A female employee recently accused a federal contractor with the Department of Defense (DOD) out of Texas, Southwest Research (SwRI), of sex discrimination. Shortly after the accusations, the contractor fired the employee. This resulted in accusations of retaliation.
Details of the allegations: Promotions without equal pay
The woman began her work with SwRI in 2000. She quickly worked her way up the ladder, getting promotions and becoming a principal electronics technician. A federal position requiring a Top Secret security clearance. With every promotion, the researcher states the company failed to pay her the same has her male counterparts.
Upon review of her case, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) agreed. SwRI fired the scientist 12 days after she filed the EEOC complaint. She filed her lawsuit against SwRI in 2015.
The company pointed to errors in the employee’s timesheet as justification for the termination. However, upon further review it became clear that a male counterpart had made 18 errors in his timesheet without any repercussions. The woman’s legal team used this evidence to support the argument that the alleged violation was simply an excuse for illegal retaliation.
Result of the case: Justice prevails
After almost four years of legal battles, justice prevailed. The victim was able to hold her employer accountable for the EEOC violation and illegal retaliation. The court granted the victim $410,000 to help compensate for damages to her career.
The case is an example of need for diligence during these lawsuits. It is also an example of the need for legal counsel. The woman’s case required over 140 court filings to move forward before a federal jury was given the ability to hear her case and rule in her favor.