A California man was awarded a $13 million verdict in February 2018 after filing against a former employer, The Regents of the University of California (UCLA). The plaintiff, Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown, alleged that UCLA discriminated against her on the basis of her gender and then retaliated against her for complaining about the problem. The escalating issue eventually led to Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown’s resignation.
The doctor started work with the UCLA Medical Center in 2005. She was the Director of the UCLA Lymphoma Program. During her entire tenure at UCLA, she received exemplary peer reviews, awards and even accolades. For her first 8 years with the university, Pinter-Brown was one of only two senior female faculty members in the program.
When Pinter-Brown raised harassment concerns with a male co-worker, she became the target of various workplace audits, her research privileges were suspended, her title was taken, etc. Throughout the ordeal, Pinter-Brown’s reputation was irreparably harmed. The university made no apparent efforts to solve the problem or alleviate the situation even though Pinter-Brown made both verbal and written complaints about the issues. The plaintiff claims that she was forced to “play dead” at work in order to avoid further confrontations or an escalation of the problem the university chose to ignore until she eventually simply resigned from her position.
In February 2018, a California jury found her Pinter-Brown’s favor on claims of discrimination and retaliation. Pinter-Brown was awarded $3,011,671 in lost earnings from the university and an additional $10,000,000 in damages for her emotional distress. The total awarded was over $13 million.
The plaintiff’s attorney was quoted discussing the doctor’s time with the university and describing her has an “outstanding employee.” The plaintiff’s legal counsel felt it was very clear that Pinter-Brown experienced workplace retaliation as a direct result of openly complaining about harassment by a male colleague. The jury of her peers from California vindicated her complaints and those in favor of Pinter-Brown hope it can be another step in fixing a wide-spread problem with ignoring the problem of gender inequality.
If you have a problem with workplace retaliation or if you have attempted to resolve employment law violations in the workplace unsuccessfully, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.