On Tuesday, a Los Angeles jury did what L.A. juries do so often these days — they awarded tens of millions of dollars to an ex-employee who claimed she had been the victim of discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation. Codie Rael, who worked as a materials buyer for a dental supply company, claimed that she was subjected to comments such as you are “outdated,” “a dumb female,” and that she was allegedly told “we need younger workers here.”
At the conclusion of an 8-week trial and following four days of deliberations, the jury awarded Rael $5,282 for past economic losses; $3 million for past and future emotional distress damages; and $28 million in punitive damages. Rael worked for the company for 36 years and was 54 years old at the time of her resignation/termination. Rael’s lawyer contended that the employer’s actions were part of a deliberate plan to replace her entire department with younger, cheaper labor. Although Rael had given the employer notice of her resignation, the company fired her before her employment actually ended.
Does anyone still need convincing that arbitration agreements are the way to go? See our earlier post about that.