Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Williams v. Alhambra School District No. 68

United States District Court, D. Arizona

June 28, 2019

Karen Williams, Plaintiff,
v.
Alhambra School District No. 68, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          G. MURRAY SNOW, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Karen Williams' request for front pay and backpay. For the following reasons, the Court will issue an award of $37, 992.06 dollars in backpay.

         BACKGROUND

         This action was tried to a jury for three weeks from May 28, through June 4, 2019. Plaintiffs case focused primarily on the Alhambra Elementary School District's decision not to renew Dr. Karen Williams's employment contract as superintendent of the district for a single year. On June 6, the jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff Dr. Karen Williams. The jury found school board member Ray Martinez liable on Plaintiff's claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1981. They additionally found the Alhambra Elementary School District Liable for Plaintiff's retaliation claim under Title VII. (Doc. 214). The jury awarded $198, 763 in compensatory damages and awarded $5, 000 in punitive damages against Mr. Martinez. Id.

         If Dr. Williams had continued working at Alhambra Elementary School District for the single year at issue, she would have received the following amounts in compensation: base salary of 198, 176.63, business expense allowance of 7, 500, car allowance of 8, 400 and tax deferred annuity contribution of 16, 500.[1]

         During the trial, evidence was presented of Dr. Williams' salary after she left Alhambra. (Doc. 188 at 137). In March of 2015, Dr. Williams was placed on paid leave from Alhambra school district. In April, she was informed that her contract would not be renewed. Her contract ended on June 30, 2015. At trial, Dr. Williams testified that on July 1, 2015, she began a new position that paid 110, 000 dollars annually. Her salary was then increased in July 2016 to 113, 300 dollars annually. In June of 2017, Dr. Williams voluntarily chose to go part time, accordingly took a reduced salary, did not seek other employment, and then in 2018 she voluntarily retired. She also testified that she has not sought further employment.

         When Dr. Williams began at Great Hearts Academy, she also began to receive her Alhambra Early Retirement Benefit of $26, 084.[2] On July 1, Plaintiff became eligible to receive her pension benefit, which totals $256, 000 annually. Notably, Plaintiff would not have been eligible to receive that benefit had she found employment at another publicly operated school district. Dr. Williams reported a total income of $439, 305.00 for 2015, and $351, 536.00 for 2016.

         On June 25, the Court heard argument from both sides as to whether to award front and back pay against Defendant under Title VII.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         “A plaintiff bears the burden of proving the damages caused her. These damages are determined by ‘measuring the difference between actual earnings for the period and those which she would have earned absent the discrimination by defendant.” Gotthardt v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 191 F.3d 1148, 1158 (9th Cir. 1999) (internal citations omitted). “Title VII provides courts with considerable equitable discretion to ensure adequate compensation.” Clemens v. Centurylink Inc., 874 F.3d 1113, 1115 (9th Cir. 2017); see also see Lutz v. Glendale Union High Sch., 403 F.3d 1061, 1068-69 (9th Cir. 2005) (“[T]here is no right to have a jury determine the appropriate amount of back pay under Title VII . . .. Instead, back pay remains an equitable remedy to be awarded by the district court in its discretion.”).

         “Front pay is the term used to describe damages paid as [prospective] compensation for training or relocating to another position. An award of front pay is made in lieu of reinstatement when the antagonism between employer and employee is so great that reinstatement is not appropriate.” Caudle v. Bristow Optical Co., Inc, 224 F.3d 1014, 1020 (9th Cir. 2000).

         A finding of discrimination in a Title VII case does not relieve the Plaintiff of her general duty to mitigate the resulting damages. Sias v. City Demonstration Agency, 588 F.2d 692, 696 (9th Cir. 1978); see also Thorne v. City of El Segundo, 802 F.3d 1131, 1135-1136 (9th Cir. 1986). Defendants have the burden of proving Plaintiff failed to mitigate her damages. Edwards v. Occidental Chemical Corp., 892 F.2d 1442, 1449 (9th Cir. 1990).

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.