How to Figure a Settlement for Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace.
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If you feel you have been discriminated against in the workplace because of an improper reason, such as gender or race, you can file a lawsuit against your employer for damages resulting from the discrimination. Discrimination lawsuit settlement proceeds depend upon the extent of the damages you sustained. The purpose of discrimination damages is to make the victim "whole," or to be put basically back in the same place that you would have been had the discriminatory act not occurred.

Step 1

Calculating with a calculator.

Calculate monetary damages. Discrimination settlements generally include compensation for monetary loss, including lost wages, back pay and potential future monetary losses as a result of losing a job or a promotion.

Step 2

Distress can be a part of emotional pain and suffering.

Take into account emotional pain and suffering. If you suffer mental distress and anguish as a result of the discriminatory act, you may be entitled to emotional damages. These damages are established by the testimony of the victim, witnesses or medical professionals. The amount of emotional damages to be awarded in settlement is at the discretion of the judge or jury.

Step 3

Judge listening to case.

Ask for punitive damages. If the employer's actions were especially egregious or willful, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for his or her wrongful behavior by making the defendant pay additional damages to the plaintiff. The amount of punitive damages to award in settlement is also at the discretion of the judge or the jury.

Step 4

Attorney shaking hand of client.

Request attorney's fees. The prevailing party in a discrimination lawsuit may be able to recover his or her attorney fees from the opposing party as part of the settlement proceeds. This could include court costs such as filing fees, subpoenas and witness appearance fees.


  • Remember that discrimination plaintiffs have a duty to mitigate their damages. This means that plaintiffs must look for a job similar in pay and benefits to the one they lost as a result of the discrimination, and must accept such a job if offered to them.

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