With the availability of terawatt laser systems with subpicosecond pulses, laser damage to optical components has become the limiting factor for further increases in the output peak power. Evaluation of different material structures in accordance to their suitability for high-power laser systems is essential. Multi-shot damage experiments, using 110 fs laser pulses at 800 nm, on polycrystalline single layer gold films and multi-layer (gold-vanadium, and gold-titanium) films were conducted. The laser incident fluence was varied, in both cases, from 0.1 to 0.6 J/cm<sup>2</sup>. No evidence of surface damage was apparent in the gold sample up to a fluence of 0.3 J/cm<sup>2</sup>. The multilayer sample experienced the onset of surface damage at the lowest fluence value used of 0.1 J/cm<sup>2</sup>. Damage results are in contrast with the time resolved ultrafast thermoreflectivity measurements that revealed a reduction of the thermoreflectivity signal for the multilayer films. This decrease in the thermoreflectivity signal signifies a reduction in the surface electron temperature that should translate in a lower lattice temperature at the later stage. Hence, one should expect a higher damage threshold for the multilayer samples. Comparison of the experimental results with the predictions of the Two-Temperature Model (TTM) is presented. The damage threshold of the single layer gold film corresponds to the melting threshold predicted by the model. In contrast to the single layer gold film, the multi-layer sample damaged at almost one third the damage threshold predicted by the TTM model. Possible damage mechanisms leading to the early onset of damage for the multilayer films are discussed.