Back pay includes all of the wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, and benefits lost because of an unlawful dismissal or discrimination, minus any amount the employee was able to earn in the interim.

Back pay and benefits are among the types of damages most typically awarded in successful employment cases.

Do I have to look for another job while my case is in court? I've heard about multi-million dollar awards in cases. In most state and federal discrimination cases, the employee is entitled to receive the following types of damages: back pay; front pay; lost benefits such as health, vacation, sick leave, and pension; reinstatement; reasonable accommodations; and compensatory and punitive damages.

The purpose of a damages award is generally to put the individual back into the same place they would have been had they not lost their job.

The purpose of damages is to put an employee back in same place they would have been if it weren’t for the employer’s actions or inaction. All of the benefits an individual lost because of the discrimination or unlawful action are included in the amount of back pay.

There are several ways a court tries to do this, including back pay, front pay, and punitive damages. Will I be able to receive all of the back pay that I would have earned had I not lost my job? Will I be able to receive all of the benefits that I would have earned had I not lost my job? For example, you should be paid for unused earned vacation time plus vacation time accrued up to the court's decision.

Back pay includes much more than your salary or wages.

This offset is known as "mitigation," which is explained in more detail on our site's page on mitigation.Sometimes, however, courts will not order reinstatement because of the now-hostile relationship between the former employer and employee, or because there is no longer a job available.What qualifies as a “reasonable accommodation” depends on the employer.Despite a popular misconception, the employer's conduct need not be "egregious" to allow an award of punitive damages.It is not the seriousness of an employer's conduct that governs whether punitive damages will be awarded, but its intentions: did the employer "discriminate in the face of a perceived risk that its actions will violate federal law." Put simply: did the employer know that a particular action was discrimination that was against the law, and still decide to do it anyway?If the employer has Punitive damages are damages awarded in cases of malicious wrongdoing to punish or deter the wrongdoer or deter others from behaving similarly.