Woman Walks off with $113K Jury Award against Lucas

July 2, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A San Francisco woman who says Lucasfilm Ltd. canceled a job offer after learning she was expecting a child has won a $113,830 jury award as a result of a trial of her 2009 lawsuit.
The San Francisco Examiner reported that Julie Gilman Veronese, 37, claimed an aide to George Lucas revoked an offer for a $75,000-a-year personal assistant position after she revealed she was pregnant.

According to the newspaper, attorneys for the billionaire filmmaker contended Veronese was hired only for a 30-day project and that the decision to cancel the work was mutual. They also argued that Veronese was a self-absorbed socialite who came to believe she was entitled to a job she never had.

The Marin County jury disagreed, finding after nearly three days of deliberations that the company famous for the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises had wrongfully terminated Veronese because of her pregnancy.

In her testimony, according to the newspaper, Veronese said Lucas’ personal assistant Sarita Patel hired her for a full-time position, which would start with a 30-day probationary period. The Friday before she was to start work, though, Veronese revealed to Patel that she had learned she was pregnant. Patel responded by telling her not to come into work, according to the newspaper report.

Defense attorneys said the 30-day period was intended to be a tryout for the full-time job, but that Veronese was deemed unfit.