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Judges reserve the option to reduce some huge jury awards

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Winning a discrimination suit over a lost promotion can cost an employer dearly—but all is not lost simply because a jury concludes the promotion was unfairly awarded.

Recent case: Melissa sued over alleged sex discrimination that kept her from getting a temporary promotion when her supervisor was moved to another division. A jury agreed that Melissa, one of very few women in management, should have received the promotion and recommended front pay of over $500,000.

But the judge cut that to zero, noting that the employer had shown it transferred a male supervisor back shortly after his temporary promotion. Therefore, Melissa was only entitled to back pay, which was the small difference between her regular salary and the promotion’s pay rate. That amounted to less than $10,000. (Koch v. Mack Truck, ED PA, 2018)

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