United States District Court, D. Arizona
MURRAY SNOW, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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.
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.
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
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
Dr. Williams began at Great Hearts Academy, she also began to
receive her Alhambra Early Retirement Benefit of $26,
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.
25, the Court heard argument from both sides as to whether to
award front and back pay against Defendant under Title VII.
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.”).
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).
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.