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Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

Published by on July 3, 2009

Our latest update after the break.  Happy Independence Day! TX — Nuclear plant ordered to pay overtime to misclassified employees after bench trial in federal court. FL — Jury awards $3.73 million to three VA Hospital employees in retaliation lawsuit in Tampa.  They return to work next week after a three-week trial. LA — Appeals […]

Our latest update after the break.  Happy Independence Day!

TX — Nuclear plant ordered to pay overtime to misclassified employees after bench trial in federal court.

FL — Jury awards $3.73 million to three VA Hospital employees in retaliation lawsuit in Tampa.  They return to work next week after a three-week trial.

LA — Appeals court throws out $2 million verdict in favor of former football coach.

NY — “Starrett City, Inc., a federally funded housing complex in Brooklyn, will pay $70,000 to a former employee to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.  Starrett City refused to promote [Plaintiff]  to a permanent position of operating mechanic because he has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), a form of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 06-CV-3230 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York). The EEOC said [Plaintiff] had performed well as an apprentice for Starrett City from December 2000 to August 2004, and was the most senior apprentice who had applied for the position. However, because of his ADD and a related learning disability, he was denied the promotion for which he was well qualified, the EEOC asserted. As a result, his employment was terminated following his completion of the Starrett City Apprenticeship Program.”

IL — “A popular Hickory Hills, Ill., banquet facility and country club will pay up to $690,000 to settle two lawsuits, charging sex and race discrimination and retaliation, brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.  Federal District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer has entered a consent decree resolving the two lawsuits against Chateau Del Mar, Inc. and Hickory Properties, Inc., known as Hickory Hills Country Club. Under the decree, the defendants are required pay $590,000, including attorneys’ fees, to a class of women who endured a sexually hostile work environment and retaliation, and, in addition, up to another $100,000 to African American applicants who were denied hire because of their race.

In the government’s first suit, filed on March 25, 2008 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC alleged that the principal and manager of the facility sexually harassed a class of women employees over a period of years and refused to hire African American applicants. Female employees were called derogatory names and belittled as well as enduring sexual advances and, in some instances, physical assaults, the EEOC said.

Shortly after three of the women filed their own private federal lawsuit for sex discrimination on October 24, 2007 . . . Chateau Del Mar and Steven Gianakas sued them in Illinois state court. Their seven-count complaint alleged a wide variety of claimed wrongs, including, but not limited to, physical and mental injuries, “tripping and pushing Gianakas,” breach of fiduciary duty, and destroying property. . . .

An EEOC investigation determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that the women were sued because they exercised their federally protected rights to protest discrimination. The circuit court of Cook County dismissed the lawsuit Chateau Del Mar and Gianakas had filed. Thereafter, the EEOC filed a second lawsuit on September 22, 2008 against Chateau Del Mar for retaliation. The three individual private plaintiffs intervened in the EEOC’s retaliation case, and all three suits were docketed as related cases before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer.”

CO — “The Vail Corporation, which operates ski resorts in Vail and Keystone, Colo., will pay $80,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious and gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.  According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, EEOC v. The Vail Corporation, 07-cv-02035-REB-KLM, [Plaintiff], an emergency services supervisor at the Keystone Resort, was subjected to harassment based on her Christian religion and her sex, denied religious accommodation and treated less favorably than her male colleagues. The EEOC said that Cornwell’s supervisor, . . . , forbade her and another Christian employee from even discussing their Christian beliefs with one another while at work, and would not allow them to listen to Christian music while on duty, because it might offend other employees, but had no similar restrictions on music with profanity or lyrics promoting violence against women, which were offensive to [Plaintiff].

Additionally, according to the EEOC, [the supervisor] ridiculed [Plaintiff] for asking for scheduling accommodation so that she could attend her preferred religious services, and denied her requests while scheduling lower ranking officers for the shifts she requested. Also, [the supervisor] created and tolerated a sexually hostile work environment where he and other male employees made offensive sexual comments and jokes in the workplace, the EEOC alleged.

[Plaintiff] complained to various Keystone managers and human resource staff about the harassment and being scheduled to miss her religious services on Sundays, but no action was taken to resolve the problems. EEOC alleged that [Plaintiff] was fired in retaliation for her last complaint, made less than ten days before her termination.”

CA — “The California State University System (CSUS) has agreed to settle an age discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a longtime San Francisco State University Lecturer for $50,000 and other relief, the agency announced today.  This settlement resolved the EEOC’s lawsuit charging that the state’s largest university system discriminated against [Plaintiff] because of his age. [Plaintiff] was age 61 in the spring of 2004 when he applied for an assistant professor position in the Black Studies Department of the College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU. He had taught there as a lecturer for more than 15 years. The EEOC’s investigation showed that despite over 30 years of teaching experience at various Bay Area colleges and universities and a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1976, [Plaintiff] was passed over for a much younger candidate who had not yet received his Ph.D., a requirement for the position.”

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