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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Actual & Compensatory Damages Are Synonymous Under WLAD

by Gregory Williams, Esq. | Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), are actual damages synonymous with compensatory damagesHere’s my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).

WASHINGTON LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

Under WLAD, it is an unfair practice, with very few exceptions, for an employer to refuse to hire any person, to discharge or bar any person from employment, or to discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of age (40+); sex (including pregnancy); marital statussexual orientation (including gender identity); race; color; creednational originhonorably discharged veteran or military statusHIV/AIDS and hepatitis C status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and state employee or health care whistleblower status. It is also an unfair practice for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee complained about job discrimination or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

WLAD REMEDIES FOR UNFAIR PRACTICES

WLAD expressly provides for remedies for unfair practices as follows:
Any person deeming himself or herself injured by any act in violation of this chapter shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages sustained by the person, or both, together with the cost of suit including reasonable attorneys' fees or any other appropriate remedy authorized by this chapter or the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964....
Martini v. The Boeing Company, 137 Wn.2d 357, 366-67 (Wash. 1999) (citing RCW 49.60.030(2)) (emphasis and hyperlinks added).

ACTUAL DAMAGES ARE SYNONYMOUS WITH COMPENSATORY DAMAGES

Under WLAD, "'actual damages' are synonymous with compensatory damages." Id. (citing Black's Law Dictionary 35 (6th ed.1990) (hyperlinks added). "As the dictionary definition notes, Washington courts have interpreted the term 'actual damages' in this manner." Id. at 367-68 (internal citations omitted) (hyperlinks added).


LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.

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