The jury was asked to send a message. And that is exactly what they did, the Wisconsin Law Journal reports.
The Missouri jury heard the story of a sales manager with American Family Insurance who sued the company for age and sex discrimination, as well as retaliation. The jury's message was loud and clear: the 60-year-old was awarded $20 million in punitive damages.
The suburban Kansas City woman presented to the jury evidence that showed she was an award-winning manager who delivered results that were equal to or better than her peers who were mostly men — and all of whom were younger than her.
Her attorneys asked the jury to send "a message of significance that would capture the attention" of her employer.
She had been removed from her sales manager position in a move that her attorney said was a company effort to oust older workers and replace them with younger employees.
An employment law attorney told the Associated Press that he thought the woman's attorneys were especially effective when they showed that her supervisor had told her that "this will not end well" while she was on a medical leave.
Did her employers receive the message sent by the jury? A spokesperson for the insurance company denied that they ever discriminate, including in this case. The company is considering their appeal options.
The $20 million award is the kind of booming message that can be sent to an employer who tramples rights and employee lives. An experienced Milwaukee employment law attorney can help you fight for justice in your case.