Chrysler Pipefitter Awarded $4.2 Million In National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit
A Rockford Illinois federal court jury found in favor of pipefitter Otto May and ordered Chrysler to pay $4.2 million to the 60-year-old. According to court testimony May endured years of harassment based on his national origin. The harassment included hateful graffiti and death threats over his Jewish and Cuban-American ethnicity. Additionally, May had his tires shredded in the parking lot by co-workers as part of the ongoing harassment. He was even denied the same overtime opportunities as other similarly situated employees.
The jury listened to the evidence for a week and awarded May $709,000 in compensatory damages and $3.5 million in punitive damages. It is nice to see someone stand up and fight back when they are being discriminated against at work. This type of discrimination at work creates a hostile work environment and makes it difficult to function.
Mr. May showed extraordinary courage and determination which paid off in the end. This case should act as a warning to companies who refuse to protect workers when they are being subjected to harassment of any kind. Congratulations Mr. May.
"I'm glad the jury believed me," said May
In Illinois an employee must first file a complaint with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") or the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") before filing a lawsuit in court. I prefer to file with the IDHR because they investigate cases faster and usuallyl provide for a quicker resolution.