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Ex-executive wins lawsuit claiming gender bias

By Brandigal (Donna)     Feb 14, 2007 in Business
A NewJersey woman was awarded more than $9M after being denied promotion and then fired from Roseland firm when she started the lawsuit.
Joyce Quinlan a former executive at the Curtiss-Wright Corp was awarded more than $9 million by a jury after she was fired for taking legal action against them for being denied a promotion because she was female.
She was awarded $4.56 million in punitive damages, on top of $4.56 million in compensatory damages but will not see any of the money yet because the firm is appealing the decision.
The company claims they have a lot of women in the upper management ranks and that she was fired after she she copied 1,830 company documents and turned them over to Mullin and his co-counsel, Nancy Erika Smith, in preparation for the lawsuit. Many of the documents contained confidential personnel information that should not have left the company, and she was denied promotion because her experience was largely limited to benefits.
The lawyers for Quinlan offered to settle the case in mid trial for a lot less than what was awarded but that Curtiss-Wright would not even respond.
The lawsuit claimed the company kept women out of the top executive positions but that Quinlan was the only woman reporting to Martin Benante, chairman and chief executive officer of the company where she worked but that he had limited contact with her when he took the position in 1999 even though she had been the top human resources executive under the previous CEO, David Lasky. Benante excluded her from social events afforded male executives and hired a man with fewer qualifications and less experience when a decision was made to centralize the human resources functions of various company divisions
She had been with the company for 24 years and when she started she was making $20,000 and when the lawsuit was filed she was earning $200,000.
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