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Directions in Sexual Harassment Law$
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Catharine A. MacKinnon and Reva B. Siegel

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300098006

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300098006.001.0001

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Damages in Sexual Harassment Cases

Damages in Sexual Harassment Cases

Chapter:
(p.324) 20 Damages in Sexual Harassment Cases
Source:
Directions in Sexual Harassment Law
Author(s):

Cass R. Sunstein

Judy M. Shih

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300098006.003.0021

This chapter attempts to make some progress on the questions regarding damages in sexual harassment through some descriptive and empirical claims. The basic finding is that people, including jurors, have a very hard time in mapping their judgments onto a dollar scale. Thus, there is likely to be a high degree of variability and randomness. People who are similarly situated will not be treated similarly, whether plaintiffs or defendants. Juries that share moral judgments about the outrageousness of a defendant's conduct may well come up with very different punitive awards, and more egregious cases may be punished less severely than less egregious ones. The same holds true for compensatory damages; juries that share judgments about the underlying facts may well come up with widely varying dollar amounts. The chapter hopes to explain this apparently contradictory statement.

Keywords:   damages, empirical claims, jurors, judgments, dollar scale, variability, randomness, punitive awards, compensatory damages

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