Verdicts & Settlements

Jury Finds Parks Employee Was Fired In Retaliation

Murray v. County of Montgomery $750,000 Verdict

The Legal Intelligencer

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verdicts and settlements

Murray contended, in the amended complaint, that on Jan. 25, 2007, she reported to her supervisor that she was concerned with the co-worker's behavior. On Feb. 1, 2007, the supervisor held a meeting with the co-worker and Murray. Murray contended that the meeting became heated, and the supervisor denied her request to meet with him individually, telling her that she was "getting emotional."

Murray contended that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission representative told her that nothing could be done in response to the complaint and that written complaints can make situations worse. Murray contended that during a March 5, 2007, meeting with the EEOC director, she was given a verbal reprimand, her amended complaint said.

Murray contended that after her co-worker was promoted above her in January 2008, he interfered with setting her office up with operational computers, which caused her to not have the Internet and to miss several work-related emails.

Murray also contended that she made another complaint to her supervisor regarding her co-worker's conduct regarding a maintenance worker at her facility while she was taking a personal day. She contended that on Feb. 26, 2008, the co-worker screamed at her regarding her complaint, and said "you work for me," "you don't tell me how to do my job," "you are going to learn what I say goes," and "it is a new day, I am in charge."

According to the plaintiff's amended complaint, Murray also argued that she was a good employee and that she had only been terminated in retaliation for her complaint against her co-worker. She noted that in March 2008 she was promoted to regional manager.

The county denied Murray was terminated in retaliation for her complaint, and argued that she was fired due to problems with her conduct.

According to the defendant's amended pretrial memorandum, the county contended that Murray referred to her new bosses as "unqualified," referred to the supervisor as lacking "balls" and leadership qualities, and was frequently late to meetings. The county further contended that she was hostile to supervisors in front of subordinates.

The county contended that the supervisor who had promoted her had made the decision to fire her, and argued that none of the three immediate superiors who voted to terminate her were aware of the gender-biased comments the co-worker allegedly made,

The county contended that Murray was given a laptop to accommodate her computer problems, and argued that she never opened the computer. The county contended that she demanded that a $10,000 Internet connection be installed, and that the county was in the process of accommodating her request when she was terminated.

The county further contended in its amended pretrial memo that the plaintiff failed to prove her case. The county denied that the comments were derisive, or based on the plaintiff's gender, and noted that Murray alleged that there was only one incident of derisive, gender-based comments being made. The county also noted that Murray was terminated 11 months after the allegedly biased comments were made, and argued that there was no indication that the events were causally related.

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