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Abbott Laboratories Ordered to Pay $8M in Age Discrimination Case

In an age discrimination case against the defendants, Abbott Laboratories and Abbot Laboratories Supervisor Kim Perez, a jury found in favor of the plaintiff, Luz Gonzalez-Bermudez, a former national sales manager who worked out of the company’s Puerto Rico office. The employee claimed she had been demoted, and her pay later cut, after a corporate reorganization in 2010.

Based on the evidence presented in court, the jury found that the defendants discriminated against the employee based on her age. As a result, the plaintiff was awarded $8 million in damages.

In 2016, the jury awarded the plaintiff $3 million from Abbott and $1 million from her supervisor in retaliation for age bias. However, under the applicable provisions of federal and local age bias laws, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico doubled the awards, bringing the total awards to $6 million against Abbott Laboratories and $2 million against the plaintiff’s supervisor.

Other Employee Demotions and Abbott’s Willful Conduct

According to the Court, the defendants waived their right to challenge the finding that Abbott’s conduct was willful, because they failed to raise the issue earlier in the case. If the defendants had done so, they may have been able to convince the jury that other employees were also demoted during the same time period, two of whom were younger than the plaintiff.

However, while the plaintiff and two other employees were bumped to lower pay grades, the plaintiff was the only one whose pay was reduced a third time. This brought her salary lower than what she agreed to accept as part of the reorganization.

The two other employees, who were 12 and 9 years younger than her, continued to be paid within the level that they accepted.

The Court also found that the plaintiff’s new position involved a great deal of responsibilities without help from any of the 28 employees who she managed in her previous position. She also had a track record of positive performance reviews before the reorganization.

In her new position, the plaintiff received a poor performance rating, which was orchestrated by her supervisor. Additional evidence suggested that the plaintiff was demoted, denied promotions, and given unfairly negative reviews as retaliation after complaining about age discrimination.

As a result, the Court declined to overrule the jury. The jury also awarded the plaintiff $250,000 in back pay.

The defendants subsequently filed motions for a new trial, reduced damages, or to alter or amend the judgment are still pending.

Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers at the Law office of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Represent Victims of Age Discrimination

If you or someone you know has been discriminated against due to your age, it is in your best interest to contact the Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers at the Law Office of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. We will protect your rights and secure that maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, where we serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.