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Court Orders Company to Pay $1.2 Million to Warehouse Employee Who Suffered Bullying by Coworkers

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Adults often reassure children that the teasing they endure from their classmates about things that employment law would consider protected characteristics, such as their physical appearance or manner of speaking, are a sign of immaturity.  Unfortunately, it is usually wishful thinking to assume that, just because people are old enough to be in the workforce, they will not harass them about anything that they perceive as a difference or a vulnerability.  The difference is that, when coworkers bully you about the way you look, walk, or talk, you have employment discrimination laws to protect you.  Harassment of an employee based on a protected characteristic or protected activity is against the law.  If it is because of a protected characteristic, such as race, religion, or disability, then it is employment discrimination, and if it is because of a protected activity, such as requesting a medical leave of absence or reporting misconduct, it is employer retaliation.  If you left your job because your coworkers made your experience there unbearable with their constant harassment, contact a Los Angeles discrimination and harassment lawyer.

Plaintiff Alleges That Coworkers Harassed Him Because He Has Asperger’s Syndrome

A court in Los Angeles County recently ordered an employer to pay $1.2 million to a former employee who sued based on disability discrimination.  From 2015 until 2020, the plaintiff worked as a warehouse associate for a warehouse owned by a large company.  He has Asperger’s syndrome, which makes it difficult for him to interpret nonverbal communication such as facial expressions and body language, and dyslexia, which means that he has difficulty reading.  News reports about the lawsuit did not say whether he requested and received accommodations for his disabilities, but according to the law, he was entitled to request and receive them.

The plaintiff was successful at his job; he was one of the most productive warehouse associates in the warehouse.  Despite this, his coworkers would constantly harass him, calling him insulting names and throwing things at him.  He described it as similar to the bullying that he and other people with disabilities endured from their classmates in school.  Even though he complained to human resources about it multiple times, they did nothing.  Eventually, he began to suffer from headaches, nausea, and acute anxiety attacks because of the harassment at work.  His doctor recommended that he take time off of work for the sake of his health, but his employer refused to honor the request.  Eventually, he stopped coming to work, and his employer fired him for abandoning his job.

The plaintiff’s lawsuit against his employer eventually went to trial.  The jury ruled in his favor regarding his claim that the employer intentionally inflicted emotional distress on him due to its lack of appropriate response to his complaints.  It ruled against him regarding the disability discrimination claim.

Speak With a Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Lawyer

A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can help you if your employer is doing nothing about the harassment you experience at work.  Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.

Source:

latimes.com/california/story/2023-11-13/a-disabled-warehouse-worker-says-he-was-bullied-and-abused-a-jury-ordered-to-amazon-to-pay-him-1-2-million

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