Workplace discrimination can have a detrimental effect on the future of your career. Fortunately, when you file a complaint with the appropriate authorities, you will be able to obtain a settlement from your employer. But how much can you expect from the settlement? And will you need to file a lawsuit with a discrimination attorney in Kansas City?
Ask a Discrimination Attorney in Kansas City: What Is a Typical Settlement for Workplace Discrimination?
According to the EEOC, the average settlement for a workplace discrimination claim is between $40,000 and $50,000. However, factors related to your case may directly impact your settlement amount. For example, if your employer also retaliates against you when you file a discrimination complaint, you may be eligible to receive more compensation.
It often takes several months or years to settle a workplace discrimination case. While some employment discrimination claims can be settled informally with the EEOC in about six months, workplace discrimination lawsuits may take as long as five to six years to settle. Discrimination and retaliation lawyers in Kansas City will advise you on the best method to obtain the settlement you deserve.
What Compensation Are You Entitled To?
When you file a workplace discrimination complaint or lawsuit, the compensation you are entitled to can include reparations for lost health benefits, vacation pay, sick leave, pension, back pay, and front pay. Essentially, the compensation you’re entitled to will make up for the wages and benefits you should have earned from your employer.
If your case also includes compensatory or punitive damages, such as your employer denying reasonable accommodation because you are disabled, you may also be able to claim additional compensation.
Who Should You File a Complaint With?
In Missouri, you can file a complaint against your employer for workplace discrimination with state and federal authoritative bodies. The first is the Missouri Human Rights Commission, which can handle your case so that you can receive a quicker settlement.
However, many employees will find more success when they file a complaint directly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is a federal government body that protects employees from harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
What Is the Process of Filing With the EEOC?
When you file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC, you should know that the process starts informally. This means that simply filing a complaint against your employer is not considered legal action unless the EEOC determines that your discrimination case can only be settled through a civil lawsuit. The process of filing a complaint with the EEOC includes:
Mediation is the first step since this encourages your employer to reach a voluntary settlement with you to compensate for lost wages and benefits. Mediation is an ideal way to receive fair treatment from your employer while also avoiding disruptions to your career opportunities.
If mediation does not resolve your workplace discrimination case, the EEOC may advance your case to the investigation stage. During this stage, your employer will have to submit a written answer to your discrimination claim. You will then be able to submit your response to this claim within 20 days.
From there, the EEOC will investigate your claims based on facts, such as interviews and employment documents. Sometimes, investigating a workplace discrimination case can take up to 10 months, which is why mediation is encouraged for a quicker settlement.
In the case of an employer who does not cooperate with the EEOC during mediation and investigation, the EEOC will issue a subpoena to obtain investigative material for your claim. Essentially, this allows the EEOC to investigate your workplace discrimination claim without any input from your employer.
Notice of Right to Sue
If the EEOC is unable to conclude the investigation, the EEOC may recommend that you work with a lawyer to file a workplace discrimination lawsuit in civil court. Usually, this happens when your workplace discrimination case is filed under Title VII or the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Are You Protected From Retaliation?
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against you when you file a discrimination lawsuit. Specifically, employers cannot retaliate against you for opposing discrimination, filing a formal complaint, or participating in a discrimination case as a witness. Employers who retaliate against employees will be liable for penalties and other fees.
What Counts As Retaliation?
Under federal guidelines, retaliation can include several actions. For example, if your employer threatens to fire or demote you, this counts as retaliation. An employer who takes away paid time off, vacation hours, sick leave, health benefits, and other employee benefits it’s also guilty of retaliation. If your employer is retaliating against you after you file a discrimination complaint, you can add this to your initial charge.
If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, it’s best to work with a discrimination attorney in Kansas City to receive compensation for your case. Your lawyer will encourage you to file a complaint directly with the EEOC so that you can receive a settlement more quickly. If mediation with the EEOC fails or your employer retaliates against you, you may be entitled to file a civil lawsuit.