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September 2018 Verdicts and Settlements

Published by on September 18, 2018

Our summary of recent jury and EEOC verdicts and settlements for September 2018.

California: Alorica settles sexual harassment lawsuit for 3.5 million. Male and female customer service employees were allegedly subjected to harassment, including sexually hostile work environments by managers and coworkers. The EEOC claimed that human resources staff failed to address the harassment despite the repeated complaints by employees.

Alabama: Poultry supplier to pay $3.75 million to class of Hispanic workers for harassment, national origin and race bias suit. Koch Foods, a large poultry supplier, allegedly subjected individual plaintiffs and classes of Hispanic employee as well as female employees to a hostile work environment.

The allegations included that the supervisors touched and/or made sexually suggestive comments to female Hispanic employees and some were physically abused. A class of these employees were also subject to retaliation in the form of discharge and other adverse actions after they made complaints.

West Virginia: Las Trancas Restaurant to pay $66,598 to settle sexual harassments and retaliation lawsuit. The EEOC said that a restaurant in Martinsburg had two female employees subjected to egregious sexual harassment, sex discrimination and retaliation.

The restaurant allegedly subjected former employees, Raquel Ramirez Rivera and Virginia Sanchez Garcia to a hostile work environment because of their sex, including regular and repeated touching and grabbing, sexual comments and other offensive and threatening behaviors by male supervisors and coworkers. The EEOC claimed that Garcia was fired as a result of the harassment after refusing to submit to her supervisor’s advances.

Tennessee: Southeast Food Services/Wendy’s settles retaliation charge for $20,000. The large franchisee formerly operating Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburger restaurant, will pay to settle a retaliation charge made by a former employee.

The EEOC alleged that the employer required employees to sign a general release to receive a promotion. One of the provisions in the release prohibited employees to exercise their right to discrimination complaints. Southeast Food agreed to enter into a one-year conciliation agreement to avoid the litigation costs and liability.

Texas: Murphy Oil USA, Inc. to pay $100,000 to settle disability discrimination and retaliation suit. The company was alleged to have fired a 10-year employee who had a back impairment, after asking for accommodation and required the employee to perform duties that violated work restrictions imposed by his physician. The company was also alleged to have fired the employee in retaliation after complaining to management about the failure to accommodate his medical restrictions.

Illinois: Home Depot to pay $100,000 to settle disability discrimination lawsuit. The Home Improvement retailer allegedly fired an employee who required a disability-related emergency break for leaving her post unattended.

Virginia: Massimo Zanetti Beverage to pay $65,000 to settle sex harassment and retaliation lawsuit. The company operates a roasting facility in Suffolk, where Latoya Young was a temporary worker. The temporary worker was allegedly discriminated against and subjected her to a sexually hostile work environment and fired for opposing the abuse.

Young was hired by a staffing agency to work at the Suffolk facility. According to the EEOC, around February 2015, a male co-worker began harassing Young. The harassment included requests for sex and sexual favors, as well as crude sexual comments and gestures. Young reported three times although the harassment continued. After the last report, Young was terminated.

Florida: Autonation-owned dealership to pay $150,000 to settle gender discrimination lawsuit. The dealership allegedly rejected a qualified employee due to her sex.

Jacquline de la Torre was hired in a clerical position to an assistant parts manager. She held the assistant-parts manager position for 10 years. According to the EEOC, when the manager position became vacant, she was not allowed to apply and, instead, hired a less qualified male which required de la Torre to train him. Upper management did acknowledge that she was the most qualified candidate, but told her the position needed a man.

Louisiana: Otto Candies to pay $165,000 to resolve disability discrimination suit. The Marine Transportation provider allegedly fired a deckhand because of his recurrent pancreatitis. The company took the position that the illness rendered him unable to perform the job.

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