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Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

Published by on March 18, 2009

Our latest (and rather long) update on jury verdicts and settlements after the break. OH — “A Lordstown, Ohio-based automotive parts company will pay $27,500 and furnish remedial relief to settle a retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . .  According to the EEOC, welder [plaintiff] had an […]

Our latest (and rather long) update on jury verdicts and settlements after the break.

OH — “A Lordstown, Ohio-based automotive parts company will pay $27,500 and furnish remedial relief to settle a retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . .  According to the EEOC, welder [plaintiff] had an excellent work record at Faurecia Exhaust Systems for two years prior to March 2006, when the company learned that [plaintiff] had contacted the EEOC complaining about possible disability discrimination. Thereafter, Faurecia initiated numerous disciplinary actions, beginning with a written warning and escalating to [plaintiff] being escorted to the door on two separate occasions. Faurecia [then] fired [the plaintiff].”

AZ — “The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that Wheeler Construction, Inc., a Phoenix-based construction company, has agreed to settle a national origin harassment lawsuit for $325,000 and other relief on behalf of Mexican workers.  The EEOC’s complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona charged that employees . . . were subjected to harassment based on their national origin (Mexican) and retaliation for complaining about it. The harassment included comments by a supervisor referring to employees as “wetbacks” and “s–cs” and telling Latino employees to “go back to Mexico.” [Plaintiff 1] was born and raised in Glendale, Ariz., and had 20 years of service with Wheeler Construction at the time of the harassment. When [Plaintiff 1] complained to management about the harassment he was fired.  [Plaintiff 2] also attempted to complain about the harassment and Wheeler failed to take any action to address it. After an EEOC investigation, the agency found that two additional employees alerted management of the discrimination and no action was taken.”

MI — Jury awards fired officer $1 million in racial and disability discrimination lawsuit against Saginaw.

NJ — New Jersey jury awarded UPS employee $1 million in whistleblower retaliation lawsuit.  The employee was demoted after reporting about misuse of company credit cards and workplace discrimination.  Another story here.

NY — Ex-Nassau worker wins $1 million in back pay for termination in 1992 based on political party affiliation.

NV — “The corporate owner of several restaurants in three states will pay $457,500 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . .  The EEOC had charged that N-W Ventures, LLC in Las Vegas subjected a class of African American employees to discrimination, including racial harassment and retaliation. N-W Ventures owns several bars, steakhouses and lounges in Las Vegas, Chicago and Dallas.  According to the EEOC’s suit, eight black employees and other similarly situated individuals were forced to endure racist epithets and insults on many occasions. When some employees complained, managers retaliated against them by instructing supervisors to “get something on them, whether true or not,” and then firing them because of their race and as retaliation for the complaints”

LA — “Basic Energy Services, L.P. has agreed to pay $250,000 and consented to substantial injunctive relief to settle a sex discrimination and retaliation suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . .  The EEOC charged in its suit that the Midland, Texas-based company, a major oil well servicing contractor, had discriminated against a former field attendant because of her sex and then fired her because she complained about a discriminatory promotion denial and sexual harassment.  According to the EEOC’s suit (No.5:08-CV-1361 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division), Basic Energy Services denied [plaintiff], who worked for the company as a field disposal attendant, a promotion to field supervisor in 2006 because of her gender. Further, the EEOC asserted, [plaintiff] also was subjected to months of sexual harassment by her immediate supervisor [ ]. After [plaintiff] filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC and made an internal complaint about the sexual harassment, the suit said, the company terminated her in March 2007 in retaliation.”

FL — West Palm Beach wins race discrimination case involving allegations of failure to promote in fire department.

CA — “Jurors on Tuesday awarded $1.2 million to a Newport Beach police sergeant, saying he endured discrimination based on rumors about his sexuality and retaliation for flagging misconduct among his fellow officers.”

OH — “The operators of an assisted living facility in Mayfield Village will pay $75,000 and provide remedial relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). . . .  In its suit against Governor’s Village, LLC and Navigroup, LLC (Case No. 1:08-cv-01298), filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the EEOC charged that the activities director for Governor’s Village . . . who has a birth deformity affecting her muscular-skeletal system, was fired after she opposed the removal of a reasonable accommodation for her that had been previously provided. Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that an employer reasonably accommodate the known disability of a qualified employee unless doing so would cause an undue hardship on the operation of its business. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an employee for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on disability.”

CA — “United Airlines has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that the Chicago-based company’s overtime policy violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) . . . .  According to the EEOC’s suit and settlement (CV 09 0784 EMC) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California, United will pay $850,000 to a class of employees with disabilities and has agreed not to enforce such a policy in the future.  The suit arose from a charge filed by [charging party], a storekeeper working for United at the San Francisco International Airport. The EEOC’s suit asserted that United’s policy of denying the opportunity to work overtime to anyone placed on light or limited duty had greater repercussions for employees with disabilities, since these workers were more likely to be assigned to light duty. For example, [charging party], who has epilepsy, was under medical restrictions that prevented him from operating heavy machinery and working at heights, but did not restrict the number of hours a week he could work. [Charging party] was given light duty for his regular work schedule, and as a result, United had barred him from an overtime schedule despite the fact that he was medically cleared to work overtime.”

TN — “A Nashville Waffle House restaurant has been ordered to allow unsecured claims in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy action totaling $45,000 for several women who the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims the company subjected to a sexually hostile work environment.  The EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 3:07-cv-00690, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville), charged that SouthEast Waffles, LLC subjected several servers on the night shift at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville to sexual harassment by a cook who was in charge of the night shift. The suit said the sexual harassment included unwelcome sexual touching, frequent requests for sexual conduct, other frequent sexual comments and other sexual conduct. The EEOC said the women made several complaints to their managers about the sexual harassment, but the managers failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action to end the harassment.”

PA — “Verizon Pennsylvania Inc. has agreed to pay $37,000 and furnish other relief to settle a retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . .  The EEOC charged in its lawsuit that Verizon fired Senior Field Clerk [plaintiff] about 10 days after she complained about perceived sexual harassment by a male contractor.  According to the EEOC’s suit, [plaintiff] began working for Verizon in September 2005 at its Bellevue, Pa., location as a “term employee” with a contract to work for anywhere from six to 36 months. She was assigned to perform administrative duties for a male contractor who worked in the office next to hers. In January 2006, [plaintiff], accompanied by the union president, complained to her second-level supervisor that she believed the male contractor was sexually harassing her. That day the company reassigned her to its Pittsburgh location pending investigation of her complaint. The EEOC charged that instead of investigating the complaint or taking action to stop the alleged harassment, Verizon terminated [plaintiff’s] employment about 10 days later in retaliation for her complaint about sexual harassment.”

CA — “Kovacevich 5 Farms, a Tulare County grower of table grapes, has agreed to pay $1,680,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that the company refused to hire women . . . .  After investigating charges filed by six female job applicants turned away by the Kovacevich 5 Farms, the EEOC found that the grower hired zero women between 1998 and 2002 despite filling approximately 300 seasonal farm work positions every year.”

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