A jury in San Diego recently awarded a woman almost $186 million in a case against the auto parts store AutoZone. A Nov. 19 report states that the woman had been working at a California AutoZone before she was demoted and later fired. She claimed that she was told that pregnant women couldn’t manage a store.
This woman’s case had a six-person jury and two-week trial during which the 43-year-old discussed her situation. She had worked at AutoZone since 2000; she was hired as a customer service representative in a store south of San Diego. By 2001, she was promoted to parts sales manager. Shortly thereafter, in October 2004, she climbed the ladder again and was promoted to store manager.
In Sept. 2005, the woman became pregnant, and that’s when she was told to return to a parts sales position. She was demoted after her son was born and also took a pay cut despite her previous earnings and work as a store manager. At AutoZone, workers can apply for their old jobs a year after demotion. She applied, but she was allegedly told that she would not be promoted. In 2008, she was terminated; however, she had already filed complaints and claims with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
It was found in this case that the woman faced severe and pervasive harassment. The jury unanimously agreed that she had been discriminated against and later fired due to her pregnancy. With this situation in mind, if you feel you’ve been harassed or wrongfully terminated from your job, you need to take a stand. Don’t let businesses get away with discrimination. A California employment law attorney is a good source of advice and information.
Source: Reuters, “San Diego jury awards woman $186 million in bias case against AutoZone” Marty Graham, Nov. 19, 2014