Q. An employee recently filed suit claiming race discrimination. What kinds of damages can he sue for, and what compensation could he receive?
A. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1991, employees alleging unlawful intentional discrimination may sue for both compensatory and punitive damages and have their claim tried before a jury. In addition, an employee who prevails on a discrimination claim, regardless of intent, may be entitled to back pay, reinstatement and attorneys’ fees.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 holds that employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from refusing to hire, discharging or otherwise discriminating against any individual in the terms and conditions of employment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy) or national origin.