Our update on EEOC jury verdicts and settlements for March 2012 after the break.
WI – A federal judge ordered HCS Medical Staffing, Inc. to pay $148,000 in back pay, compensatory, and punitive damages to a former employee in a pregnancy discrimination case. The suit alleged that the owner referred to the employee’s pregnancy as a joke and fired her because she needed to take maternity leave. With no prior warning, HCS terminated her employment and health insurance while she was still in the hospital recovering from the birth.
GA – Gerresheimer Peachtree City, a plastics manufacturer, will pay $90,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit brought on behalf of a former employee. The suit alleged that the Gerresheimer employee filed an internal gender-based wage discrimination complaint which concluded there was no discrimination in wages. The employee then filed a charge with the EEOC and was fired six weeks later for purportedly misusing leave time.
VA – Rugo Stone, LLC, a stone contracting company, will pay $40,000 to settle a national origin, religion and color bias lawsuit brought on behalf of a former employee. The suit alleged that the former employee was subjected to almost daily derogatory comments from supervisors, his project manager, and the company’s owner. The employee made an internal complaint, but harassment continued.
MI – Atsalis Brothers Painting Company will pay $65,000 to settle an EEOC retaliation lawsuit brought on behalf of a former employee. The suit alleged that the former employee, a painter, lost his job due to complaints he raised about racism. The company didn’t bring the employee back for the next work season.
FL – Menorah House, a nursing and rehabilitation facility, will pay $125,000 to settle two religious discrimination lawsuits brought on behalf of two former employees. The suit charged that Menorah House instituted a policy requiring all employees to work on Saturdays, regardless of religious beliefs. Two certified nursing assistants who were Seventh-Day Adventists were fired because the new schedule conflicted with Sabbath accommodations.
NY – The insurance company Sterling and Sterling, Inc. will pay $120,000 to settle an EEOC suit for retaliation brought on behalf of a former employee. The suit alleged that the company fired the employee for filling out the EEOC questionnaire with complaints of race and sex harassment. Sterling cited her EEOC filing in her suspension and subsequent firing.
NY – Family Video Movie Club, Inc. agreed to pay $70,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit brought on behalf of a former employee. The suit alleged that the sales associate was harassed because of his depression and anxiety disorder and was fired after issuing a complaint.
MN – Hal Leonard Publishing Company will pay $150,000 to settle a sexual harassment charge brought on behalf of a class of female employees. An investigation by the EEOC revealed that the women were subjected to unwelcomed sex-based comments and grabbing by co-workers at the company’s facility. Misconduct continued despite complaints to management.
NY – Warren Tricomi, a hair salon, will pay $30,000 in a pregnancy discrimination suit brought on behalf of a former employee. The company rescinded the employee’s promotion from assistant colorist to colorist and fired her after she informed the company she was pregnant. She will also be provided a positive job reference.
CA – Olam Americas, Inc., an agricultural supplier, has settled a pregnancy discrimination suit for $140,000 brought on behalf of a job applicant. The company made an initial offer to the jobseeker for an executive assistant position which was rescinded after she disclosed her pregnancy.
NV – Sierra Restroom Solutions has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a federal racial harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought on behalf of a former driver. The suit alleged that the African-American employee endured racial comments, epithets and harassment from his co-worker during the one and a half years of his employment. He was fired two days after complaining to his supervisor for the second time in one month.
MD – Adams Jeep of Maryland, an auto dealership, will pay $50,000 in a disability discrimination and harassment lawsuit brought on behalf of a former employee. The suit charged that the company refused to provide reasonable accommodation to the employee after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The employee was subjected to inappropriate epithets by coworkers and fired while out on medical leave of absence.
WA – A federal district court has awarded $56,500 to a former Cottonwood Financial employee. The suit alleged that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination when it fired an employee it regarded as too disabled to work because of his bipolar disorder. The company denied the employee’s leave request to adjust to new medication. He was then fired when need for sick leave arose.
GA – Cadillac Jack, Inc., a supplier of games and systems, will pay $87,200 to settle a retaliation lawsuit brought on behalf of a former employee. The suit alleged that the employee, a contracts manager, was fired one day after lodging a race and gender discrimination complaint.
MA – AutoZone, Inc. will pay $75,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought on behalf of a former employee. The suit alleged that the employee was subject to harassment by managers and prohibited from wearing a turban at work. According to the lawsuit, the employee was terminated because of his conversion to the Sikh religion and in retaliation to his request for appropriate accommodation.