Judge awards $2M to man who was bullied in workplace
While in some circumstances a worker may run into one instance of illegal treatment at his or her place of employment, in other situations the matter may be more convoluted and involved multiple instances. This was the situation in an employment case that was recently resolved. Though this case took place in another state, it is possible that workers in the New York City area could face the same issues.
Legal action was brought by a man who worked in the sales department at Microsoft for hostile treatment he said he received from multiple other people who also worked there. The problems apparently began after he broke off a relationship with a coworker who was later promoted to be his boss. The man asserted that coworkers and supervisors:
- Undermined his work.
- Marginalized him.
- Falsely accused him of expense account fraud.
- Blocked promotions.
- Falsely accused him of sexual harassment.
The man also believed that the illegal behavior could have been retaliation for complaints he voiced after the company’s vice president allegedly made racist and sexist comments in the workplace.
At the conclusion of a trial on the matter a jury unanimously found that the man had been subjected to a hostile work environment by the business and key managers. It also determined this treatment led to the man’s constructive dismissal. Accordingly, the jury awarded the man $11.6 million. That amount was recently reduced by the judge on the case to $2 million. In addition to compensatory damages, that amount also covers punitive damages and legal fees.
As this case illustrates employment matters can be convoluted and have many layers. If you are facing a hostile workplace or bullying at work it may be beneficial to work with an employment lawyer.
Source: Lawyers and Settlements, “Microsoft to Pay $2 Million in Workplace Bullying Case,” Brenda Craig, Oct. 4, 2014