11 PJI 3.4 | EPA | LIQUIDATED DAMAGES
29 U.S.C. § 216 provides for an automatic doubling of back pay damages awarded for a violation of the Equal Pay Act. No instruction is necessary on liquidated damages, because there is no issue for the jury to decide concerning the availability or amount of liquidated damages. The court simply doubles the award of back pay damages found by the jury.
It should be noted that 29 U.S.C. § 260 provides that “if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that the act or omission giving rise to such action was in good faith and that he had reasonable grounds for believing that his act or omission was not a violation of the [Equal Pay Act], the court may, in its sound discretion” reduce the award of liquidated damages (but not the underlying damages award). No instruction is necessary on good faith, either, because the question of good faith in this circumstance is a question for “the court.” The jury has no authority to reduce an award of liquidated damages under the Equal Pay Act. See, e.g., Glenn v. General Motors Corp., 841 F.2d 1567, 1573 (11th Cir. 1988) (“An employer may avoid the mandatory nature of an award of liquidated damages if the court chooses not to make an award where the employer shows its actions were in good faith and shows it has reasonable grounds for believing that those actions did not violate the Equal Pay Act.”); Reich v. Tiller Helicopter Services, Inc., 8 F.3d 1018, 1031 (5th Cir. 1993) (question of “good faith under 29 U.S.C. § 260 is an issue that the court must resolve”).
(Last Updated October 2018)
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