Archives: Discrimination

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Scientist Awarded $3M by Pennsylvania Jury in Gender Discrimination Suit

A federal jury recently awarded a female scientist $3 million for her gender discrimination claims against PPG Industries, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Half of the award was for emotional distress damages. In the case, Carol Knox worked for PPG for 23 years and was a Project Manager in the research and development group, where … Continue Reading

Florida Jury Awards Former University Registrar $310,500 In Retaliation Suit

A jury recently returned a $310,500 verdict in favor of a former University of South Florida employee on her retaliation claim against the University. DeBose v. USF Board of Trustees, et al, No. 8:15-cv-02787 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 26, 2018).   The former employee, Angela DeBose, claimed she was retaliated against because she had filed internal race … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Jury Returns Unprecedented $28 Million Verdict for Retaliation Claim

A Suffolk County jury recently awarded a Haitian–American nurse an unprecedented $28.2 million in total damages on her claim of retaliation against Brigham & Women’s Hospital, her former employer. At the same time, the jury rejected the nurse’s claim of race discrimination. This verdict serves to emphasize what most employment litigators know from experience: juries … Continue Reading

Jury Award of Emotional Distress Damages Must Be Reduced by Millions, Judge Rules

A federal judge in New York has ruled that a plaintiff could recover only a small portion of the $2.5 million a jury awarded him, granting the defendant’s request for the reduction. Saber v. New York State Department of Financial Services, No. 1:15-cv-05944 (S.D. N.Y. July 20, 2018).  Plaintiff Nasser Saber, who is Muslim, had … Continue Reading

Illinois Jury Rejects Transgender Worker’s Discrimination Claim

  A federal jury in Illinois has rejected a transgender employee’s claim that she was discriminated against and illegally fired after she told her employer that she was transitioning. In 2016, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Rent-A-Center East, Inc., alleging the company discharged Megan Kerr illegally in 2014, after over a year’s worth of … Continue Reading

Jury Enters Sexual Harassment Verdict in Favor of Plaintiff; Awards No Damages

A jury in the Northern District of Georgia recently entered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a sexual harassment case, yet awarded her no damages. In Furcron v. Mail Centers Plus, LLC, a former mailroom clerk, Myra Furcron, sued her former employer, Mail Centers Plus, LLC, for sexual harassment as a result of … Continue Reading

Reward for Highest Score: No Promotion, But $1.2 Million Jury Verdict

A long-time New Jersey police department employee applies for a promotion to captain. On the promotional exam, he scores higher than any other applicant. He isn’t promoted. His consolation prize, however, is a jury verdict of more than $1.2 million in state court last month. In Downing v. Borough of Roselle and Chief Gerald Orlando, Bradley … Continue Reading

Well-Documented Investigation and Carefully Written Policies Give Win to School District Against Discrimination, Retaliation Claims

  Following nearly 10 days of witness testimony, a jury in Denton, Texas, has ruled in favor of the Denton Independent School District (ISD), and rejected an ISD para-professional’s claim that he was fired in retaliation for complaining about discrimination. Although the ISD’s termination letter to the para-professional stated that his history of filing meritless … Continue Reading

Wisconsin Jury Rejects Fired Jail Officer’s Claims of Discrimination and Retaliation

A case involving a former jail officer shows how keeping detailed, contemporaneous records of complaints of discrimination and unfair treatment can help defend against employee claims. A federal jury in Wisconsin rejected a former jail officer’s claim that her termination was the result of sex discrimination and retaliation. The jury apparently found the plaintiff’s allegations of … Continue Reading

Discrimination Due To Breastfeeding: Jury Verdict Upheld in Favor of Police Officer

Affirming that breastfeeding is a medical condition related to pregnancy and that the police department’s conduct violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld the jury’s verdict for a former Tuscaloosa, Alabama police officer. Hicks v. City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, No. 16-13003 (11th Cir. Sept. 7, 2017).  Stephanie Hicks was awarded … Continue Reading

The Significance of Expert Testimony

Expert testimony can play a significant role in shaping the outcome of cases that go to trial. For example, in a case lacking witnesses or evidence that could directly support or undercut the plaintiff’s accusations of severe sexual misconduct, what stood out most was the expert testimony. On August 8, 2017, a two-week jury trial ended … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Case Costs Iowa Taxpayers $2.2 Million

A former staffer for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus in Iowa has been awarded $2.2 million in damages for retaliation that will be paid from Iowa’s already-floundering general fund.  Kirsten Anderson was terminated from her position as communications director for the caucus in 2012. She alleged the termination was in retaliation for her complaints about … Continue Reading

Jury Awards $4.5 Million to Hospital Employee for Discrimination and Retaliation

A plaintiff has been awarded $4.45 million for an age discrimination, disability discrimination, and retaliation action he filed under state law in a court in Iowa against his former employer. Gregory Hawkins v. Grinnell Regional Medical Center, et al., No. 08791 LALA002281. The award included $220,009 in back pay, $2 million in emotional distress damages, … Continue Reading

Evidence of Immigration Status Blocked by Courts

Could barring evidence in court of undocumented workers’ immigration status actually prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants? It could, according to one Illinois district court judge. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan has barred evidence regarding a plaintiff’s immigration status in a case involving a claim for unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, ruling … Continue Reading

Workplace Bullying Costs State $3 Million

  A California state jury has handed down a $3 million award to a Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) employee in a case alleging harassment by supervisors.  John Barrie, a staff services analyst at Caltrans, alleged his supervisors harassed him by intentionally triggering his allergies through exposure to chemicals such as perfumes and cleaning solutions. … Continue Reading

Jury Awards $6.45 Million To Two Plaintiffs for Hostile Work Environment Claims

A jury in the Northern District of Illinois has awarded two plaintiffs $6.45 million in damages, $6 million of which was allocated to punitive damages, clearly signaling that, regardless of statutory caps, juries do not look favorably upon employers who ignore employee complaints of sexual harassment. In Davis v. Packer Engineering, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-07923, Danya … Continue Reading
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