A federal jury has awarded $450,000 to a mentally disabled former Kroger grocery store employee in Plano whose manager constantly insulted him. The EEOC filed a disability discrimination lawsuit on the employee’s behalf in 2012.
The employee, named Karl, transferred to the Plano store after successfully working for Kroger for five years. Despite his disabilities, he had worked his way up to assistant bakery manager. A new manager, however, took an instant dislike to Karl. He demoted him and began calling him derogatory names such as “f***ing retarded idiot” and “too stupid to live.” When Karl complained about the harassment, he was fired.
Following a three-day trial, the jury sided with the EEOC and Karl. The award includes $250,000 in punitive damages. The litigation’s next phase will determine whether Kroger should pay the man’s legal bill as well.