Employment Discrimination: Distinguishing Between Equitable Remedies and Compensatory Damages
Journal of Legal Economics
There may be a perception among some forensic economists that the time horizon for future damages in employment discrimination cases is the period the plaintiff would have remained employed with the defendant employer but for the discrimination. While the discrimination acts and interpretive case law concerning damages are nuanced as a result of the rather archaic distinction between equitable and legal remedies, it is clear that the law recognizes that discriminatory acts may injure an individual’s earning capacity. Therefore, the law allows for the equitable relief of front pay and the distinct legal remedy of compensatory damages in the form of future lost earnings. While the former contemplates employment with a specific employer (i.e., the defendant), the latter does not.
Bowles, Tyler J. “Employment Discrimination: Distinguishing Between Equitable Remedies and Compensatory Damages.” Journal of Legal Economics 15(1, August 2008): 11-20.