HR Management & Compliance

News Notes: Aggressive Response To Discrimination Lawsuit Backfires

A jury has handed down a $3.8 million verdict in favor of a hotel manager who complained of race discrimination, thanks to the employer’s overly aggressive reply to the worker’s lawsuit. Rabah Khatib sued his employer, Tower Corp., claiming that he was harassed and discriminated against because he is Arab-American. He also charged that his supervisor ordered him to commit insurance fraud. Not only did Tower deny the charges, but it turned around and countersued Khatib for theft and misrepresentation, alleging that he received benefits and pay he wasn’t entitled to. Khatib then filed a second lawsuit, this time claiming that Tower’s lawsuit was retaliatory. The jury agreed, and its award included over $1.6 million in punitive damages against the company.