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What Remedies are Available to Victims of Sexual Harassment in Tampa?

— December 15, 2021

In cases where an employer has acted with malice or intentionally broke the law, there may be punitive damages available.

Tampa, FL – When a victim files a lawsuit for sexual harassment, they will need to ask for some kind of relief. This is done in the complaint that is brought to begin the case in the proper court system. In sexual harassment lawsuits, the victim will almost always name their employer as the defendant and ask for some kind of financial relief. This is because the workplace, rather than the individual, is responsible for protecting their employees from illegal harassment. Specific information about the potential remedies for an incident of harassment should be directed to a local sexual harassment attorney in Florida. 

Monetary compensation

Like most civil lawsuits, victims of sexual harassment will mainly be looking for compensation when they bring their case. Damages will include things like lost income and wages, costs associated with finding a new job if the person was terminated, and the costs of treatment such as therapy or counseling if the victim was psychologically damaged due to the harassment.

Damage caps for sexual harassment claims

Federal sexual harassment claims are limited in the amount of money that can be paid to the victim based on the size of the employer. These limitations are called damage caps. For example, an employer with between fifteen and one hundred employees cannot be made to pay out more than $50,000 worth of total damages to any one victim of harassment. If the employer has more than five hundred employees this amount increases to $300,000. These damage caps do not apply to any wages that were not paid due to harassment or other illegal conduct, as workers are always able to make a claim for all of their outstanding wages and be paid the full amount. Specific questions about the value of any incident of harassment and a related lawsuit should be directed to a licensed attorney. 

Remedies in equity

Attorney Suspended for Falsifying GPA on Application
Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

Although rare in civil cases, a court may provide a specific remedy based on the victim’s situation. An equitable remedy involves some kind of relief other than money. In harassment and labor law cases, this normally means something like reinstating the person in their prior job or providing assistance to find a comparable position. 

Punitive damages

In cases where an employer has acted with malice or intentionally broke the law, there may be punitive damages available. These are a type of damages meant to punish and deter bad behavior rather than compensate the victim. However, punitive damages are subject to the same damage cap as all other kinds of damages in sexual harassment cases.

Meeting with a local harassment attorney lists lawyers who deal with sexual harassment issues, as well as other aspects of the law. Those who need assistance can contact a lawyer in Tampa or various cities around the country. 

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