Can Your Company Be Sued for Denying a Promotion?

Discrimination Suit Costs Wal-Mart $ 433,500.00

A 50-year-old woman in Akron, Ohio contended that managers at the Fairlawn Wal-Mart store retaliated against her by denying her a promotion after she filed a discrimination claim. A federal jury agreed and awarded her $433,500.00

A 50-year-old woman contended that she was passed over for promotion because she is black. Amy Jeffries, who started working at the store when it opened in 1992, said that each time she applied for the personnel manager position, other workers with less experience and training were promoted instead. She said that after being bypassed and getting nowhere with complaints to store officials, she filed a complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, then a lawsuit against the store.

The jury rejected Jeffries’ allegation that she was denied a promotion on the basis of discrimination alone. But jurors did find that the store treated her unfairly because she filed complaints of discrimination with store officials and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Attorney Roy Hulme of Cleveland, Ohio, who represented Wal-Mart stated. “We’re pleased that the jury did find that Wal-Mart does not discriminate and we do think it’s unfortunate that the jury is telling us we need to give preferential treatment to people who claim we discriminate”
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