A California woman was awarded $185 million in 2014 after a federal jury in San Diego found she was unlawfully demoted and later fired from her job after announcing her pregnancy. The case involved a woman named Rosario Juarez, who claimed she was demoted from a management position with the retailer, AutoZone Stores Inc. when she became pregnant in 2005. She then filed a lawsuit that challenged her demotion on the grounds of pregnancy discrimination, and shortly afterwards, her employment was terminated.
Autozone fought Juarez’s claim, instead arguing she was fired for misplacing $400 in cash. The retailer, which sells auto and light truck parts and accessories, ultimately lost the case. The firm was ordered to pay Juarez $185 million in punitive damages, in addition to $872,000 in compensatory damages. The Los Angeles Times reports Juarez’s attorney, Lawrance Bohm, as saying: “Hopefully, this verdict sends a loud and clear message to AutoZone that the company is not above the law and must treat working mothers with dignity and respect.”
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