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Judge Upholds Jury’s Verdict Against UPS
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UPS truck

Summary: UPS allowed a supervisor to continually discriminate against a lesbian employee by letting him bring a Bible to work and call her demonic.

A jury’s verdict was upheld by Eastern District Judge Jack Weinstein this week. The jury had found that UPS discriminated against and fostered a hostile work environment based on the fact that the employee, Tameeka Roberts was lesbian. Her case highlighted the fact that “no federal statute explicitly protects against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”


UPS tried to claim that Roberts had suffered only “petty slights and trivial inconveniences” and not the hostile treatment that she claimed. Unfortunately for UPS, the judge agreed that they jury’s conclusion that the advice her supervisor repeatedly gave her about her sexual orientation being evil and must be changed to follow religious dictates was improper.

Roberts was seeking $100,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for the continued discrimination she received from her supervisor Donald Woodard. He continually made inappropriate comments about her sexual orientation for a number of years.

Judge Weinstein stated that a jury is the best solution to determine what is appropriate when it comes to the evolving acceptance and understanding of sexual orientation. New York City is only one of about 200 cities that have passed laws that protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment. In total, 22 states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws to protect against discrimination for sexual preference.

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Roberts was represented by Alex Umansky of Phillips & Associates.

Kerrie Heslin at Nukk-Freeman & Cerra represented UPS.




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