May 27, 2020

May 26, 2020

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Another Day, Another $31 Million Employee Verdict From a Los Angeles Jury

On Tuesday, a Los Angeles jury did what L.A. juries do so often these days — they awarded tens of millions of dollars to an ex-employee who claimed she had been the victim of discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation.  Codie Rael, who worked as a materials buyer for a dental supply company, claimed that she was subjected to comments such as you are “outdated,” “a dumb female,” and that she was allegedly told “we need younger workers here.”

At the conclusion of an 8-week trial and following four days of deliberations, the jury awarded Rael $5,282 for past economic losses; $3 million for past and future emotional distress damages; and $28 million in punitive damages.  Rael worked for the company for 36 years and was 54 years old at the time of her resignation/termination.  Rael’s lawyer contended that the employer’s actions were part of a deliberate plan to replace her entire department with younger, cheaper labor.  Although Rael had given the employer notice of her resignation, the company fired her before her employment actually ended.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP.


About this Author

Anthony J Oncidi, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office. Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection....