If your employer mistreats you because you are 40 years old or older, that is unlawful age discrimination. To hold your employer accountable, you can sue in court, complain to the state or federal government, or resolve your issues through a settlement. Settling a discrimination case is preferable for many mistreated employees because it is less time-consuming and less risky. To determine whether a settlement is the right choice for you, you should have a good idea of what you stand to lose or gain from this form of conflict resolution, including how much compensation you are likely to receive.
You are probably wondering, What is the average settlement for age discrimination lawsuits in California? But the average settlement amount is not as helpful as you might think. The more important question to ask is what you can likely recover in your discrimination case based on the unique facts of your situation. At King & Siegel LLP, our experienced age discrimination attorneys provide skilled and passionate representation to employees to help ensure they recover what they deserve from employers that infringe upon their rights.
Your Right to Be Free From Age Discrimination
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibit employers from unfairly treating employees who are 40 or older because of age. Unlawful discrimination under these laws can include an employer taking the following actions against an employee because they are 40 or older:
- Refusing to hire,
- Paying unequally,
- Denying benefits,
- Taking disciplinary action,
- Excluding from training or other employment opportunities,
- Giving an unfavorable performance review, or
- Taking other adverse employment action.
If you know your employer has taken one of the above-listed actions against you because of your age, you can file a charge with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or a civil lawsuit.
What You Can Recover in an Age Discrimination Settlement
The amount and terms of your discrimination settlement should reflect the damages and relief you could recover after suing for age discrimination or filing a complaint. In an employment discrimination complaint or lawsuit, you can receive the following:
- Back pay – compensation that makes up the difference between what you were paid and what you should have been paid had the discrimination not occurred;
- Non-monetary relief – an order to reinstate your job, reinstate your benefits, or enforce policy changes at your work;
- Front pay – payment to make you whole if you cannot be reinstated or placed in a position the employer denied you;
- Economic damages – compensation for out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses you suffered because of the discrimination;
- Noneconomic damages – compensation for emotional harm caused by the discrimination;
- Punitive damages – damages awarded to you to punish an employer if the employer’s behavior was exceptionally malicious or reckless; and
- Legal costs.
The amount you can receive under these damage categories depends on your wage history; your expenses, receipts, and invoices; and the circumstances and duration of the discrimination you suffered. Speak to one of our skilled age discrimination lawyers at King & Siegel so we can calculate what your case is worth.
Limits on Recovery
If you file a discrimination claim under federal law, there is a cap on the damages you can win. (There is no cap under State law, which is the main reason why State law is better for employees.) An employer will apply the same limits at the settlement negotiation table. Federal recovery limits depend on the size of your employer’s workforce and are as follows:
- $50,000 for employers with 15 to 100 employees,
- $100,000 for employers with 101 to 200 employees,
- $200,000 for employers with 201 to 500 employees, and
- $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees.
Sometimes your employer’s workforce is larger than you think. An experienced employment lawyer can help make sure that your settlement amount reflects the true size of your employer to maximize your damages.
As noted above, there is no cap on damages under State law. Your damages under State law will be determined by calculating the amount of lost wages, non-economic losses, punitive damages (if applicable), and attorneys’ fees and costs.
King & Siegel Can Help You Maximize Your Recovery
At King & Siegel, we are award-winning employment law attorneys who provide aggressive and personalized representation to employees in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento. With our top-level training, passion, and attention to detail, we put our clients in the best position to recover every cent they deserve from unscrupulous employers.
If you have suffered discrimination at the hands of your employer, don’t hesitate to speak to us. We work on contingency, so you don’t pay us unless we win for you. You should have a good advocate, and you can find a good advocate with us. Our mission is to stand up for others, and we want to ensure you get every penny you deserve. Call us or contact us online for a free consultation.