11.6 Penalties for Unlawful Discrimination
If an investigation reveals that you engaged in unfair immigration-related employment practices under the INA, IER may file a lawsuit. The charging party may also file a lawsuit. Settlements or lawsuits may result in one or more corrective steps, including:
- Receiving a cease and desist order from the court;
- Hiring or reinstating, with or without back pay, the person or people directly aﬀected by the discrimination;
- Paying civil penalties;
- Changing unlawful rules or practices to prevent future discrimination;
- Posting notices to employees about their rights and about your obligations; or
- Educating all personnel involved in the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes, about the proper procedures for verifying an individual’s employment eligibility and complying with anti-discrimination laws.
The court may award attorneys’ fees to prevailing parties other than the United States under certain circumstances.
Under Title VII, compensatory damages may be awarded in cases involving intentional unlawful discrimination. Compensatory damages pay victims for out-of-pocket expenses caused by the discrimination (such as costs associated with a job search or medical expenses) and compensate them for any emotional harm suffered (such as mental anguish, inconvenience, or loss of enjoyment of life). Punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees, and court costs may also be available.