If you drive about an hour east of Glendale, you’ll arrive in Ontario. The city is home to a 58-year-old woman who was recently awarded $31 million by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury in an age discrimination lawsuit.
As a jubilant Codie Rael stood outside the courtroom, she said “I never expected this.” She said she hoped that her former employer learned from their mistakes “so they can become the great place to work they once were again.”
The jury deliberated for an hour before finding that Sybron Dental Specialties Inc. and KaVo Kerr Group should collectively pay $28 million in punitive damages and $3 million in compensatory damages. The punitive damages phase of the proceeding was triggered by the jury’s finding that the companies had acted against the materials buyer and planner with malice, oppression or fraud.
The jury found agreed with Rael’s assertions that she suffered age discrimination, age harassment, wrongful termination and retaliation.
Rael had testified that she was subjected to a wide range of disparaging remarks in the workplace, including: “you are outdated,” “you are part of the old culture,” “dumb female” and “we need younger workers here.” Some of the disparagement came from her direct supervisor and his boss.
Rael worked for the companies from November of 1978 to October 2014 when she quit due to stress. She was replaced by a man in his 20s, according to a news report.
If you have endured age discrimination in the workplace, you can fight back with the help of an experienced employment law attorney.