SAN FRANCISCO, April 12 LAWFUEL – Law Newswire — A San Francisco Jury has awarded over $3,000,000.00 to an Oakland woman who sued the delivery service company for sexual harassment. Ms. Charlotte Boswell has worked in various capacities for Federal Express in Oakland, California since February of 1990, compiling a flawless employment record throughout those years.
In 2002, Ms. Boswell filed a complaint against Federal Express for
sexual harassment, retaliation, and constructive discharge. In her
complaint, Ms. Boswell alleged that she started experiencing sexual
advances by her supervisor in 1999. Once Boswell rebuffed these advances,
her paychecks were delayed, she was denied personal leave, and her shifts
were changed. Senior management at the company was notified but failed to
take any action with respect to Ms. Boswell’s complaints. In October of
2001, Ms. Boswell resigned from her position as a Dispatcher at Federal
Express, where she had worked for over eleven years. Boswell filed a
lawsuit against the company for violation of the sexual harassment
provisions of the Civil Rights Act and California’s Fair Employment and
According to the jury questionnaire, the panel agreed today, April 11, 2007, that Ms. Boswell had proved by the preponderance of the evidence that her supervisor had subjected her to a sexually hostile work environment which was so intolerable that a reasonable person in her position would feel compelled to resign. The jury awarded Boswell approximately $550,000.00 in damages for lost earnings and emotional distress, and $2,450,000 in punitive damages. Boswell will seek attorneys’ fees and costs.
“I felt the jurors seemed to understand everything that I went
through,” says Boswell. “I tried to the best of my ability to tell my
story, and it seems that somehow the jury heard my message loud and clear. I pray that in the future, Fed-Ex will make sure that their management is better trained on the proper etiquette for the office environment; kissing employees is not appropriate office behavior.”
Boswell’s lawyer, Waukeen McCoy, commented that “this punitive damages award sends a message to the Bay-area corporate community that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the workplace.” Mr. McCoy has recently prevailed in two race discrimination cases against Federal Express last year, resulting in combined verdicts of approximately $1.5 million dollars.
McCoy was the lead Plaintiffs’ attorney in one of the largest race
discrimination case in US history, Carroll v. Interstate Brands Company,
where the jury verdict awarded Plaintiffs $132,000,000 in August of 2000.