Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Retaliation - THE Most Serious Claim? Another MDV Might Make You Think So


And it would probably be hard to convince the management of Vacation Sales Associates, a subsidiary of The Breeden Company, otherwise, as they are digesting the end of a five day jury trial in federal court in Norfolk. The result of the retaliation claim of Pamela DePaoli as reported in the Virginian-Pilot, Jury awards $7.7 million in wrongful firing case.

Ms. DePaoli had been one of the leading times share sales people, earning upwards of $100,000 a year. When she was passed over for promotions three times in a row, she filed age and gender discrimination complaints with the EEOC. Sometime after her charge was filed she was terminated -- because her sales figures plummeted according to the company; in retaliation for filing the discrimination charges according to Ms. De Paoli. The first round goes to Ms DePaoli as the jury found retaliation and awarded her $2.5 million in compensatory damages, $5 million in punitive damages and $200,000 in back pay.

Plaintiff's counsel John Loeschen of Roanoke said he told the jury "you need to award an amount that's going to give people notice." Mission accomplished.

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