Our latest update on recent employment-related jury verdicts and settlements after the break.
NY – A federal jury ordered the Millennium Broadway Hotel to pay $125,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages to a former employee in a racial discrimination lawsuit. The suit alleged that the hotel favored white and Hispanic workers over African-Americans and that the employee was subjected to harassment, including seeing a doll suspended with a noose from a bulletin board in an office used by the director of building operations.
NJ – A New Jersey jury awarded $509,000 to a former Jefferson Township High School chemistry teacher in an age discrimination lawsuit. The suit alleged that the teacher received excellent evaluations until she rescinded her decision to retire at age 60 – subsequently, her evaluations found her performance unsatisfactory.
CA – A California jury awarded $465,400 to a former security guard in a religious and racial harassment lawsuit against Andrews International, a worldwide security company based in Los Angeles. The suit alleged that the plaintiff’s coworker called him a “goddamn terrorist,” supervisors made racist remarks, and a top company official endorsed a statement that “Muslims kill people.”
AL – A federal jury found in favor of Austal USA, an Alabama shipyard, in a racial discrimination lawsuit involving current and former employees. The suit alleged racist graffiti, spoken slurs, and nooses in the work environment.
CA – A California appellate court overturned a $2.1 million jury verdict in a retaliation case brought by a police officer. The court found that the police officer had not presented sufficient evidence to prove that the city of Los Angeles terminated him based on retaliatory animus.
WI – The 7th Circuit upheld a jury verdict of $105,000 in compensatory and punitive damages in a sexual harassment case brought by the EEOC on behalf of two former International House of Pancakes (IHOP) employees. The court held that a rational jury could have found that both girls were subjected to severe and pervasive sexual harassment by their manager and that IHOP’s policy and complaint mechanism were not reasonably effective.
VA – A federal jury found that Virginia Tech did not discriminate against two women by paying them less than men in fundraising jobs. A U.S. district court judge had previously thrown out an earlier jury verdict saying that there was sufficient proof that Tech had not violated the Equal Pay Act. Virginia Tech claimed that it paid the male employees more based on experience.
CT – A federal jury found in favor of the Norwich Police department in a retaliation lawsuit brought by a former police officer who alleged that the department terminated his employment because he complained about national origin discrimination. The department said it terminated the plaintiff because of bad behavior and for good cause.