Saturday, June 03, 2006

Pfizer Loses Termination Suit

A jury has decided that Pfizer must provide back pay to a former employee, who sued the drug maker for wrongful termination of employment.

James Dotson was awarded more than $330,000, after Pfizer was convicted of violating his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act in an eight day trial. The jury based the monetary award on back pay and the cost of interfering with the adoption of a child. The jury agreed that Dotson had been wrongfully terminated after he took time off to pursue an adoption in Russia.

It took Dotson over two years to get justice. He was fired on Nov. 11, 2003, about 10 days after returning from Russia, according to his attorney, William P. Barrett in Raleigh.

"We are obviously disappointed with the verdict," said Bryant Haskins, Pfizer spokesman. "We will be evaluating our options for appeal."

According to the News & Observer, Barrett said that the jury's verdict now gives U.S. District Court Judge W. Earl Britt the right to award liquidated damages based on his discretion. Judge Britt can also decide whether Dotson should be reinstated at Pfizer or receive additional compensation for the loss of future pay.

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