The Jackson Sun reports that Dan Long accused the company of firing him in 2003 in retaliation for his complaint of racial discrimination made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2002. The lawsuit alleged that the company made a “practice of race discrimination against its African-American technicians.” According to Long’s attorney, there are at least seven other similar cases pending against Proctor & Gamble, the news report said.
The jury awarded Long $2 million in punitive damages, $500,000 for emotional pain and mental anguish, $29,000 for lost medical insurance benefits and a yet to be determined sum for lost wages that will be about $81,000, his attorney told the newspaper. A spokesman for Proctor & Gamble said the award was extravagant, saying it “grossly exceed[ed] the statutory limits.”
Proctor & Gamble argued that Long was terminated because he “falsified quality control reports,” and for allegedly falsifying his employment application, according to court documents. The company said he was using the close proximity of his firing and the EEOC complaint for the basis of his suit.
The company is considering its options for appeal.