Pharr, TX – While sexual harassment is illegal and victims can be compensated, there are some limits on the amount that victims can receive. These limits are called damage caps, and they generally increase relative to the size of the employer who is being sued. If a victim is asking for missing or unpaid wages, this is not subject to a damage cap, as workers are always entitled to any wages that they have legitimately earned. 

Types of damages

Compensatory damages are meant to pay a victim what they have lost due to the defendant’s negligent or illegal conduct. Punitive damages are another type of damages that are meant to punish the defendant’s bad behavior and deter similar acts in the future, regardless of what the victim’s personal costs were. These two types of damages are subject to a limitation in federal sexual harassment lawsuits. 

The damage cap

The damage cap for compensatory damages and punitive damages are $50,000 when the employer has between fifteen and one hundred employees. This limit is increased to $100,000 if the employer has between one hundred and one and two hundred employees. Up to $200,000 is allowed for a victim if the employer has between two hundred and one and three hundred employees. When an employer with more than three hundred employees is sued, this limit goes up to $300,000. 

Do these caps apply under Texas state law?

In Texas, there is a law called the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. The damage caps and employer sizes set under this law mirror the federal limits listed above for sexual harassment claims. Therefore, it may not be realistic for a victim to forum shop in state court rather than federal court to try to receive more compensation. Texas courts have also stopped plaintiffs from trying to get around these caps by filing related tort claims under a different cause of action, rather than just bringing a sexual harassment lawsuit

How damages are determined

The specific amount of compensation available in a harassment lawsuit will depend on a number of factors. These include the severity of the defendant’s conduct, whether the plaintiff lost their job, and specific problems that can indicate that were caused by their harassment. Expenses associated with finding new employment may also be compensated. Anyone who needs advice that is relevant to their situation should get in touch with a local lawyer.

Discrimination lawyers in Texas

Moore and Associates is a firm that deals with employment law issues for clients in Pharr and other parts of Texas. People who are having workplace issues with unpaid wages, discrimination, or sexual harassment can contact the firm to learn more. 

Firm contact info:

Moore & Associates

440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002


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