The first day on the job for new hires in West Virginia are always expected to be a bit disconcerting while they get their bearings. One out-of-state woman claims that her first day on the job ended with her being fired unjustly. She alleges that the reason for her termination was the color of her skin and has filed a lawsuit against her former employer and its owner in a federal court.
The plaintiff -- who happens to be black -- alleges that her first day working at the sports bar started off as an unpleasant experience. When she met the owner, she claims that he would not shake her hand or even talk to her when she arrived. That same day she was fired.
Other managers and workers have testified that the owner favored hiring white, blonde-haired women to be bartenders. Apparently, management had tried to alert the owner that what he was doing was discriminatory, but he did not pay them any mind. Defense for the bar contends that there were male brown-haired bartenders so their claims were baseless.
A jury agreed with the plaintiff that she had been fired unjustly because of the color of her skin. She was awarded $512,000 in punitive damages and $175,000 in compensatory damages. Sadly, many employers in West Virginia and elsewhere still make decisions to hire, fire and promote individuals on the basis of protected characteristics. Aggrieved employees who file successful legal actions may be awarded lost wages, damages and possibly may be reinstated into their former positions if warranted.
Source: nbcwashington.com, "Chinatown Bar Redline Ordered to Pay $687K in Racial Discrimination Lawsuit", Jan. 27, 2016