On Aug. 16, a federal judge in Wisconsin denied a motion for a new trial in the case of a woman who was fired in retaliation for complaints regarding her employer's meal and rest break policy. In denying the employer's request for a new trial, the ruling affirms the original jury verdict ordering the company to pay the woman $4.6 million.
According to the report, the judge stated that, although the company appeared surprised by his ruling, the decision should not be interpreted as legally excessive or as a signal that the judge or jury had done something wrong. He stated in a 53-page written opinion that the matter was fairly contested and the company lost based simply on the merits of the case.
The laws that govern termination of employees can be difficult to understand. In this case, the woman was terminated because of her complaints about working conditions. In another state or in cases with slightly different facts, a lawsuit may not have been an option. What may constitute legal grounds for a claim of wrongful termination in one state may not apply in another. In Wisconsin, many people who feel they have been wrongfully fired seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney may be able, after a thorough investigation of the facts, provide helpful advice as to the best course of future action.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Jury's $4.6M Wrongful Firing Verdict Upheld", Maria Dinzeo, August 20, 2013