Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sexual Discrimination Found in Wrongful Termination Trial

We turn now to another type of wrongful termination case that reached a verdict in Pittsburgh in 2007. The case of Tamburo v. Ross/West View EMS concerned violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S. Code Section 2000e, including intentional sexual discrimination because of disparate treatment and intentional sexual discrimination because of a hostile work environment; violations of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of Oct. 27, 1955, Pennsylvania Law 744, No. 222, 1-13, as amended, 43 Pennsylvania Statutes 951-963, including intentional sexual discrimination as a result of disparate treatment and intentional sexual discrimination because of to a hostile work environment; breach of contract.

Specifically, Stacy Tamburo worked for Ross/West View Emergency Medical Services Authority, a nonprofit corporation that provides ambulance, paramedic and EMT services to the greater North Hills area in Pittsburgh, for 12 years. She claimed that during that time, on numerous occasions, she was subjected to harassment, ridicule and abuse from other Ross/West employees based on her sex and that the company did nothing to prevent or stop the maltreatment. Tamburo said she made numerous complaints, none of which was met with a response.Furthermore, Tamburo claimed that she was wrongfully terminated Jan. 12, 2004, because of her gender. According to Tamburo, Ross/West fired her, citing alleged negligence in rendering care to a patient. She denied the negligence and said there were many witnesses that said she acted professionally and had respected the patient. Tamburo alleged that other male employees have received less disciplinary action for more grievous violations of the rules, regulations and interests of the Authority. Tamburo said it took her nearly five months to secure another job, which paid less than her position with Ross/West and offered her a lesser benefits package. She claimed that she suffered humiliation, emotional distress, anxiety and severe depression as a result of her unlawful termination, which necessitated inpatient and outpatient medical and psychiatric care. Tamburo sued Ross/West in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on Aug. 18, 2004, seeking damages, attorney fees and costs of $63,584.53.

A jury found that Tamburo was terminated from employment and subjected to a hostile work environment because of her gender on March 1, 2007. They awarded Tamburo $307,150 in damages. Judge Terrence McVerry entered judgment, on the jury's verdict, the next day. Tamburo moved for attorney fees and costs of $47,739.41 on March 14, 2007. The next day, Ross/West filed four motions: for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, to alter judgment, for new trial and to amend/correct judgment. Sources told Mealey Publications that the JNOV motion is based on the defense's belief that the verdict was not consistent with the evidence presented at trial. Additionally, the motion to alter judgment or amend/correct judgment is based on the belief that the number of employees employed by Ross/West was insufficient for compensatory damages of $200,000 and that monetary amount should be limited to $50,000. All motions are pending.

Read some of my prior posts on Pennsylvania wrongful termination here: "Think You Were Wrongfully Terminated?"  "Worried About Wrongful Termination?" and "Exceptions to Wrongful Discharge Lawsuits". Share this post :
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