Phillips & Associates

How Much do Sexual Harassment Cases Settle for? How Much is a Sexual Harassment Case Worth?

Workplace Rights Attorneys Representing New York City Employees

Many different factors go into determining the value of a sexual harassment case. These factors include the severity and nature of the harassment, the amount of time that it persisted, whether there was an economic injury or financial loss, and which statute you are using to bring your claim. There are three different laws under which you can sue in New York City: federal, state, and local. If you are wondering how much sexual harassment cases settle for or how much your case is worth, you should consult the New York City sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates.

Which Damages and Remedies are Available to Me?

As a victim of sexual harassment, you may be entitled to compensatory damages intended to compensate you for your emotional distress arising out of the harassment, back pay, and front pay. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, but generally if you win at trial, you may recover more than if you settle. The court may reduce the reward. On the other hand, if you take the risk of trial, and a court determines that there was no sexual harassment, you cannot recover anything.

How Much is My Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Case Worth?

Quid pro quo sexual harassment cases involve an exchange of sexual favors for job benefits. When they involve job loss or loss of benefits or demotion, they are probably worth a significant amount. Economic damages may include your back pay, as well as your front pay. Back pay will be awarded from the date of any adverse employment decision to the date of the judgment, and it can include not only wages but also bonuses, benefits, stock options, retirement or pension benefits, and vacation.

However, if you file your claim under Title VII, you will be limited to two years of back pay from the date that you filed with the EEOC. You are expected to mitigate your damages (minimize them) by searching for another job, and your award is reduced by the amount that you earn at your new job.

Will I be Reinstated in My Old Position?

You might have a right of reinstatement, but you may not want to go back. You can ask for front pay, which is supposed to compensate you for the wage loss that you will probably experience from the date of the judgment into the future. The jury will evaluate the amount of front pay by looking at how long you would have stayed in the job if you had not been harassed, as well as how long it would take for you to find a similar job.

Can I Get Noneconomic Damages?

Yes, you can recover noneconomic damages based on your emotional distress arising out of the harassment. You may be able to recover punitive damages in certain cases involving intentional harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, if you face malice or reckless indifference to your rights.

Which Type of Harassment Results in the Biggest Awards or Settlements?

According to law professors, how long and severe the harassment was does not necessarily have a big impact on the value of a settlement or verdict. However, sexual harassment that results in a tangible economic loss, such as quid pro quo harassment, is often worth more than hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a supervisor trades employment benefits for sexual favors.

Why is It so Hard to Calculate an Exact Amount of Settlement?

Many sexual harassment cases are resolved through a confidential settlement. Our employment attorneys have settled hundreds of sexual harassment. We can estimate the value of your particular case based on our experience as trial lawyers with cases like yours. We would need to look at all of the factors in your case to let you know what we think your case might be worth, and whether it makes sense to settle. While every case is different and our prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome, our attorneys have experience settling high value cases. Phillips & Associates has four attorneys that are members of the "Million Dollar Advocates" forum. Membership to the Million Dollar Advocates is only open to attorneys who have received a verdict or settlement in the amount of one million dollars or more. Additionally, we have five attorneys that designated and rated Super Lawyers.

Does the Value of the Case Depend on the Number of Plaintiffs?

The data suggest that when there are multiple plaintiffs, the value of the case is increased. Additionally, the EEOC is more likely to intervene in your case if it involves a group than if it involves only one person complaining of sexual harassment.

Does It Make a Difference Whether I Pursue a Remedy Under Federal, State, or Local Law?

Yes, there are statutory caps on how much can be awarded in compensatory and punitive damages if you pursue a claim under Title VII. This cap depends on how large your employer is. If you work for a big employer with more than 500 employees, you can obtain up to $300,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages. There is no statutory cap on compensatory damages under state law, but you cannot get punitive damages. There is no statutory cap on compensatory damages under the New York City Human Rights Law. You may also be entitled to punitive damages. You may be able to get a larger settlement or verdict under local law than you can get under federal or state law.

Seek Guidance from a Knowledgeable Sexual Harassment Lawyer

If you are wondering how much a sexual harassment case is worth, you should contact the experienced litigators at Phillips & Associates. We have seen many different sexual harassment cases go to trial, and we understand how juries are likely to view a case. We fight workplace harassment in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties as well as Westchester and New Jersey. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form to set up an appointment.

PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
45 Broadway, #620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107
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