Nobody should be subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is far too common, and many employees in Alabama and throughout the United States are subjected to it regularly. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you may be wondering whether you have a legal claim and how much your claim would be worth.
Every sexual harassment claim is unique and the potential recovery depends on a customizable combination of financial expenses and losses. After filing a sexual harassment lawsuit, your potential settlement depends on the unique circumstances surrounding your case. It will also depend on the severity and extent of the sexual harassment you have endured.
What is the Average Settlement for a Sexual Harassment Claim?
It is impossible to calculate an accurate average settlement in sexual harassment cases. Many cases that end up settling out of court require plaintiffs to sign an agreement that they will not ask us their case and how much they received in the settlement. As a result, finding out accurate information about how many claims are settling for can be difficult. When the sexual harassment was not extremely severe and pervasive, an employee may obtain a settlement of around $50,000 or so.
Those individuals who take their sexual harassment cases to court may be able to receive a more significant award averaging over $200,000. However, with the right legal representation, a victim can settle out of court for a significant amount. All cases of sexual harassment are serious and should be prevented. However, some types of sexual harassment are viewed as worthy of more compensation than others because of the severity of the harassment.
For example, quid pro quo sexual harassment cases often receive a higher settlement amount. Forcing employees to engage in sexual favors not to be fired is often seen as more severe than offensive comments. The length of time that the employee was subjected to sexual harassment also plays a part in the case’s value.
Calculating Potential Sexual Harassment Settlements
Compensation for sexual harassment lawsuits can be notoriously difficult to calculate. As the victim of sexual harassment, the employee will need to prove several different elements. The employee must prove that the defendant’s conduct meets the legal definition of sexual harassment. Not all offensive comments and actions rise to the level of unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace. The employee will also need to prove that they have suffered a loss because of the sexual harassment.
Suppose a manager was requesting an employee to engage in sexual activities to get a promotion. In that case, the employee needs to be able to show that he or she lost the promotion due to sexual harassment. After you meet with your attorney, your attorney will consider all of the potential damages you have suffered from sexual harassment when calculating your losses.
Back Pay and Front Pay
When a sexual harasser fires or demote an employee due to sexual harassment, the employee can pursue back pay and front pay. Back pay consists of the income and benefits an employee would have received from the time she was denied a raise or promotion or was fired due to their harassment until the case is settled or a jury issues an award. Back pay often includes the following:
- Wages the employee has not received, including raises he or she would have received
- Commissions, bonuses, and tips
- The value of employment benefits including life insurance, health insurance, and other fringe benefits like gym memberships
- Sick and vacation pay
- Retirement or pension
- Stock options
Front pay refers to the wages you will likely incur from the date of the settlement or court award into the future. When determining front pay, your age and average job longevity will be a factor in the calculation.
Types of Damages Available in Sexual Harassment Claims
In addition to front and back pay, you may be entitled to receive compensatory damages for the emotional pain and suffering caused by the sexual harassment. Many times, victims of sexual harassment suffer reputational damages and out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills for therapy and the cost of searching for a new job. Depending on your case, you may be able to pursue additional punitive damages if your boss knew about the harassment and did not do anything about it.
Contact a Sexual Harassment Attorney
Are you considering pursuing compensation for sexual harassment in the workplace line? If so, the employment attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about the potential value of your case.