Category: Gender Discrimination

Navy Captain “Relieved of Duty” for Hostile Work Environment

uss boxerA San Diego based naval commander has been relieved of command from his amphibious assault ship. Captain Wayne Brown was let go from his leadership post after an investigation aboard the Boxer, the ship in question, revealed inappropriate behavior that constituted a hostile work environment.

Brown allegedly lost his temper many times while commanding the ship, especially to female subordinates. He asked them pervasive questions, like, whether or not they used birth control with their husbands or boyfriends. Brown also allegedly touched the female crew members without their consent and against their comfort.

According to the investigation, Brown repeatedly used foul language towards crew members, exhibiting particularly abusive behavior toward female crew.

While cursing and foul language itself does not constitute for a hostile work environment that can be pursued on legal grounds, sexual harassment that creates a hostile work environment is unlawful. If these kinds of actions seems familiar from a supervisor at your job, please do not hesitate to contact an Aegis attorney.

Source: LA Times

Jury Awards Autozone Manager $185 Million In Punitive Damages For Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Rosario Juarez was a manager at one of Autozone’s San Diego, California locations. Although she consistently met the goals set for her by the company, her boss took issue with Juarez after learning she had become pregnant. Autozone made Juarez’s job more difficult by doubling her work and setting her up to fail. A representative of the company told Juarez that he, “felt sorry” for her after she became pregnant and forced her to redo work that did not need to be redone. Apparently, Autozone hoped that the excessive work would force Juarez to quit her job, but she didn’t. Instead the company demoted, and eventually fired Juarez due to her “condition.”

The case went before jury in Federal Court, and Autozone lost—big time. Juarez was awarded $900,000 in compensatory damages and a staggering $185,000,000 in punitive damages. Although the punitive damages award is not likely to pass judicial scrutiny, the result has sent a clear message to all California employers: don’t discriminate or retaliate against your pregnant workers.

It will be interesting to see just how much Juarez recovers after the dust settles, but there is a strong possibility her recovery will break the record for highest punitive damages award in California’s judicial history!