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Workplace discrimination suits nets $185 million for one worker

In modern society, women have the right to expect equal treatment in the workplace. They have this same right during pregnancy and after giving birth. When employers fail to treat female employees equally, they run the risk of facing a workplace discrimination suit in a Texas courtroom. 

A woman who started her career as a customer service representative with AutoZone moved her way through the ranks to be promoted to a sales manager. Her goal was to become a store manager, but she felt that no matter what she did, she was unable to get her desired promotion. She claims that she was finally able to get promoted after she had spoken to human resources. According to her complaint, high-level executives were instructed to get rid of female employees and not allow them to advance.

After finally being promoted to store manager and announcing that she was pregnant, she alleges her superior recommended that she step down because he suggested that she would be unable to perform her job during her pregnancy. The plaintiff refused and the harassment continued even after she had her baby. She asserts that she was subjected to a hostile work environment, demoted and later fired. AutoZone claims that the reason for her demotion was because of poor performance reviews and blames her termination on money missing from one of her store's registers.

Ultimately, the woman took her case to court and won the largest employment law settlement in history that was awarded to a single person. She received $872,000 in compensatory damages and $185 million in punitive damages. Texas employees who find themselves in similar situations may choose to pursue legal action against their employers for suspected workplace discrimination. If a case is successfully navigated, the employee may be awarded damages for lost wages, lost benefits and other losses as deemed appropriate by the court. 

Source:, "Jury orders AutoZone to pay $185 million for gender discrimination", Kristina Davis, Nov. 18, 2014

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