Friday, June 15, 2012

Cha-Ching! $25 Million Race Discrimination Verdict - COTW #96

You put up numbers this big, and you've got a good great shot at landing Case of the Week honors. A New York jury awarded a steelworker $25 million in a race discrimination suit. What kind of treatment puts up numbers like this?
Elijah Turley still remembers the stuffed monkey with a noose around its neck found hanging from his driver's side mirror. He also remembers the "KKK" and "King Kong" graffiti on the walls of the Lackawanna steel plant where he worked for 14 years. And if that wasn't bad enough, there were the racial slurs from co-workers.
Sometimes it's hard to believe these things still go on in modern workplaces. And that was the line of attack the plaintiff's attorney used:
This case is about the breakdown of a man . . . . He wanted to be treated equally, treated equally in a culture that hadn't changed since the '50s.
Well, he has $25 million to build himself up again (alright, it will probably get reduced in one way or another - but still be a lot).

To the employer's credit, it did hire a private investigator, suspend employees, and install security cameras. I guess the jury felt that it just wasn't enough under the circumstances.

HT: Rich Meneghello via Twitter.