Opinion of the Court
such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." 42 U. S. C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). If administrative remedies are unsuccessful, an aggrieved employee may file suit in a district court, § 2000e-5(f)(1), although the Courts of Appeals have held that Title VII plaintiffs, unlike ordinary tort plaintiffs, are not entitled to a jury trial. See, e. g., Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express, Inc., 417 F. 2d 1122, 1125 (CA5 1969). See also Curtis v. Loether, 415 U. S. 189, 192-193 (1974) (describing availability of jury trials for common-law forms of action); id., at 196-197, n. 13 (citing Title VII cases). If the court finds that the employer has engaged in an unlawful employment practice, it may enjoin the practice and "order such affirmative action as may be appropriate, which may include, but is not limited to, reinstatement or hiring of employees, with or without back pay . . . or any other equitable relief as the court deems appropriate." § 2000e-5(g).
It is beyond question that discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, or any of the other classifications protected by Title VII is, as respondents argue and this Court consistently has held, an invidious practice that causes grave harm to its victims. See Brief for Respondents 35-39; Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U. S. 424 (1971). The fact that employment discrimination causes harm to individuals does not automatically imply, however, that there exists a tort-like "personal injury" for purposes of federal income tax law.
Indeed, in contrast to the tort remedies for physical and nonphysical injuries discussed above, Title VII does not allow awards for compensatory or punitive damages; instead, it limits available remedies to backpay, injunctions, and other equitable relief. See § 2000e-5(g); Patterson v. McLean Credit Union, 491 U. S. 164, 182, n. 4 (1989) (noting that a plaintiff in a Title VII action is "limited to a recovery of backpay"); Great American Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn. v. Novotny, 442 U. S. 366, 374-375 (1979); Sparrow v. Commissioner, 292 U. S. App. D. C. 259, 262-263, 949 F. 2d 434, 437-Page: Index Previous 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next
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