A federal jury has just awarded a man almost $17 million in a national origin discrimination case. According to court documents, the man was repeatedly criticized and berated because his Arab background and his accent. The man is highly educated – with a PhD in industrial engineering. However, despite his education and training, his supervisors treated him as a low-level employee. His supervisor made fun of him and criticized his English skills on a weekly basis, including slamming his fists on the table and yelling at him. After suffering nearly a year, the worker went on medical leave for stress. He was later terminated after filing a claim for discrimination.
The award included damages for retirement and pension losses and emotional distress. However, most of the verdict – $15 million – was for punitive damages. Punitive damage awards are designed to send a message and punish the defendant and hopefully deter future bad conduct. Hopefully, this verdict will send a message to not only this defendant but to all workplaces that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated.
For more information, or if you or a loved one has faced any type of workplace discrimination, please contact the experienced Atlanta discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.