Disability Discrimination: What Damages Am I Entitled To?

Federal and state laws prohibit employment discrimination based on an employee’s disability or perceived disability. To be considered “disabled” under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, you must:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity with or without the use of mitigating measures (e.g., wheelchairs, medications);
  • Have a record of such impairment; OR
  • Be regarded, or perceived, by your employer as having an impairment.

If an employer discriminated against you because of your disability, or perceived disability, you are protected under the ADA and PHRA. You can take legal action, including filing a lawsuit. You may be entitled to the following damages if your employer violated your rights under the ADA or PHRA.

Monetary Damages for Disability Discrimination

  • Back pay (payment for work that could have been done had you not been discriminated against)
  • Front pay (the amount you would have earned had you not been discriminated against)
  • Differneces in pay between your current pay and the pay you would have received had your employer not illegally discriminated agasint you
  • Interest on back pay awards

Compensatory Damages for Disability Discrimination

Compensatory damages cover:

  • Any out-of-pocket costs resulting from your employer’s discriminatory acts
  • Mental anguish
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive Damages for Disability Discrimination

Punitive damages essentially serve to punish the employer for discriminating against you. They are awarded, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “to punish an employer who has committed an especially malicious or reckless act of discrimination.”

Damages Resulting From Legal Action

You may be awarded damages for attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees, and other court costs you had to pay as a result of your employer’s illegal discriminatory acts.

Limits on Compensatory and Punitive Damages

Keep in mind that there are limits on how much you can recover in compensatory and punitive damages. The amount you can recover is based on the size of your employer:

Number of Employees Maximum Amount of Damages you can Collect
15-100 $50,000
101-200 $100,000
201-500 $200,000
More than 500 $300,000

Contact an Employment Attorney for your Disability Discrimination Case

If you have faced illegal disability discrimination, contact a KM&A employment attorney today. Our attorneys have experience representing clients in complex discrimination cases. Representing clients across Pennsylvania, we work to ensure they are awarded all damages the law allows. Call Pittsburgh at  412-626-5626 or Philadelphia at 215-618-9185. You can also email us at lawyer@lawkm.com. It is our philosophy that, in order to aggressively pursue your interests, we have to be extremely accessible. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free and immediate consultation.