Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, May 25, 2007

FRD = MDV, Ohio Jury - $2.1 Million for Mom

I was not kidding earlier this week when I said that family responsibility discrimination was one of the hottest topics in employment law, see here . I didn't know I would have an MDV as proof quite so quickly. Earlier today an Akron, Ohio state court jury ruled in favor of Teresa Lehman who had been passed over for promotion to store manager at a retail store. According to one of the jurors: I think she was very poorly treated because she was pregnant, because she wanted to have a family." Akron woman wins discrimination case.

The news story summarizing the evidence at trial indicated that in a two month period five store managers went to less qualified men, or to women with no children or women who assured their bosses that they would have no more children. According to the story, Lehman had been asked such questions as:
"You're not going to get pregnant again, are you?" "Did you get your tubes tied?" "I thought you couldn't have any more kids." "Are you breast feeding?" and "Are you having any more kids?"
My guess is most would believe that if those things happened some kind of award would be justified. But there is another strongly felt position. Look at a couple of early comments on the story:

Have kids, or run a business. You have a choice. Why should my or any other business suffer because a "Manager" wants time off to have a family? It does not make sense. Kohl's [the employer] should just say "Screw hiring women".....

and this one:

As a man with children and two jobs, one full time and one part time I assure you I am very involved with the raising of my children and I don't have to take time off to do it. The occasional kid sick at school, yes I take off to get them home and then I go back to work. We made the choice to have children and I nor my wife encumbered our jobs to do it. I don't need the Family Leave Act, I don't need what I need to do as a father legislated at all.

Does anyone have an original thought anymore or do we just keep repeating the crap we hear spewed? Does anyone take responsibility for their own actions anymore or should we blame "greedy businesses" for all of our ills?

By the way, I think the judgement should have been for the victim, but not to the tune of 2.1 million dollars . . . ridiculous.

Family responsibility discrimination — it's here with a vengeance.

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