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Employment Law Firm in California

Recovering Lost Wages


Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there are certain types of damages that will be capped based on the size of the employer. Other damages, such as lost wages (sometimes called back wages) will not be capped. In other words, an employer will be responsible for the entire amount owed to you regardless of its staff size.

Lost Wages

Am I Entitled To All The Back Pay I Would Have Earned If I Didn’t Lose My Job?

I Have To Wait Years To Recover My Lost Wages. Is There Other Compensation To Make Up For Those Losses?

Paying Taxes On Lost Wages

Lost Wages (Back Pay)

Lost wages are wages you would have earned if the discrimination you suffered never took place. Lost wages can be calculated by subtracting what you made after being fired — or demoted — from what you made before. 

The amount of back wages you are entitled to can be calculated from the time the discrimination first happened until the time you — ideally — win at trial. The total amount depends on whether you earned any other income from another source to replace what you would have earned had you not been fired. For example, if you receive income from another source during that time, that money will be subtracted from your total lost wages. 

For instance, if you were earning $10,000 a month before you were fired and you made nothing after, you would be entitled to back wages in the amount of $10,000 per month until you successfully take your case to trial. Of course, if you lose in court, you would be entitled to nothing.

Am I Entitled To All The Back Pay I Would Have Earned If I Didn’t Lose My Job?

Back pay is one of the most common types of damages awarded in a successful discrimination employment case. Back pay includes wages, salary, bonuses, and benefits that were lost because of an unlawful dismissal or instances of employer discrimination, minus any income the employee earned in the interim. 

Back pay includes more than just your salary or wages. It also includes interest, overtime, and any raises you would have earned. Back pay can be calculated from the job loss or date of the discrimination to the date of the court’s decision.

I Have To Wait Years To Recover My Lost Wages. Is There Other Compensation To Make Up For Those Losses?

Yes. Prejudgment interest is often part of a back pay award. Prejudgment interest is intended to compensate you for the use of money you would have had if you did not suffer the discrimination or loss of your job. 

Do I Have To Pay Taxes On The Damages I Receive?

Your entire damages award will be subject to federal taxes that must be paid by you, except for the amount allocated for prejudgment interest and attorneys’ fees. (The attorney will pay taxes on his or her fees.) 

What Can West Coast Employment Lawyers Do For You?

If you have made up your mind to take action, it is important to work with an attorney that specializes in cases like yours. The discrimination lawyers at West Coast Employment Lawyers have extensive experience handling discrimination cases. We will work tirelessly to gather the facts, find and interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, and fight for your rights.

We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get attorney’s fees if we are able to recover for you. Our legal team is available 24/7 and will take care of your case from start to finish. For a free no-obligation consultation with a discrimination attorney in California, contact our office at 1-800-247-9235.


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