Labor and Employment attorney Kathleen (Kathi) Lucchesi successfully defended Concord, North Carolina based O.B. Builders, Inc. against charges of race discrimination in a jury trial heard in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
The allegations arose when O.B. Builders terminated the plaintiff and a co-worker in mid-2016 after hearing from other employees that they were selling drugs on company property. After the EEOC issued a Right to Sue letter, the plaintiff filed suit in federal court alleging claims of race discrimination under both Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Disability Discrimination, Retaliation, and Wrongful Discharge under the North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act.
The Court granted summary judgment on all claims except for the race discrimination claims this past June, and the trial went forward in mid-October on the race claims.
The plaintiff asked the jury to award punitive damages as well as compensatory damages, including three years of back pay, front pay, and compensation for pain and suffering, and emotional distress. After a three-day trial, the eight-person jury needed less than an hour to return a verdict in favor of O.B. Builders.
Lucchesi called the verdict long overdue. “The jury paid close attention during the trial and was able to wade through the testimony of nine witnesses. O.B. Builders knew three years ago when the plaintiff filed his EEOC charge that his allegations were meritless. The company is grateful to finally close the door on this case.”
Kathleen “Kathi” Lucchesi
Kathi Lucchesi regularly advises her clients in connection with all types of employment issues both in and out of the workplace. She works with employers in connection with the hiring, discipline and termination of employees, policy drafting and implementation, claims for wrongful discharge and discrimination, unemployment, FMLA and Wage & Hour violations, and EEOC, DOL, ESC, DOJ, and Title IX investigations.