When the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determines that a federal government agency has harmed a Tennessee worker with unlawful discrimination, it could order the employer to provide relief to the victim. The law expects relief to make the victim whole by returning the person to a state as close as possible to that which existed prior to discrimination. A worker might collect financial as well as non-financial awards.
Relief might include back pay with interest. The EEOC calculates back pay starting from the date that discrimination denied the person a job or promotion. Back pay may include expected income that would have arisen from regular wages, premium pay, overtime and promotions that should have been forthcoming.
A complainant might also receive compensatory damages. Pecuniary compensation that can be documented as out-of-pocket expenses could cover losses attributed to job searches, moving expenses or psychiatric therapy. Non-pecuniary compensation may be awarded if proof indicates that the person suffered harm, like insomnia, stress, depression or marital disruption.
Depending on the circumstances, the EEOC has the power to provide relief by compelling the employer to reinstate the person to an equivalent position. The commission might also require the employer to inform other workers about their rights and train or discipline managers involved in the discrimination.
A person preparing to make a complaint about workplace discrimination should gather as much evidence as possible. An employment law attorney could assist with this process by informing the person about the types of evidence that the EEOC might want. An attorney might communicate this evidence in an effort to convince the commission to rule against an employer. Legal support might aid the person during settlement discussions. If the EEOC chooses to take no action, then an attorney might recommend pursuing damages from the employer via a lawsuit.