Curtiss-Wright Corporation was ordered to pay $9 million to former HR exec Joyce Quinlan after a Newark Superior Court jury found that the company denied her promotions because of her gender and then fired her when she filed a complaint.
The lawsuit contended that the company has a tradition of keeping women out of top executive positions.
Quinlan was the company’s top HR executive, reporting directly to the CEO, before current CEO Martin Benante took the helm.
Quinlan claimed that Benante excluded her from social events held for male executives and that he hired a less qualified man to head a new centralized HR department.
Curtiss-Wright vigorously denied the allegations. The company argued Quinlan was fired not as retaliation for complaints, but because she copied 1,830 company documents, some of which were confidential, to give to her attorneys in preparation for the lawsuit.
Whether or not the full verdict stands, the case is going to be expensive for Curtiss-Wright.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- When religion is crux of workplace problems, base discipline on behavior--not belief
- Use these 8 criteria for choosing an outsourcing consultant
- New law, pending bill extend workers' rights to use deadly force
- How not to fire complaining employee: Use pretext, don't document real reasons