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$________ INCLUDING $________ PUNITIVE AWARD Retaliatory discharge for filing Equal Opportunity Commission complaint regarding maternity leave discrimination.

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Fla. (47274)

The female plaintiff was an employee of the defendant University of Miami who claimed she was wrongfully discharged from her employment as a result of her filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and for engaging in a statutorily-protected activity. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was terminated for excessive lateness and poor job performance. The defendant received summary judgment on the plaintiff’s complaint of discrimination for taking maternity leave.

The plaintiff who is in her 30s, was employed as an education coordinator in the anesthesiology department at the defendant’s medical school. She took a three-month maternity leave and returned to her position in January ________. After her return, the plaintiff received a negative performance review, which she claimed was discrimination for her taking the maternity leave. The plaintiff also testified that after she returned from her maternity leave, she was moved to another building, lost support staff and her responsibilities declined.

The plaintiff filed a EEOC complaint alleging, among other things, discrimination for taking maternity leave. She was terminated by the defendant in February ________. The plaintiff claimed her termination was in retaliation for filing the EEOC complaint.

The defendant contended that the plaintiff had excessive lateness and poor job performance, resulting in her termination. The defense denied that the plaintiff’s EEOC complaint was a factor in the decision to terminate her employment. The plaintiff countered that the reasons for her termination proffered by the defense were pretextual in that other employees were often late with no repercussions. The plaintiff also contended that the alleged job performance issues were caused by factors beyond her control.

The jury found for the plaintiff awarded her $________ in damages including $________ in pain and suffering, $________ in punitive damages, and the remainder in economic damages. Post-trial motions are pending.