Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Dark Day In the Valley of the Sun - City of Tempe Hit for $2.4 MDV


It was either years of harassment endured by 9 Hispanic employees, or a political power play depending on whose version of the story you bought. The Arizona Republic headline pretty well summed up the Phoenix district court jury's view -- Jury:Tempe guily of racial discrimination, Nine former, current Public Works employees to share $2.4 million. Given that the allegations earlier led to the ouster of a City Manager and a revamping of the Public Works Department the outcome might not have been too surprising.
More chilling for those contemplating an employment law trial were the after trial comments from the jury box:

After the trial, the jurors said that they made large awards to send Tempe a message. Many people think that racism isn't as much of a problem anymore, said juror Jessica Starr of Phoenix. "People can be made aware that this still exists," she said.

A good thing to remember.

The location (although certainly not the result), is a good reminder to publicly welcome the newest office of Ogletree Deakins, as earlier this summer we were joined in Phoenix by a superb group of lawyers.

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