May v. Chrysler Grp., LLC

More than 50 times, 2002-2005, May, a pipefitter at Chrysler’s plant, was the target of racist, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic graffiti. Messages included: “Otto Cuban good Jew is a dead Jew,” and “fuck Otto Cuban Jew nigger lover.” May found several death-threat notes in his toolbox and had his bike and car tires punctured. Sugar was poured in the gas tanks of his cars and a dead bird wrapped to look like a Ku Klux Klansman was placed in his work station. May contacted police and the FBI and complained to Chrysler. Human resources met with tradesmen and reminded them that harassment was unacceptable, a procedure was implemented to document the harassment, efforts were made to discover who was at the plant when the incidents likely occurred, and a handwriting analyst was retained. The harasser was never caught. May sued Chrysler in 2002 under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. 1981. Only his hostile work environment claim survived summary judgment; a jury awarded $709,000 in compensatory damages and $3.5 million in punitive damages. May accepted remittitur to $300,000 and the court vacated the award of punitive damages. The Seventh Circuit The district court affirmed on liability, but reversed for reinstatement of the verdict. View "May v. Chrysler Grp., LLC" on Justia Law