HR Management & Compliance

News Notes: Delay Tactics Cost Employer A Lot More Than Settlement Would Have

Journeyman painter Thelma Walker filed a sexual harassment and defamation lawsuit against the San Francisco housing authority and her former job site foreman. Over the next six months, the housing authority was smacked with court fines for repeatedly not responding to Walker’s discovery requests. Walker and the housing authority then tentatively agreed to a settlement of $365,000. But when the housing authority didn’t finalize the settlement and allegedly engaged in more discovery stonewalling, the court set aside the settlement and entered judgment for Walker—awarding her a staggering $1,611,979. Now a state appellate court has upheld the award based on the housing authority’s deliberate delays, evasion, misrepresentation and broken promises.