While you may feel humiliation, anguish, or other distress as the result of disability discrimination, in practice, when won, lawsuits provide plaintiffs with remedies that take the form of monetary damages. There is an effort to quantify those less-tangible losses and make up for economic harms suffered such as lost pay, as well. If you are concerned about recovering damages, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Washington D.C. ADA claims attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti.ADA Claims
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows you to file a complaint of disability discrimination against an employer, a local or state government, or a public accommodation. Disability discrimination occurs when your employer or a different entity covered by the ADA treats you unfavorably because you have a disability as the statute defines “disability.” The ADA covers private workplaces and state and local governments that have at least 15 employees. State and local governments are required to give you an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their services, programs, and activities.
Different agencies handle these complaints depending on the person or entity charged. For example, when you have an ADA claim against a public accommodation, you’d file the claim with the Department of Justice. However, if you have a disability complaint against your employer, you’d file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); it is necessary to file the claim with the EEOC before you file a lawsuit in court.Damages in Employment Lawsuits
Damages depend on the type of claim and against whom you prevailed. Common types of damages that are recovered in an ADA claim arising out of workplace disability discrimination include back pay, front pay, lost benefits, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages. In an ADA claim, it is also possible to recover attorneys’ fees and costs. You could be reinstated in your job, but in many cases, employment relationships have broken down too severely for this to be feasible.Caps on Workplace Disability Discrimination Damages
There are caps on the amount of compensatory and punitive damages you can recover, and these are based on the employer’s size. For instance, if your employer has 15-100 employees, the cap is $50,000. When your employer has 101 – 200 employees, the cap is $100,000. If your employer has 201 – 500 employees, the cap is $200,000. Where your employer has more than 500 employees, the cap is $300,000.Back Pay
Back pay is made up of the wage loss you’ve already suffered as the result of disability discrimination. For instance, if you were out of work for a year and your salary was $65,000 prior to you losing your job because you were in a car accident that left you disabled, you could recover $65,000 in back pay.Front Pay
You can be awarded front pay if you were subject to wrongful termination, retaliation, or another act that violated your rights due to your disability such that you have lost future earnings. The intention of front pay is to compensate you such that it is as if you were not subject to the violation in the first place. Usually, front pay is awarded when a plaintiff can’t be reinstated because there is a hostile relationship with the employer or because the job was filled by someone else, or the entire job was eliminated. However, reinstatement or another placement is preferred over front pay as a remedy.Compensatory Damages
Under the ADA, you could be awarded compensatory damages for your out-of-pocket expenses and any emotional harm you suffered in connection with an employer’s or prospective employer’s disability discrimination. Out-of-pocket expenses could include the costs of medical expenses or job searches. Emotional harms for which our lawyer could retain compensation in the event that there is liability include loss of enjoyment, inconvenience, and mental anguish.Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are damages awarded only in instances of particularly malicious or reckless acts of discrimination. For instance, if your manager encouraged your coworkers to make fun of you and harass you because you were paraplegic, and then retaliated against you when you complained by terminating you, it could be liable for punitive damages. These damages are not available in every case.Hire Our Washington D.C. Firm to Represent You
If you are concerned about damages arising out of ADA claims in Washington D.C., you should talk to our attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti represents claimants in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Fill out our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.
Please note, there is a consultation fee for any calls related to this practice area.