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Damages is the term used by lawyers to indicate the money you may recover in a lawsuit.  Generally speaking, the money is meant to compensate you for any loss that you have suffered.  Some statutes specifically outline the amount and type of damages that you may recover.

In the employment contracts, damages generally fall into the following categories:

Compensatory damages: these are damages for losses that you can prove you suffered.  Such damages might out-of-pocket expenses.

Punitive damages: these are damages ordered by the court in order to punish an employer for engaging in unlawful behavior.

Lost wages: in most instances this is “back pay”, or the wages you of lost as a result of the employer engaging in unlawful behavior.  In some instances, “front page” may also be awarded.  Front pay is an amount of money that you would have earned had the employer not acted unlawfully.

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