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Woman Who Suffered Sex Discrimination by Virginia Tech Wins Appeal At Federal Court

Employment Law Group Law Firm Represents Shana Maron in Legal Battle

WASHINGTON – Plaintiff and former Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University employee Shana Maron will now be awarded $61,000, as part of the retaliation verdict originally secured by The Employment Law Group Law Firm. In a significant ruling, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with The Employment Law Group® law firm that a federal district court erred to reversal when it rejected a $61,000 retaliation verdict secured by Maron from the university. Previously the court had entered judgment in favor of the university.  The successful appeal led to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversing the trial court and reinstating the jury verdict.

During trial, Shana Maron alleged that when she sought a promotion with a higher salary, a male supervisor suggested she was not eligible for the same salary increase as a male colleague. The male supervisor said since he “was the head of his household and had mouths to feed” he had rights for higher salary. Maron also testified that the male supervisor told her that hiring someone like Maron who was “young, newly married” and in “child-bearing years” would be a “liability” because she might be out of work for a “significant” time.  When she complained, her supervisors retaliated against her, leading her to ultimately seek employment elsewhere.

During trial, the jury awarded Maron $61,000 on her Title VII retaliation claim. U.S. District Judge James C. Turk, however, set aside the verdict and entered judgment for Virginia Tech on Maron’s retaliation claim.

On appeal, Virginia Tech argued that Maron had suffered only “petty slights.” The Fourth Circuit panel disagreed.  In reversing the trial court and reinstating the jury verdict, the appellate explained, “we hold that the jury could have concluded that Maron was subjected to actions capable of dissuading a reasonable employee from complaining about discrimination. We base this conclusion on three sets of circumstances that occurred after Maron engaged in the protected activity of filing complaints of sex discrimination.”

“We are very pleased, of course, with the Fourth Circuit’s decision,” said Nicholas Woodfield, principal at The Employment Law Group® who argued the appeal.  “It is important for juries to be heard, and the reinstated verdict is a clear message that the courts recognize that people who speak up against discrimination need to be protected … especially protected from discrimination by large public institutions that should know better.”

The case was initially filed in October of 2008.  “Ms. Maron didn’t want to give up her jury verdict,” stated Woodfield. “We never stopped believing in her case.  It took four and a half years of hard work, but we knew justice would eventually be served and we would win.”

The case number 7:08-cv-00579-jct. The appeal number is 12-1146.

About The Employment Law Group® Law Firm

The Employment Law Group® law firm is one of the premier employment law firms representing individuals from all over the United States and around the world in EEOC, Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower cases against the government and publicly held U.S. corporations. The firm's attorneys have more than 70 years of experience litigating on behalf of individuals against employers who disregard federal and state whistleblower and employment laws.

Contact: Kipp Lanham, 202-449-9807

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