FedEx Retaliation Case Results in Payout of Millions

FedEx Retaliation Case Results in Payout of Millions.jpg

Three employees (one former and two current) at a LAX FedEx location were collectively awarded millions of dollars by a jury. The jury found that the employees were wrongfully disciplined by FedEx after they came forward to report allegations that the courier giant was prioritizing profits over safety in not maintaining aircraft in compliance with FAA safety requirements. The verdict was reached on October 19, 2018 after the Los Angeles Superior Court panel deliberated for over a week.

The California retaliation suit was filed by Brian, Gruzalski, FedEx aircraft mechanic, and Stanley Langevin and Mark Collins, FedEx employees.

Awards Received by Plaintiffs in the Case:

·      Gruzalski: $855,000 in compensatory damages and $3.8 million in punitive damages

·      Collins: $260,000 in compensatory damages and $2.75 million in punitive damages

·      Langevin: $144,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages

FedEx claims that Gruzalski was fired for valid reasons, citing inappropriate language in the workplace, with some of it being racially charged. The company also claims that Langevin was demoted due to alleged moonlighting on company time for other airlines using FedEx equipment and that Collins’, as their supervisor, did not use his authority to call a halt to these behaviors.

FedEx claims that while FedEx jets are older than others in the fleet, they are all flightworthy.

Langevin is 69 years old and lives in Long Beach. He has over 40 years of experience as an aircraft technician and is an Air Force veteran. He claims he was retaliated against for complaining about the condition of the FedEx aircrafts. Langevin noticed that FedEx routinely and willfully returned aircraft to service that were non-airworthy due to the need for additional repairs/maintenance that would make them compliant with federal aviation regulations. The company pushed the aircrafts back into service quickly and cheaply in order to increase profits regardless of federal aviation regulation compliance. For example, FedEx regularly failed to repair corrosion that was extensive enough to result in cracking the aircraft’s outer frame prior to putting them back in the air.

Collins is 60 years old, a Navy veteran who fought in the Persian Gulf War during Operation Desert Storm and lives in Claremont. He claims he faced backlash in the workplace for defending Langevin and voicing similar claims in his support. This resulted in a demotion.

If you have questions about workplace retaliation or if you need to discuss wrongful termination, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.

$13 Million Verdict Awarded to UCLA Doctor in Retaliation and Gender Discrimination Case

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.