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March 2019 Verdicts and Settlements

Published by on May 13, 2019

Our summary of recent verdicts and settlements for March 2019.

California: City of Baldwin Park to pay $7 million dollars in damages in a gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation suit. Lilli Hadsell worked for the Baldwin Park Police Department and was promoted as the first female Police Chief.

Hadsell was working for Baldwin Police for nearly 14 years. She acted as Police Chief during her last five years with the Baldwin Police. She often received comments from one subordinate and a city council member that a woman cannot do the job as Police Chief. Hadsell reported the bullying behavior and complained to the Mayor about the comments made throughout her career as Chief.

Hadsell removed the subordinate officer who made comments about her from the chain of command and shortly thereafter received a threatening call from a city council member demanding her to resign. After a new city council member was elected, Hadsell was later dismissed without cause by the city council. She was later informed by another city council member that her termination constituted retaliation.

New York: Verizon Communications employee won a $2.7 million settlement in a discrimination lawsuit. Adnan Abreu worked for Verizon for 25 years and resigned from the company due to discrimination based of his dark skin and the company’s retaliation against him when he complained.

Abreu’s mistreatment heightened when he was promoted to a field technician position on Fire Island. Abreu learned that the island was covered with poison ivy. While on the job, Abreu decided to remove his work shirt and worked in a white tank top to ensure that he did not carry poison ivy home. Abreu was reprimanded for not wearing his work shirt, but his white co-workers who also worked without company shirts were never reprimanded. After he complained to his managers, he was retaliated against. The managers made inappropriate comments that they would get him off the island. Abreu later resigned after he felt that he was being forced to quit.

Pennsylvania: Llanerch Country Club to pay $30,000 to settle age discrimination lawsuit. Country Club in Havertown discriminated against an older groundskeeper by laying him off temporarily during the winter season due to his age.

The groundskeeper was 59 years old when he was informed that he would not be rehired in the Spring. The company told him that they were looking to hire younger employees. Nine weeks later, the company hired significantly younger groundskeepers.

Maryland: Park School of Baltimore to pay $41,000 to settle sex discrimination suit. A private school located in Pikesville, Maryland fired a softball coach because of his gender.

Park School employed a male head softball coach in the Spring of 2014 and renewed his employment contract in 2015 and 2016. Park School told the coach that it did not renew his contract for 2017 due its preference in female leadership.

Florida: City of Jacksonville to pay $4.9 million to settle race discrimination lawsuit. Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters Local advocated in favor of discriminatory promotional practices. The union supported a promotional process that had an adverse impact on African-American promotional candidates.

Alabama: East Coast Labor Solutions and affiliated staffing agencies to pay $475,000 to settle national origin and disability discrimination charges. The staffing agencies allegedly discriminated against Latino workers.

Following recruitment by the staffing agencies, Jorge Mercado and other Latino workers were subjected to racial slurs and other abusive working conditions. The Latino workers were also paid less and placed in hazardous working conditions. Complaints made by the workers were ignored despite ongoing harassment.

Nevada: Several franchisees of the IHOP restaurant chain in Nevada and New York will pay $70,000 to employees in sexual harassment and retaliation suit. IHOP franchisees, supervisors, managers, and co-coworkers subjected employees to sexual harassment, including groping and unwanted kissing and touching. The company failed to take immediate action when the victims complained and rather took action by retaliating against the employees by reducing hours and/or firing them.

Florida: Christini’s Ristorante Italiano to pay $80,000 as settlement in a sexual harassment and retaliation suit. The restaurant, located in Orlando, fired its bartender for complaining about the restaurant being a sexually hostile workplace.

The female bartender was asked to go on dates and told to be made available to restaurant patrons. After complaining about the demands that were asked of her by the owner, the owner later terminated the bartender for that reason.

Florida: USA Parking Services, Inc. to pay $150,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit. The hospitality industry-focused valet parking company refused to hire a deaf applicant for a valet attendant position. The refusal to hire the deaf applicant was based on the assumption that he was not able to perform the essential functions of the job. The company failed to conduct an individualized assessment of the applicant’s abilities before refusing to hire him.

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