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Posted about 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for your detailed response...What could the amount that could be sought under damages?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen, Sexual Harassment Attorney - Irvine, CA
Posted about 2 years ago.

That is an almost impossible question to answer because I do not know how the employee was injured. Generally, an employee subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace is entitled to financial losses caused by the harassment, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorney fees. The financial losses will depend on whether the harassment caused any kind of adverse employment action. For instance, if she quit to get away from you, the financial losses can be substantial because if she could prove that any reasonable employee would have quit under the circumstances she was under, then her claim will be considered a termination claim, meaning she would be entitled to the difference between what she was earning at the prior company, less the amount she eventually will earn at a new company, and the entire shortfall in between.

Emotional distress damages are very difficult to predict. I have seen sexual harassment emotional distress damages as high as $1million. Six figures is not way out of line. It really depends on how the jury sees this changed the plaintiff's life. The jury is not given any tables or guidelines about how much to award. Frankly, the more angry the jury, the greater the ED award becomes. Punitive damages are generally limited to a small multiplier of the compensatory damages (financial and ED damages). A general rule of thumb is between 1 to 4 times the compensatory damages, if awarded. Attorney fee exposure, through trial of a matter like this can be anywhere from $50K to well into the six-figures because the attorneys are statutorily allowed to ask for all of the fees they incurred prosecuting the case, plus a multiplier of those monies to reflect the risk and deferred nature of their fee agreement. This multiplier is usually a number between 1.0 to 2.0 times the fees actually incurred.

As you can see, this kind of claim can be quite substantial.