$13 million awarded to a female employee in work discrimination case

A Southwestern Pennsylvania woman, Sandra S. Robertson has been awarded $13 million by the federal court jury in the City of Pittsburg on the basis of gender discrimination. The jury in U.S. District Court in Pittsburg found that Hunter Panels and the Parent Company, Carlisle Construction Materials Inc., an insulation manufacturer, discriminated against its employee, Sandra. It was alleged that the employer had created a hostile work environment and retaliated against her by firing her.

Sandra had been an employee for the defendant company for six years and throughout faced harassment and gender based discrimination. In spite of her excellent work experience, she was paid less than the male employee who was her predecessor.

As per complaint, the harassment began when she joined the company and did not abate. She was promoted in October 2006 and complained to her superiors several times. She was fired in April 2012 for her job performance and management style.

The jury awarded the Plaintiff $950,000 in compensatory damages to cover her suffering, back pay and other income which she would have earned had she not been fired. The jury found that the defendants had created a hostile work environment, discriminated against her and then retaliated after she complained about it. The jury further awarded $12.5 million in punitive damages after finding that the defendant acted “with malice or reckless indifference.”

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