A federal court here in San Antonio has found in favor of employees who sued AA Foundries. i first wrote about the lawsuit here. A manager was accused of using the n- word frequently. A hangman’s noose was found in the breakroom. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit on behalf of four former workers. A year ago, the defense lawyer merely commented that the noose was a one-time incident by an "idiot."
Well, the San Antonio jury agreed – sort of. They found the company guilty of discriminatory acts. The jury awarded punitive damages of $100,000 to one worker, $60,000 to a second worker and $40,000 to a third worker. Regarding a fourth worker, Kathy White, the jury found she did not suffer any discrimination. No worker was awarded compensatory damages. See San Antonio Express News report. The Superintendent, Ronnie Hunt, was accused of referring to black workers as "you people" and using the term "boy," as well as using the n- word.
AA Foundries has 20 employees. So, the amounts will be reduced to the cap on damages, which is limited to $50,000. Compensatory and punitive damages are limited to $50,000 for employers with 100 or fewer employes. The company’s attorney indicates they will request a new trial and file an appeal if necessary.
A separate, prior trial in July found in favor of AA Foundries and against a fifth employee, Mary L. Johnson.
The EEOC did good work in this case, apparently conducting a thorough investigation and prosecuting the lawsuit.