• Back Pay Award is Based upon Gross Income, Not Amount Actually Netted as Take Home Pay.
  • January 24, 2017 | Author: Lawrence B. Berg
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - Cherry Hill Office
  • Following a seven-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on her disability discrimination and retaliation claims under the NJLAD. The initial jury instruction provided that any award of lost earnings was to be based upon the plaintiff’s take home pay and not her gross income. The jury subsequently rendered a verdict of $200,000 minus what she had received from disability, unemployment and what would have been deducted as federal/state taxes. After being provided with the amount of the deductions, the jury actually increased the award to $301,708.75. The trial judge then molded the original award by subtracting the deductions, resulting in a final award of $47,950. In reversing the award, the Appellate Division concluded that the jury charge had been in error. The court noted that no reference should have been made to the tax consequences of the award. Further, the court held that a back pay award is based on the plaintiff’s gross income, not the net.