Employment discrimination claim gives a near $15 million payout

A total of seven current and former warehouse workers for Matheson Trucking are finally getting some good news. The California-based company is responsible for transporting mail for a variety of companies, such as Federal Express, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. The company stood accused of employment discrimination and retaliation, and, after a three week court battle, the plaintiffs believe justice was served.

The plaintiffs -- some of whom immigrated from other countries -- claim that the workers were segregated on opposite sides of the warehouse based on ethnicity. White employees were forced to work on one side and the black employees worked on the other. They claim that their white supervisors used derogatory racial slurs when referring to them and insulted them because of where they were born.

The lawsuit was brought before a jury and the plaintiffs explained about the treatment they endured from 2010 to 2011. The jury found the defendants guilty of the discrimination accusations. Each of the plaintiffs was awarded $2 million, with $13 million of the award being for punitive damages.

It is illegal for companies in California and elsewhere to treat their employees differently based upon any protected status characteristics. Those who believe that they have been the victims of employment discrimination should bring the situation to the attention of their supervisors. If the treatment continues, the workers may choose to go ahead with legal actions against their employers. In successfully navigated claims, the workers may receive monetary damages, along with any other financial relief awarded by the court.

Source: 9news.com, "Company pays millions in discrimination lawsuit", Meagan Fitzgerald, Feb. 11, 2015

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