Friday, October 12, 2012

Walmart owes $1.4 million to worker: mistreatment

Former Walmart employee Meredith Boucher, centre, walks out of Superior Court of Justice during the first day of a civil trial by jury Monday September 24, 2012

A jury on Wednesday awarded a former Walmart assistant manager $1.46 million — more than she had requested — for six months of mistreatment she suffered at the hands of a Windsor store manager three years ago.
Meredith Boucher, 42, successfully argued that she was subject to profane and insulting mental abuse from May to November 2009 from Jason Pinnock, 32, then the manager of the east-side Walmart store, including being called “a (expletive) idiot” and being made to count skids in front of others to prove she could count.

“We’re delighted for Ms. Boucher,” her lawyer Myron Shulgan said after the verdict was announced. “She championed the cause for workers and indicated that corporations will be made to respond to improper treatment of employees.”

Shulgan argued his client was subject to sexual harassment and discrimination, intentional infliction of mental suffering, and — at the hands of an assistant manager who punched her in the arm two days in a row and was subsequently fired — assault.

The jury of three men and three women, who decided that Boucher was constructively dismissed — in other words, forced out through abusive treatment — awarded her: from Walmart, $200,000 for intentional infliction of mental suffering, $1 million for punitive damages, and $10,000 for assault; and from Pinnock, $100,000 for intentional infliction of mental suffering, and $150,000 for punitive damages. She received nothing for alleged sexual harassment and discrimination.

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