McGee v. Tucoemas Fed. Credit Union, 153 Cal. App. 4th 1351 (2007)

Kimberly McGee, a former vice president of lending for the credit union, took a leave of absence for surgery and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The credit union allegedly told McGee that if she did not return to work within four months she would be fired. When McGee returned to work by the date specified by the credit union, she was demoted to a branch manager position, which involved greater physical demands. McGee quit her employment due to stress and sued for disability discrimination in violation of the FEHA. The jury decided in favor of McGee, awarding her over $2 million in compensatory damages and an additional $1.2 million in punitive damages. The issue in this appeal was whether a federally chartered credit union is immune from punitive damages. The Court of Appeal held that the “sue and be sued” clause in the federal credit union enabling legislation presumptively waives immunity from punitive damages.