Female delivery driver wins $600,000 verdict in sex discrimination suit against UPS
A federal jury in Midland, Texas, has awarded a $600,000 verdict against United Parcel Service (UPS) in a sexual discrimination suit filed by a former driver, attorneys for the plaintiff announced, ending a four-year legal battle. UPS fired the driver in 2009 after she was involved in an on-the-job accident. However, the employee alleged that the accident was simply an excuse for the package delivery giant to fire her — and that she actually was let go because she is a woman. The jury agreed, awarding a six-figure verdict against UPS.
The employee had been driving a UPS truck when it hopped a curb and hit a telephone pole, causing no injuries. Trial witnesses testified that several male UPS drivers from the same facility in Odessa, Texas, were allowed to keep their jobs despite being in far worse accidents, including two accidents involving fatalities and others involving serious injuries. Trial testimony also showed that UPS managers gave the employee more packages to deliver than her male counterparts, including one incident when a manager set aside six 100-pound packages for her to deliver between 9:30 and 10 p.m. even though she was pregnant at the time.
Jurors also heard testimony that the employee and other women at the Odessa facility were subjected to a pattern of repeated insults and harassment based on their gender, including testimony that male managers did not want women working at UPS based on their perception that women were weaker and slower and because they had menstrual periods.
“We always felt that if we could get a jury of [the employee’s] peers to hear this case, to hear what happened to her and how she was treated, we would be fine,” said Holly Williams, of the Williams Law Firm, P.C., which represented the plaintiff. “The jurors agreed with us that women should be treated equally in the workplace, and I believe they intended to send a message with their verdict.”