One of the nation's largest retailers won a jury verdict in Andalusia, Alabama, defeating accusations by a former store manager of retaliatory discharge. The Plaintiff testified that she was an exemplary employee who was discharged in retaliation for making a claim for worker’s compensation benefits. The Plaintiff also accused the company of having an organized scheme to punish stores in which employees filed worker’s comp claims.
Led by Labor & Employment partner Stan Graham and assisted by Bahar Azhdari (associate) and David Bujdos (paralegal), the defense focused on evidence that the Plaintiff was discharged after violating established work rules that prohibited giving away perishables deemed no longer safe for consumption. The defense also highlighted Plaintiff’s inconsistent account of events, including that she had “done nothing wrong” by giving away product (as against company policy) and that others had violated the policy without being discharged. The defense countered these inconsistent accounts, including by showing the Plaintiff had herself been promoted after a prior worker’s compensation claim.
The jury deliberated for less than one hour before finding in favor of the defense.