Posted On: February 29, 2012

Arkansas Employment Discrimination

A recent Arkansas employment case was decided by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. An Arkansas jury found in favor of plaintiff on her Title VII claims of race discrimination and constructive discharge against a school district and members of the school board. The jury awarded her compensatory damages, wage and fringe benefits, and punitive damages. The trial court granted the Defendants' motion and reduced her award. The Plaintiff subsequently appealed the district court's judgment and findings. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals held the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence for a jury to conclude defendant was constructively discharged. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's decision to grant the Rule 50 motion regarding that claim. The Appeals Court held that the jury was not instructed to consider whether the individual Board members affirmatively proved ignorance of federal law when discriminating against defendant on the basis of her race. Therefore, the 8th Circuit reversed the Arkansas district court's Rule 50 order vacating the punitive damage award and remanded this issue to the Arkansas court. The opinion can be found here. If you have any questions concerning your employment, please contact an Arkansas employment lawyer.