A federal jury has awarded approximately $4 million to a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who claimed the LAPD fired him in retaliation for testifying in a wage-and-hour case.
Officer Richard Romney was subpoenaed in a co-worker’s overtime case brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (). Romney testified that he had been trained not to submit overtime claims. Several days later, the LAPD’s risk unit initiated an internal complaint against Romney. According to Romney, although the investigation recommended that he be suspended, he was fired instead.
The jury of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California found that Romney’s testimony was protected under the FLSA and it had been a motivating factor behind his discharge.
Concluding that the LAPD had violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA, the jury awarded Romney $94,133 for lost earnings and benefits, and $6,611 for other economic losses. Then it got serious, awarding $1,055,201 for future economic damages, $1,422,000 for pain and suffering, and $1,422,000 for future noneconomic loss.