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Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

Published by on June 5, 2009

Our latest update on recent jury verdicts and settlements after the break.  Those who make it to the bottom of the list will be surprised. CA — California Court of Appeals reverses $100 million award in tip-pooling case against Starbucks.  The barristas promise to appeal to the California Supreme Court.  A copy of the opinion […]

Our latest update on recent jury verdicts and settlements after the break.  Those who make it to the bottom of the list will be surprised.

CA — California Court of Appeals reverses $100 million award in tip-pooling case against Starbucks.  The barristas promise to appeal to the California Supreme Court.  A copy of the opinion is here.

NY — Syracuse police sergeant wins $250,000 in sexual discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the city.

TX — Deputy of former constable (now dead) wins $253,000 in sexual harassment lawsuit, but loses wrongful termination claim.

VA — Tenants awarded $250,000 in racial discrimination in housing case in federal court in Charlottesville.

NC — Ex-police chief wins negligence suit against town for impairing his retirement benefits by hiring him.

NY — “Duane Reade Inc., a well-known New York drugstore chain that operates more than 200 stores in metropolitan New York, will pay $240,000 and furnish other substantial relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.  According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Duane Reade unlawfully created, maintained and failed to remedy a hostile work environment at one of its Bronx stores by subjecting several female employees to sex and pregnancy harassment. The store manager . . . frequently made vulgar remarks about women’s private parts, sexually propositioned female employees, made lewd comments about their pregnancies and bodies, assigned unfavorable job duties to pregnant employees and repeatedly grabbed female employees, including grabbing their buttocks.  Further, the EEOC said, the employees who complained and filed discrimination charges with the agency were retaliated against by being subjected to further harassment by their supervisors.”

NV — Court approves $85 million wage and hour settlement in cases involving Wal-Mart.

MD — “A Gaithersburg, Md.-based storage facility will pay $95,000 and furnish other substantial relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . .  In its suit (Civil Action No. 8:08-cv-02498-PJM), filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Southern Division, the EEOC said that Extra Space Management, Inc. unlawfully fired [plaintiff], a maintenance worker, because of a disability. [Plaintiff], who has a visible disfigurement as a result of sustaining severe burns to his body in a house fire, began working for the company in June 2006. Although he was physically capable and willing to perform all his job duties, [plaintiff] was fired after meeting the acting district manager, who said that he “noticed he was handicapped, deformed or something,” and “it’s clear he can’t get the job done.”

MO — “Town & Country Grocers of Fredericktown, Missouri, Inc., doing business as Country Mart Grocery (Country Mart), will pay $27,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a female African American worker, the federal agency announced today.  The EEOC had alleged in the litigation that co-workers and a supervisor told racist jokes and directed racial slurs at [plaintiff], a cook and deli clerk in the company’s Park Hills, Mo., store. Some of the slurs were written on a wall and in a note taped on a door. Country Mart management failed to respond to [plaintiff]’s complaints about the harassment. [Plaintiff], the only African American employee in the Park Hills store, resigned as a result of the racially hostile work environment.”

NJ — “Oil Company ConocoPhillips has agreed to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.  In the suit (Civil No.07-6045 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New Jersey in Newark), the EEOC had charged that ConocoPhillips discriminated against [plaintiff], a long-term pipe fitter, at its Bayway Refinery in Linden, N.J., by refusing to grant his request for a religious accommodation. [Plaintiff] served as a deacon and lay leader in his congregation. In May 2006, [plaintiff] was informed by the company that he was required to work a schedule that would make him miss Sunday services for two months. Despite [plaintiff]’s requests, ConocoPhillips failed to accommodate him, and he was unable to attend Sunday church services during this time.”

IL — “Area Erectors, Inc., a construction company headquartered in Rockford, Ill., will pay $630,000 and provide significant remedial relief to settle a race discrimination class lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . .  The EEOC’s suit, filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (EEOC v. Area Erectors, Inc., No. 1:07-CV-02339), charged that Area Erectors terminated [plaintiff] and a class of 23 other black employees because of their race. In addition, the EEOC alleged that Area Erectors fired [plaintiff] as a retaliatory measure after it discovered he had filed a lawsuit against another employer for race discrimination.”

MI — “Muskegon Family Care, a family medical center, has agreed to pay $85,280 and provide substantial injunctive relief to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.  According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 1:08-CV-618, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan), Muskegon Family Care subjected [plaintiff], an African American supervisor at its Getty Road clinic, to race discrimination and retaliation by failing to promote her and firing her after she complained about ongoing racial harassment. From the start of her employment, the EEOC said, [plaintiff] faced an uphill battle because her direct supervisor displayed an immediate and ongoing dislike towards her because of her race. Even though Muskegon Family Care was aware of the discriminatory animus [plaintiff]’s supervisor harbored against her, it allowed the harassment to continue and let the boss terminate her as punishment for the complaint.”

Alaska — “Providence Alaska Medical Center has agreed to pay $220,000 and other relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit on behalf of five workers laid off and denied rehire because of their age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.  The EEOC charged that in February 2005, Providence laid off and refused to rehire longtime employees [plaintiffs] following a restructuring of the hospital’s operating room. The five employees had devoted between 11 and 24 years of their careers as surgery aides and anesthesia technicians to Providence and all had hoped to retire from Providence one day. The EEOC said that the five employees, ages between 46 and 56, lost their jobs due to their age, and were replaced by new hires in their twenties and thirties.”

TX — “A construction contractor operating at Texas refineries will pay $175,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.  The EEOC’s lawsuit charged Brand Energy Solutions, L.L.C., formerly known as Brand Scaffold Builders, L.L.C., with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting a female employee to sexual harassment and retaliation. The agency said that an operations manager employed by Brand at a Corpus Christi refinery sexually harassed a female timekeeper whom he supervised.

The EEOC said the harassment included subjecting her to repeated unwelcome physical contact, sexual advances and comments; placing lurid images on her work computer; and threatening and intimidating behavior such as throwing objects at her and locking her in a trailer. According to the suit, the woman was forced to quit her job when Brand Scaffold failed to take prompt and appropriate remedial action to address the harassment, as the law requires.  Further, the EEOC charged, Brand retaliated against the woman for complaining about the abuse. After she complained to management she was removed from her work site, placed directly in the harasser’s office and was shunned by the other employees. She was told by co-workers and at least one Brand manager that whistleblowers never keep their jobs.”

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CA — Last, but not least, we provide a link to this press release announcing that the Los Angeles Superior Court entered judgment on an arbitration award in an employment case in the amount of $4.1 billion.  (Hat tip to the Manpower Employment Law Blog.)

UPDATE:  Law.com has a story here that fills in the gaps on how the number got so big.

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