Former GE Engineer Awarded $11M in Discrimination Suit

July 21, 2006 ( - A former chief engineer for General Electric Co. (GE) of Indian descent has been awarded $11 million in an age and racial discrimination lawsuit.

The Associated Press reports a six-member jury found that GE discriminated against and illegally fired Hermant Moody, awarding him $591,423 in back pay, $500,000 in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.

In the suit, Moody said he watched younger, white males pass him by in promotions and management positions since joining the company in 1998, according to the AP. He also alleged GE has not contributed to his pension fund since 1987 by maintaining a young work force and laying off or firing employees as they become older.

After Moody sent a memo on July 22, 2002 to GE’s human resources manager stating his claims of discrimination and unfair treatment, he claimed he was treated more unfairly and assigned to menial tasks. The company also complained he was absent too often. Moody suffered kidney failure and required daily dialysis.

According to the suit, Moody says he was again treated unfairly when he returned from a leave of absence in 2003. After complaining, he was reprimanded and eventually fired in March 2003.

A GE spokeswoman said the company disagrees with the verdict and plans a “vigorous” appeal, according to the news report.