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Features Court Cases in the News

Outten & Golden LLP

A state-by-state review of court cases pertaining to workplace rights.

Select your state from the map below or from this list. (If your state does not have any court cases, then the page will not scroll down when you click on the state.)


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Missouri

Circuit Judge Lowers Award in Sheriff Discrimination Case

Source: Jennifer Mann, STLtoday.com
Date: December 14, 2010

Circuit Judge Troy A. Cardona has lowered by $550,000 the punitive damages that a jury awarded to two deputies who successfully sued St. Louis Sheriff James Murphy for discrimination.

Akal Security Pays $1.62 Million To Settle EEOC Class Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

Source: EEOC, EEOC
Date: December 2, 2010

Akal Security, Inc., the largest provider of contract security services to the federal government, will pay $1.62 million to a class of 26 female security guards, settling a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

O'Fallon Billboard Company to Pay $55,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC
Date: July 9, 2010

Charter School to Pay $570K for Pregnancy Discrimination

Source: Occupational Health & Safety Online, Occupational Health & Safety Online
Date: March 23, 2010

Imagine Schools Inc., a nationwide operator of charter schools, has agreed to pay $570,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced recently.

Charter School Operator to Pay $570,000 to Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

Source: Diane Stafford, Kansas City Star
Date: March 19, 2010

Imagine Schools, a charter school operator in Kansas City, has agreed to pay $570,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

Sprint Age-Bias Case Winds Down

Source: Diane Stafford, Kansas City Star
Date: August 19, 2009

A six-year-old age discrimination lawsuit against Sprint Nextel Corp., which produced a $57 million settlement, came to an official close Tuesday with a gift to the March of Dimes.

Nation's largest retailer accused of firing 67-year-old optician over age, high earnings

Source: Associated Press, Business Week
Date: September 24, 2008

Wal-Mart is accused of violating federal law in the firing of a 67-year-old employee from a store in Missouri. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in St. Louis alleged age discrimination in a lawsuit against the nation's largest retailer Monday in federal court. The EEOC says Yvonne Loskot was fired from the retailer's De Soto store on Oct. 5, 2005 because she was too old and made too much money.

AMC fined $141,000 for workplace violations involving teenagers

Source: Diane Stafford, Kansas City Star
Date: August 27, 2008

American Multi-Cinema Inc. has been fined $141,570 by the U.S. Department of Labor for labor law violations involving workers under age 18. The department's wage and hour division said Wednesday that AMC permitted teen-aged employees to operate dangerous equipment and to work beyond the hours and times permitted under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Wage and hour investigators found AMC employees under age 18 operating and unloading scrap paper balers and paper box compactors in violation of specific federal safety rules involving trash compactors.

Former engineering executives awarded $2.8 million judgment

Source: William C. Lhotka, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Date: December 17, 2006

Two former executives of a construction company won a judgment totaling $2,792,000 in a wrongful termination case. The former executive vice president, and the former vice president, alleged that they were fired because they were whistle-blowers. In the weeklong trial, Jerome Dobson and Michelle Dye Neumann, attorneys for the plaintiffs, alleged that [the 2 former employees] had brought to the attention what [they] considered wrongdoing: used company funds for personal and family matters; took excessive vacations; and used expense checks to pay employees and therefore avoid withholding taxes and union benefit payments.

Ex-coach wins bias lawsuit

Source: Russ Pulley, Kansas City Star
Date: February 7, 2006

A Jackson County [Missouri] jury on Monday decided that the Raytown School District discriminated against Jevon Crudup when it fired him in 2003 as an assistant basketball coach. Crudup, who coached the junior varsity at Raytown South High School, was fired after complaints from parents and a secretly recorded meeting in which he swore at student athletes. He filed a civil lawsuit, contending that because he was black he was treated differently from white coaches who also swore at teenage athletes. The jury awarded Crudup $50,000 in actual damages and $250,000 in punitive damages.

Police must pay $2.7 million in age bias lawsuit

Source: Joe Lambe, Kansas City Star
Date: December 16, 2005

A jury has found Kansas City police liable for age discrimination and awarded $2.7 million to a former police officer. The 10-2 verdict for Anthony D. Hogan involved $700,000 in actual damages and $2 million in punitive damages. Hogan, 51, had more than 24 years on the force in August 2000, when he contends superiors transferred him. A sergeant taped interviews from three meetings that August during which he told Hogan, then 46, that he needed someone younger and that Hogan was "burned out" and "dragging his feet" and no longer a "fireball." The same month, a major referred to Hogan as "Officer Dirt, because he is older than dirt," Hogan contended.

Use of hidden cameras may void drug firings

Source: Sam Hananel, Associated Press, Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: July 6, 2005

Anheuser-Busch may have to reinstate several employees fired for using illegal drugs at work because the company used hidden cameras without informing the employees' union. The decision sends the case back to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington to determine what remedies the disciplined employees are entitled to. The NLRB had ruled that the employees were not entitled to reinstatement or back pay because Anheuser-Busch had good cause to discipline them. But the court held that the company would not have known about the misconduct without viewing the unlawful hidden-camera tapes.

