What is an Employee Entitled to Recover if Unlawful Harassment by a Supervisor is Substantiated?

Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employee who prevails on a claim of unlawful harassment is entitled to recover damages which generally include compensatory damages, which generally include, medical expenses, physical or property damages, if any, emotional distress, and economic damages, if any, caused by the harassment.

Liability lies against the supervisor in his or her individual capacity, and the employer, who is strictly liable for the actions of the supervisor.

If the supervisor is a director, officer or managing agent of the corporation or the corporation ratified (explicitly or implicitly) approved the supervisor’s conduct, and the alleged conduct meets the requirements for recovery of punitive damages, the employee may also be awarded punitive damages.  In addition, the employee as the prevailing party will recover the costs of suit and “reasonable” attorneys’ fees.    Intentional conduct, such as, punitive damages is not covered by insurance.