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SDF’s Umbach & Perkins Obtain Defense Verdict in Employment Discrimination Trial In Federal Court

December 4, 2023 SDF’s Umbach & Perkins Obtain Defense Verdict in Employment Discrimination Trial In Federal Court

Trip Umbach and Alfred Perkins successfully tried an employment discrimination case in federal court.  The plaintiff claimed our client, an international lumber company, violated the FMLA because the client failed to restore him to the same or similar job after he took leave to care for his wife who was hospitalized for Covid.  Plaintiff also claimed that the Defendant later fired him because of his African American race.   The evidence showed that Plaintiff and a few white employees were involved in cleanup of spilled lumber in the mill that required employees to lockout energy sources for the particular area in which they worked to clear the spill.  Plaintiff failed to lock out the energy sources for the part of the machinery in which he worked.   Because this incident was plaintiff’s second violation of the lockout safety requirements within 12 months, per policy, plaintiff was terminated. No one else violated the lockout policy, as they either did not enter an area that required lockout, or they locked out the area in which they worked.  No worker other than plaintiff had a prior lockout violation.  The jury returned a verdict for our client on all claims after a one-week trial.

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