KC dockworkers win racial bias settlement

Source: Diane Stafford, Kansas City Star
Date: January 13, 2005

Consolidated Freightways has agreed to a $2.75 million settlement in a racial harassment lawsuit involving 12 dockworkers at its Kansas City facility. The workers are unlikely to receive anything close to that payout, though, because the company is in liquidation under a bankruptcy filing. The lawsuit, filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accused the company of allowing multiple instances of physical assault, racial slurs and the display of racially charged nooses and graffiti in the work environment.

Burger King owners settle harassment suit

Source: Cheryl Wittenauer, Associated Press, FindLaw
Date: December 7, 2004

The owners of a Burger King franchise in suburban St. Louis will pay $400,000 to seven teenage employees and meet other conditions to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Monday. The workers claimed that from December 2000 to April 2001--when all but one were in high school--restaurant manager Nathan Kraus subjected them to repeated groping, vulgar sexual comments and demands for sex, according to the lawsuit. A consent decree requires the [owners] to pay $400,000 in damages and attorneys' fees and not to rehire Kraus. They also must conduct extensive sexual harassment training for management.

Jasper popcorn plant workers get new trial

Source: Associated Press, Forbes.com
Date: November 5, 2004

A judge has ordered a new trial for a group of people who sued a popcorn flavoring manufacturer, alleging butter flavoring gave them permanent breathing problems. More than 20 people have sued International Flavors in cases involving the Jasper plant. So far, four lawsuits have gone to trial. In the first trial, a former worker and his wife were awarded $20 million. International has appealed the award. Two of the lawsuits were settled during trial.

Federal agency sues Allstate, claiming age discrimination

Source: Joseph B. Treaster, New York Times
Date: October 8, 2004

Allstate, the second-largest insurer of cars and homes in America, was sued yesterday by a federal agency and accused of age discrimination in the latest development in a long battle with agents over a plan intended to cut costs and streamline the company's operations. Yesterday's lawsuit, which was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, focused on Allstate's refusal to consider any of the dismissed employees--94 percent of whom were 40 years old or older--for other jobs for at least a year. The dispute grew out of a plan by Allstate, announced in fall 1999, in which the company said it was eliminating its employee-agent jobs. But, it said, the agents could become independent contractors, without employee benefits.

Lawsuit alleges discrimination by Fort Osage district

Source: Mar? Rose Williams, Kansas City Star
Date: July 14, 2004

A former Fort Osage assistant superintendent has accused the district of unfair pay practices, and a federal agency has filed a lawsuit alleging that Fort Osage discriminated against her. The former employee, Jahala Kinser, claims that she was paid less for the same work than the men who held the job before and after she did. She also said she was paid less than two other assistant superintendents, also men. She also alleges that when she complained, the school board voted that her contract should not be renewed, effectively terminating her. Based on Kinser's complaint and an investigation of its own, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week sued the Fort Osage district, alleging it violated the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The lawsuit seeks lost wages, plus compensation for the equal pay violation and for the termination.

Settlement reached in trucking company's suit

Source: Connie Farrow, Associated Press, Sun Herald [Mississippi]
Date: June 22, 2004

A national trucking company has agreed to pay over $400,000 to settle a federal suit that alleged three female driver trainees were sexually harassed and assaulted by their instructors. The settlement, announced Tuesday by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, resolves the suit and pending workers' compensation claims against Springfield [Missouri]-based New Prime Inc., an interstate truckload carrier. The EEOC alleged Cynthia Huffman, of Hattiesburg, Miss., was subjected to verbal and physical sexual harassment by a driver-trainer, who also kept her at his home against her will for two days. The other two women--Willa Burke, of Humboldt, Iowa, and Virginia King, of Columbus, Ohio--allegedly were physically sexually assaulted by two other driver-trainers.

Class Action Rejected in Sex- Bias Case Against Boeing in Missouri

Source: Cheryl Wittenauer, KGW.com
Date: April 1, 2004

A federal judge has denied class-action status for a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by female Boeing Co. employees in St. Louis. U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry also granted on Wednesday the summary judgment sought by Boeing on claims of discrimination in overtime pay for hourly female workers. "Boeing is pleased the court closely examined the plaintiffs' statements and denied certification of the class," said Ken Mercer, a Boeing spokesman in Chicago. "We believe there's no basis for the lawsuit and it does not reflect how we do business." Jeff Sprung of Seattle, a lawyer for the women who filed the case, said a decision on whether to appeal Perry's ruling would be made later. The lawsuit was filed in January 2002 by women claiming sex discrimination at Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, acquired by Boeing in 1997. Similar complaints against Boeing were filed the same day in Kansas and California and three months later in Oklahoma. The lawsuits accused Boeing of denying women promotions, equal pay, overtime and other employment opportunities because of their gender and cited cases of sexual harassment. The St. Louis plaintiffs cited an analysis of Boeing data, contending female employees were overlooked for promotions and raises.

