Last fall, we discussed the case of a former San Diego area AutoZone Inc store manager who was awarded $186 million after a jury found that she was demoted and later fired after telling her bosses she was pregnant.
According to Reuters, last week, the company asked for a retrial in a federal court based on “inappropriate incidents involving jurors.” In her lawsuit, Rosario Juarez claimed that she was treated differently at work when she told a district manager that she was pregnant.
Juarez claimed that after this, the company began complaining about her performance at work and she said she was eventually fired. Jurors awarded her $872,000 in compensatory damages, in addition to $185 million in punitive damages.
At the time, U.S. Magistrate William Gallo, called the award “the largest verdict in the history of the United States in regards to employment discrimination.” AutoZone claims in its appeal that plaintiff attorneys obtained the contact information for one juror, thus tainting its decision.
Talking to an Attorney About Pregnancy Discrimination
As this case shows, pregnancy discrimination, which is illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), is taken very seriously by courts. Remember, under the PDA, women who become pregnant must be treated the same way as other employees for all work-related purposes, including promotional opportunities.
Companies that refuse to adhere to the PDA can face lawsuits. If you believe that you are experiencing discrimination at work, make sure that you document and record any events that have occurred and schedule an appointment with a human resources representative at your company. By reporting issues to someone, you may be able to put an end to the complications.
If the harassment continues, it may be in your best interest to speak to a labor attorney, who can investigate your case and determine if you could potentially seek damages.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys