

  • Reinstatement of your job
  • Firing or transferring your harasser
  • Reviewing and revamping sexual harassment policies and procedures
  • Instituting sexual harassment training guidelines

2. Lost Wages. Lost wages include back pay for any wages lost due to wrongful termination, retaliation, or being forced to quit from sexual harassment. It also includes wages that you could have earned if you were reinstated at work until you started a new position (front pay).

Other lost wages can include the following:

  • Medical insurance premiums paid out-of-pocket after termination, demotion, or reduction of hours.
  • Related medical expenses
  • Related expenses, including transportation costs

3. Attorney’s Fees. Sexual harassment attorneys work on a contingency basis. A contingency basis means they only receive a payment if they recover damages for you.

Therefore, as part of the demand letter, your attorney will calculate fees and costs incurred for their services. As a result, your employer pays attorney’s fees based on the attorney’s fees requested in the demand letter.
4. Cumulative Damages. Cumulative damages include money for pain and suffering and intentional infliction of emotional distress. You deserve compensation because of the stress, anguish, pain, and distress you suffered as a result of sexual harassment.
5. Punitive Damages. Punitive damages punish the employer for his actions. Federal, state, and local governments do not pay punitive damages. However, private employers can be required to pay punitive damages.

The larger the company, the more punitive damages they may need to pay.
6. Liquidated Damages. Some laws require the payment of double or treble damages for sexual harassment in the workplace.  These types of damages multiply the back pay owed by the defendant, creating more substantial damages and awards.

Contact a sexual harassment attorney to learn more about the damages to which you may be entitled.

Are There Limits for Damages Awarded to Sexual Harassment Victims?

Federal law limits the amount of damages awarded for pain and suffering and emotional distress. The limitations under federal law are as followed.

  • $50,000 if your employer maintains 15-100 employees.
  • $100,000 if your employer maintains 101-200 employees.
  • $200,000 if your employer maintains 201-500 employees.
  • $300,000 if your employer maintains more than 500 employees.

New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, and New Jersey state laws do not limit cumulative damages for sexual harassment at work.

How Can a Sexual Harassment Lawyer Help Your Claim for Damages?

Sexual harassment is not about sex. It is about power. Your employer, coworkers, and other workplace harassers use sexual harassment to intimidate you and exert their power over you. Therefore, you need and deserve an attorney who will show your harasser that they do not have that power over you.

A sexual harassment lawyer will help you build your case against your harasser. They will support you throughout the process, giving you the confidence to stand up for your rights. When you work with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer, they can guide you towards the remedies that are most suited and likely for your claim.

If your case does not settle, your attorney will stand by your side to advocate for your rights in the courtroom. They will help you negotiate for the relief you truly need and want.

Contact Our Dedicated Sexual Harassment Attorneys for Your Free Consultation.

No one should work in an environment filled with sexual harassment. If you are working in that environment, you have the right to file a lawsuit and ask for damages from the court.

The experienced sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group are ready to help.

Were You the Victim of Sexual Harassment at Work? Are You Curious About Damages Offered to Workplace Sexual Harassment Victims? Please Contact Us at 800.807.2209 or Email with Your Questions.

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