Sullivan Motel Settles Employee-Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Associated Press, Kansas City Star
Date: March 18, 2004

An eastern Missouri motel has agreed to pay $180,000 in back pay and damages to three female former workers who accused managers of misconduct ranging from inappropriate sexual comments to fondling. As part of the deal with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, managers of the Family Motor Inn of Sullivan agreed to provide sexual harassment training to all managers and workers of all motels owned or run by the business. In its lawsuit last August, the EEOC accused management of Hiten Hospitality - doing business as Family Motor Inn - of subjecting the three desk clerks to sexual harassment and retaliation. The EEOC alleged that one of the motel's mangers made sexual comments to the young women and subjected them to fondling and other unwelcome physical contact.

EEOC Files Disability Discrimination Suit against Wal-Mart

Source: St. Louis Business Journal
Date: January 21, 2004

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The suit charges the retail giant with discriminating against a job applicant who uses a wheelchair when he applied for a job at a Wal-Mart in Richmond, Mo., northeast of Kansas City. The applicant, Steven J. Bradley, has cerebral palsy and is limited in his ability to walk, which requires him to use crutches or a wheelchair.

Goodyear Workers File Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Heather Hollingsworth (AP), Miami Herald
Date: October 3, 2003

Two former Goodyear workers who are Hispanic allege in separate lawsuits that they were retaliated against after they complained about a hostile work environment. Michael Mesa, 53, of Kansas City, filed suit late last month in Jackson County Circuit Court. Andy Gutierrez, 29, also of Kansas City, filed suit earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Kansas City. Both suits are against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. based in Akron, Ohio.

Last of Race Bias Suits Against Honeywell Plant Dismissed

Source: Dan Margolies, Kansas City Star
Date: October 2, 2003

The last of 19 race bias lawsuits against the Kansas City Honeywell plant was dismissed last week, ending litigation in which plaintiffs' lawyers repeatedly were rebuked by the court. Seventeen of the lawsuits were dismissed by the plaintiffs themselves and two by the federal judges presiding over the cases.

EEOC Files Lawsuit Against FedEx Freight East Alleging Discrimination

Source: Betsy Taylor (AP), Kansas City Star
Date: September 30, 2003

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit Tuesday against FedEx Freight East, formerly American Freightways, charging the company with discriminating against black dockworkers in this city. The EEOC said the trucking company delayed moves that would have allowed black dockworkers to move from part-time to full-time work and see improved work assignments, and failed to promote a dockworker to a supervisory position.

Chrysler Fights Contraceptive Coverage Suit

Source: Peter Shinkle, St. Louis Today
Date: August 11, 2003

A month after DaimlerChrysler Corp. was sued for not having prescription contraceptive coverage in its health plan, the automaker stepped up to provide the coverage, but it now faces paying for the past exclusion. In June last year, the month after four women filed a lawsuit, claiming that the company's health plan discriminated against them by failing to include prescription contraceptives, DaimlerChrysler altered its health plan to begin the coverage.

EEOC Settles Suit with Central Missouri Waste Disposal Firm

Source: St. Louis Business Journal
Date: August 4, 2003

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has settled a sexual harassment suit with Heartland Disposal for $75,000. The EEOC said Heartland Disposal, a subsidiary of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Republic Services Inc., one of the nation's largest waste disposal companies, will pay a female secretary/dispatcher $75,000. The woman, employed at Heartland Disposal's facility in Cadet, Mo., was sexually harassed by her male supervisor and was pressured by upper-level executives to withdraw the charge after she filed a complaint with the EEOC. Her husband also works for the company. She later quit after she was told her hours would be cut to where she could no longer afford to work for the company.

Whistleblower Verdict is Overturned

Source: Judith Vandewater, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Date: July 23, 2003

The trial judge has thrown out a jury verdict against Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. and found that former company executive Thomas P. Dunn is ineligible for whistleblower protections. Senior Judge Jack Koehr issued an order Friday vacating the 9-3 verdict in April of a St. Louis County jury and its $4 million judgment in Dunn's favor. Jerome Dobson, one of Dunn's attorneys, said his client will appeal. Dunn was dismissed from his $650,000-a-year job as vice president and corporate controller on Jan. 4, 2001. "He was fired for sound business reasons and for repeatedly violating our company's culture of teamwork and respect for co-workers and job applicants," Conrad said.

EEOC Files Discrimination Suit Against Trans States Air

Source: St. Louis Business Journal
Date: July 17, 2003

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Trans States Airlines on behalf of a Muslim pilot. The EEOC alleges that Trans States Airlines discriminated against Mohammed Hussein, a Muslim pilot, in post-Sept. 11 backlash because of his Islamic religious beliefs and Arabic appearance. Hussein, a native of Fiji, was fired on Sept. 18, 2001.

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