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Litigation claiming retaliation results in $1.5 million award

Employees in California want to be judged and treated according to their abilities. If they have concerns about their treatment -- especially if certain actions may be a violation of law -- they should be able to have confidence in the fact that they will not face retaliation for discussing these concerns with the appropriate parties. Unfortunately, some are forced to seek alternative paths to justice, potentially including turning to litigation.

A man who works at a minimum-security prison in another state was recently awarded $1.5 million after he claims he was discriminated against and subjected to a hostile work environment. He further argues that he was retaliated against when he complained. He allegedly first became concerned when he says he was removed from a position only to be replaced by someone he deemed unqualified.

After he complained, he claims he was denied benefits that were afforded other employees. Specifically, he argues that he was prohibited from using flex-time to go to doctor's appointments. A jury recently ruled in his favor on the retaliation complaint, awarding him $1.2 million in punitive damages and $280,000 in compensatory. It is unclear if his employer, the Missouri Department of Corrections, will appeal the decision.

When workers face a problem in the workplace, they should be able to have confidence that their concerns will be addressed and investigated. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, leaving workers in California and other areas of their country wondering what their options are. In many cases, litigation may be the most appropriate path to justice.

Source: stltoday.com, "Missouri prison worker wins $1.5M in discrimination lawsuit," Dec. 22, 2017

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