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Articles Posted in Employment Discrimination

A federal jury awarded more than $6.2 million in an age discrimination suit brought by two scientists who said they were fired from their jobs at a Chester County, Pa., chemical manufacturing firm when the company targeted only older workers in layoffs in 2005.

The jury concluded that PQ Corp.’s age discrimination was “willful” — a finding that leads to an automatic doubling of each plaintiff’s back pay award. The jury also awarded compensatory damages — $2 million to plaintiff Roman Wypart and $1.5 million to plaintiff Bonnie Marcus — for the emotional damage they suffered as a result of the discrimination.

Lead plaintiffs’ attorney Scott B. Goldshaw said he was “gratified that the jury recognized that age discrimination is real and hurts real people.”

The weeklong trial in Marcus v. PQ Corp. was the second trial in the case. The first trial, in July, resulted in a hung jury on the claims for three plaintiffs and a rejection of the fourth plaintiff’s claims. Prior to the second trial, court records show, PQ settled for an undisclosed sum with plaintiff Ernest Senderov.

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A Marin County supermarket clerk who urinated on herself at the checkout counter after her supervisor refused to let her take a bathroom break is entitled to a $200,000 damage award, a state appeals court has ruled.

The woman, identified only as A.M., had returned to work at an Albertson’s Inc. store in Fairfax in 2004 after undergoing cancer treatment that left her mouth dry and required her to drink water constantly. The store told her to let the managers know when she needed a bathroom break and they would cover for her.

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The city of South Gate has paid out $18 million to settle lawsuits filed by a group of officers who said they faced racially-motivated discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the aftermath of the ouster of a Latino police official in 2002, according to the officers’ attorney.

Sixteen police officers filed suits against South Gate, a working-class, predominantly Latino city with an annual budget of about $100 million, alleging that they were subjected to racial slurs and false internal affairs investigations, unfairly disciplined, and passed up for promotions. Many said they were discriminated because of their association with Rick Lopez, a former acting police chief.

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The MA state Supreme Judicial Court restored $1 million in punitive damages awarded to a former pharmacist at a Wal-Mart in Pittsfield, who said she was fired after complaining about being paid less than her male colleagues.

The verdict – which also upheld a jury award for more than $700,000 in future wages lost – ends a long battle between Wal-Mart and its onetime employee, Cynthia Haddad, who first sued the retail giant for gender discrimination four years ago.

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The proposed settlement of a pair of lawsuits charging that Eastman Kodak Co. discriminated against African-American employees is now in a judge’s hands.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs this week filed a motion asking that U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman approve the settlement worked out between the company and the plaintiffs. The filing also requests a hearing on Oct. 23 for final arguments regarding fairness of the settlement.

The lawsuits — one filed in 2004 and the other in 2007 — alleged that Kodak discriminated in regards to pay, promotions, job assignments and layoffs.

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A teacher has settled a discrimination lawsuit against a private school in Anne Arundel County that federal authorities said had fired him because he has the virus that causes AIDS.

In the consent decree approved by U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. in Baltimore, Chauncey Stevenson is to receive $79,750, but the Chesapeake Academy in Arnold did not admit wrongdoing. Among the actions it must take are steps to teach its supervisors about the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law requires employers to accommodate workers’ disabilities.

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The case of a Texas woman who alleges she was gang-raped by co-workers while working for a military contractor in Iraq will go to court instead of arbitration, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

A divided three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Jamie Leigh Jones’ federal lawsuit against Halliburton Co., former subsidiary KBR and several affiliates can be tried in open court.

The companies contended Jones signed an agreement that required claims against the companies to be resolved privately through arbitration.

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The world’s delivery giant, United Parcel Service, has been receiving some unwanted packages these days from the federal government: lawsuits.

Last weekl, in what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is calling a “major class lawsuit,” UPS was sued in federal court in Chicago for allegedly denying sufficient medical leave to disabled employees. The Thursday suit claims UPS sets arbitrary deadlines for returning to work after medical treatment — in one case firing an employee who would have exceeded its 12-month leave policy by mere weeks — in violation of federal law.

Just two months ago, UPS settled a religious discrimination lawsuit with the EEOC in Tennessee, in which the company was accused of requiring a 19-year driver to work past sundown on his Sabbath, which violated his beliefs as a member of the United Church of God. UPS denied that it engaged in discrimination, but agreed to pay $23,500 in damages to the employee.

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When she was thrown out of nursing school just 13 weeks before graduating, Sara Castle was humiliated.

Still, she knew she and her classmates weren’t getting the clinical training they needed because an instructor repeatedly dismissed students early — a practice Castle exposed, and the teacher was fired.

But Castle, too, was a casualty as Appalachian Technical College expelled her for, she asserts, blowing the whistle.

This week a jury awarded Castle $450,000 for the ordeal. The 55-year-old never finished her degree.

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