He also asked the jury for punitive damages. Before the jury deliberated on that question, the Diocese settled the case for $4 million. The forewoman of the jury commented to the press that they should have let the jury decide the issue, as the jury would not have been so generous.
While damage awards court cases often receive headlines, they are often misunderstood, sometimes even by those how participate in the trial itself. In American legal cases, there are typically two forms of damages paid for an injury.
There is a great deal of illegal discrimination that occurs in the workplace. Some is inadvertent; some businesses fail to grasp the mandatory nature of the federal civil rights and employment laws, either because they do not believe they apply or because do not understand the requirements of the law.
After a law is passed to deal with a form of discrimination, many people naively assume that that action solves the issue and ends that type of discrimination. However, merely placing a law on the books is a long way from ending the discrimination.
Sex discrimination was prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But as we noted last time, discussing Patricia Arquette's Oscar acceptance speech and the topic of equal pay for women, the issue is complex, and that is one reason that even with all of the legislation since 1964 that as further amended and augmented the Civil Rights Act, there are still discrepancies in the American workforce between men and women.
Some people were put off by Patricia Arquette's Oscar acceptance speech. Some felt was insufficiently inclusive, while others were unhappy that a women who is a Hollywood actor, and earns many times per hour what most American workers earn in a week or even month, was raising the issue of equal pay for women.
The facts of a wrongful termination cases often begin as something else. A case involving a former police officer begins with the officer suffering an injury while on duty. He dutifully filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits. He eventually returned to work, about a year after his injury.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the issue of what does an employer need know about a job applicant or employee that would make them liable for a violation of the Civil Rights Act, where the employer lacked actual knowledge of the individuals religious practice.
Minority firefighters had sued the Buffalo fire department for a pattern and practice of discrimination that had disadvantaged minorities in their ability to obtain jobs and promotions, and the courts had imposed quotas and other remedial efforts on the department.