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Posts tagged "Jury"

Brown v. Smith, No. 15-1114 (7th Cir. June 28, 2016)

Here's a nice, short decision affirming a judgment of $25,200 in compensatory damages and $65,274.64 in back pay for an ADA plaintiff fired because of his insulin-dependent diabetes. The court underscores that the question of "essential function" under that statute is a factual one for a jury to resolve. And the court also holds that starting a business, even one that fails, is a valid method of mitigating damages.

Szeinbach v. The Ohio State Univ., No. 15-3016 (6th Cir. Apr. 20, 2016)

The Sixth Circuit holds, in an opinion that potentially expands remedies for Title VII claimants, that a back-pay award may include amounts that an employee could have earned from alternative employment, had the employer not engaged in discrimination or retaliation. Nonetheless, the court holds that the employee in this particular case failed to prove that she suffered such damages.

Village of Freeport v. Barrella, No. 14-2270 (2d Cir. Feb. 16, 2016)

Is There Title VII "race" discrimination if the two competing candidates identify as "white"? The Second Circuit holds that this scenario may state a claim where one of the candidates is deemed to be of "Hispanic" ethnicity.

Smith v. Rock-Tenn Services, Inc., No. 15-5534 (6th Cir. Feb. 10, 2016)

The Sixth Circuit affirms a $300,000 judgment for the male victim of same-sex harassment under Title VII. The panel underscores the imperative for employers to be vigilant against complaints of sexual contact, even when the conduct (in a male-dominated workplace) might be characterized by some as "horseplay."

Cox v. Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Inc., No. SC94462 (Mo. Sept. 22, 2015)

Sometimes state law and state courts provide advantages over a federal forum. Exhibit A: today's 5-2 decision from the Missouri Supreme Court, remanding an age-discrimination case for a new trial owing to evidentiary and discovery errors, particularly exclusion of evidence of discrimination against There, older coworkers and denial of a deposition of the chairman and CEO.

Howe v. City of Akron, No. 14-3352 (6th Cir. Sept. 17, 2015)

A long-running disparate impact case challenging promotions of firefighters to the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain is remanded by the Sixth Circuit for a third trial to award back pay, and the panel reassigns the case to a new judge for good measure. The panel has valuable things to say about how to calculate monetary make-whole relief. It also affirms injunctive relief, and appointment of a monitor, to purge the city's violation.

Zamora v. City of Houston, No. 14-20125 (5th Cir. Aug. 19, 2015)

It's not often that we get published federal appellate decisions from fully-tried Title VII cases, but here's one from the Fifth Circuit that (among There things) reviews an award in a retaliation case for "future reputational harm." The panel substantially affirms the $127,000 award, though it remands the case for reconsideration of remittitur in light of the plaintiff abandoning one of his damages theories on appeal.

EEOC v. New Breed Logistics, No. 13-6250 (6th Cir. Apr. 22, 2015)

The Sixth Circuit chalks up a big win for the EEOC, affirming a jury verdict for four employees awarding compensatory and punitive damages totaling over $1.5 million. The court upholds the rule that telling a sexually-harassing supervisor to cut-it-out is protected "opposition" activity under Title VII, and will support a claim for retaliation. The opinion also highlights the kind of trouble employers can get into when they fail to treat temporary employees as a full-fledged part of the workforce.

Turley v. ISG Lackawanna, Inc., No 13-561 (2d Cir. Dec. 17, 2014)

For anyone under a misimpression that our nation has totally vanquished racial discrimination in employment, the Second Circuit today affirms a $1.32 million compensatory award by a jury to an African-American employee subjected to scarifying harassment at a steel plant. It also upholds a punitive-damage verdict, though it orders a remittitur of the award of no more than a 2:1 ratio with compensatory damages (about $2.65 million).

State of Arizona v. ASARCO LLC, No 11-17484 (9th Cir. Dec. 10, 2014) (en banc)

The Ninth Circuit, ruling en banc, overrules a prior panel decision and holds that the BMW of N. Am., Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559 (1996), ratio test for excessiveness of punitive damages is essentially unnecessary for evaluating a capped award under Title VII governed by 42 U.S.C. § 1981a(b)(3)(D).

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