Those who sue a California employer or any other in a Title VII case can obtain a maximum of $300,000 in compensation. The cap has been the same since 1991, and it isn’t widely believed to be a deterrent. However, a professor at Vanderbilt University said that the cap should be $7.6 million. This figure was developed in part based on the theory that workers get paid more when they take on extra risk.
In certain industries, workers may face a greater risk of being the victim of sexual harassment. If the cap were raised, it could better serve as a way to deter companies from not working to eliminate harassment within their ranks. At a minimum, it could make it more likely that a worker would file a sexual harassment charge because there would be greater incentive to do so. The belief is that a higher cap on sexual harassment damages would reduce sexual harassment much like the workers’ compensation has reduced workplace fatalities.
According to the professor who came up with the theoretical damage cap, sexual harassment has serious consequences. Victims may be less productive and have issues related to their mental health. In Europe, sexual harassment is considered a dignity harm as opposed to another behavior that is against the law.
Anyone who is treated differently based on their gender may be the victim of sexual harassment. Such harassment might include different work hours, pay rates or opportunities for advancement within an organization. It could also include comments, jokes or sexual advances made to an individual. If a person believes that they are the victim of sexual harassment, it may be a good idea to consult with a lawyer to learn more about how to proceed with legal action.