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Court Cases in the News

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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Court offers broad definition of disability in bias cases

Source: Jerry Harkavy, Associated Press, Boston Globe
Date: April 11, 2006

A closely divided state [Maine] supreme court ruled Tuesday that a discrimination claim based on a physical or mental disability need not require the complainant to show a substantial limitation on a major life activity. Advocates for organized labor and the disabled applauded the ruling, saying it opens the courthouse door to victims of discrimination. In finding that a showing of substantial limitation is not required, the court decided that Maine's language is not consistent with that of the corresponding federal statute, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which critics say has blocked many disability-related cases from getting a court hearing.

Jury Orders Aerospace Manufacturer to Compensate in Age-Bias Layoff

Source: Associated Press, Newsday
Date: January 22, 2004

A former employee of Pratt & Whitney in Maine has won $376,580 in an age discrimination lawsuit against the aerospace engine manufacturer and its parent company, United Technologies Corp. A U.S. District Court jury awareded Durwood Currier of Sanford $101,580 in lost wages and $275,000 to compensate for "pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish (and) loss of enjoyment of life." The jury did not find the discrimination was willful, which would have resulted in other penalties, the Press-Herald of Portland reported Wednesday.

Man Files Suit Over Education Policy

Source: Lisa Chmelecki, Sun Journal (ME)
Date: November 18, 2003

A local Mexican man is suing Tambrands Inc., claiming a company policy requiring employees to have a high school diploma or GED certificate discriminates against Hispanics. Jose Rodriguez of Lewiston began working on the production line at Tambrands in 1990. He got the temporary job at the Auburn plant through an employment agency. During his first two years on the job, he claims in his lawsuit, his salary was increased from $7 to $8 an hour and he never received any verbal or written criticisms on his job performance. According to the suit, he left the job at the tampon-making factory in June 2001 to move closer to his family in Oklahoma. When he moved back in January 2002, he contacted the employment agency that was placing people at Tambrands in an attempt to get his job back. The employment agency, ADECCO, told him that he was no longer eligible for the job because Tambrands had started requiring applicants for those production jobs to have high school diplomas or General Educational Development certificates.

Jury Awards $3 Million in Discrimination Suit

Source: Associated Press, Maine Today
Date: October 13, 2003

A federal jury has awarded a former International Paper employee $3 million in his discrimination suit against the paper company. A U.S. District Court jury Friday found that IP discriminated against 50-year-old Gary Webber of Trenton for his disability from a work-related injury. It awarded him $1 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

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