Let’s face it—people are working longer. Rather than sailing off into the sunset, many Washington employees are either staying at their current place of employment for years longer than the previous generation or re-entering the workforce after time off. For many, the reason an older employee is punching a time clock rather than enjoying his or her retirement is quite simple—it’s all about the money. Times are tough and whether it was tough retirement planning or an unexpected financial obligation, the increasing presence of older workers is also resulting in an increase in age discrimination in the state of Washington and throughout the rest of the county.
Like almost every type of Washington employment discrimination, age discrimination can manifest itself in many different ways. Recognizing the uniqueness of every case, it makes sense that there are a several types of damages an individual can be awarded based on the facts of his or her case. Whether you are a victim of age discrimination or just curious about the topic, here’s a look at some of the more common damages awarded in these cases:
· Reinstatement: Whether it was a firing or a demotion, many older employees just want to keep working and awarding him or her their job back or the promotion they deserve is a huge victory.
· Compensation: One of the more common awards, lost wages and future earnings represent the income an older employee would have received had it not been for the illegal discrimination that took place. Determinations are based on employee salary history as well as comparisons to other employees within the company that may have been promoted over the older employee. Many older employees have worked for a long time and risen up the ranks in a company, a fact that can often translate into large awards.
· Emotional Distress: Emotional distress damages in Washington age discrimination cases represent financial compensation for the pain and suffering associated with the discrimination. For many employees, the emotional distress took place over a period of years.
· Punitive Damages: A high threshold to meet, some employers seem to practically do the work in proving punitive damages in these cases by their malicious and reckless behavior. Punitive damages can vary widely but if an employer’s conduct is not just illegal but something that needs to be further punished, punitive damages may be awarded.
· Attorneys Fees: Legal representation is essential in this cases but it can also be costly. In most situations, an employee is also awarded attorneys fees.
The thing about Washington age discrimination is that it is something that does not need to happen, at all. If you are a Washington employer, you should get in touch with an employment law attorney to discuss ways to ensure that you have a discrimination-free workplace. As you can see from the list of potential damages, individual and class action age discrimination lawsuits can be extremely costly.