If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment at work, you might be able to sue your employer in a sexual harassment case – and if you win, you’ll be entitled to damages.
Many sexual harassment suits settle out of court, though, which means the employer offers the employee a sum of money as compensation without having to go to court.
Regardless of your situation, it’s probably best to get in touch with a sexual harassment lawyer in Glendale who understands the laws and who’s willing to fight for your rights.
What Are Damages in a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
Damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit come in two forms: Compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory Damages in a Sexual Harassment Suit
Compensatory damages are designed to compensate you for money you’ve lost due to the loss of your job, medical expenses (including counseling) or other losses and costs you’ve incurred as a result of the sexual harassment.
Compensatory damage can include:
- Bonuses, tips and commissions
- Pension benefits
- Retirement benefits
- Sick pay
- Stock options or profit sharing
- The value of health insurance, life insurance or other benefits
- Vacation pay
- Wages, including raises you should’ve or would have received
Punitive Damages in a Sexual Harassment Suit
Punitive damages are designed to punish the employer for allowing the sexual harassment to take place or for failing to stop the harassment. In addition to punishing the employer, they serve as a warning to other employers that sexual harassment can’t be tolerated in the workplace.
Who Pays the Damages?
The employer is the one that pays the damages, even if the harasser was an employee. The harasser is directly responsible for the harassment, but the employer is responsible for maintaining control in the workplace – and in this type of lawsuit, the employer should have known about the situation and taken steps to stop the harassment.
Should You Accept a Settlement in a Sexual Harassment Case?
Whether to accept a settlement or to take a case to trial is a highly personal decision that’s best made between you and your attorney. Sometimes an employer “low-balls” an employee by offering a small sum of money and waits to see whether the employee accepts it.
You don’t have to accept a settlement. You and your attorney can negotiate with your employer or you can choose to take the case to trial, where a judge and jury will decide how much money your employer owes you in damages.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Sexual Harassment Case?
If you’ve been sexually harassed at work, it may be a good idea to talk to a sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible. You don’t have long to file a sexual harassment suit, so the sooner you talk to an attorney, the better.
Call us at 818-617-9706 or toll-free at 800-774-4163 for a confidential, free consultation with a sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles. We understand what you’re going through, and we know how to help.