$10 million was given to a former health care executive because he was fired, and the company said they were trying to make it more diverse.
The company Novant Health argued that the former executive David Duvall was fired because the people in charge did not have a lot of confidence that he could do a good job. The people in charge of Novant Health had different reasons for firing him, but they did not have anything to do with his race or how he identifies as a person.
A federal jury found that race and sex were motivating factors in his termination. Novant Health failed to prove that they would have fired him regardless of those factors.
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The jury awarded $10 million in punitive damages to Mr. Duvall. The judge will probably reduce the amount to a smaller sum because Title VII of the Civil Rights Act limits punitive damages for employers with more than 500 employees.
The jury awarded Mr. Duvall $10 million in punitive damages. The amount of the award will likely be reduced by the trial judge, according to Sachin S. Pandya, a professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law. He said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act caps punitive damages at $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees.
Mr. Duvall’s lawyer said that he also has a discrimination claim under North Carolina law that does not have a $300,000 cap because it differs from federal law. The hearing will happen in 30 days to decide how much back pay and front pay to award him.
Two years after Mr. Duvall filed a federal lawsuit, the judge ruled that Novant Health fired him because of his race and gender. This is against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, color, or sex.
The jury agreed that Mr. Duvall was fired solely because he was of a different race and gender. They agreed with him and said it was not fair.
He said that the jury was made up of six women and two men. Six were white, one was Hispanic, and the forewoman was Black.
Mr. Duvall’s lawsuit was not against diversity and inclusion programs.
A jury said that employers could not fire people based on their race or gender to create opportunities to achieve diversity targets. The lawsuit was only about the need for the employer to run the program lawfully.
Novant Health disagreed with the verdict. Novant Health is very upset about the verdict. We think it is not supported by the evidence at trial, including our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination. We will appeal next few weeks and months.
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Novant (a non-profit organization with more than 35,000 employees) said that the verdict would not affect its diversity efforts.
Novant Health is one of many organizations to put in place programs that are designed for diversity. One of these programs is inclusion, which includes all races and genders, including white men. After the jury decided on something else, Novant Health still stands by this commitment.
When Novant Health hired Mr. Duvall, he was a successful business person. He had a career in marketing and public relations.
Novant Health fired him on July 30, 2018, without warning. They ordered him off the property immediately.
Mr. Duvall said that his boss had told him that he was being terminated, but it had nothing to do with his work performance. His boss said that he had done everything asked of him and more, according to the lawsuit. Mr. Duvall’s job performance was very highly rated both internally and externally, according to the lawsuit.
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Instead, Mr. Duvall said his firing was because of “twisted intentions.”
Novant Health signed their name to a commitment by health care systems in the US. This led to a commitment to diversity and inclusion, which means they will be making people of all types feel welcome.
This means that by 2018, Novant Health had to start relying on racial and gender targets to reshape its workforce and leadership, so it looked like the people in the community.
Mr. Duvall got fired and was replaced by a white woman and a Black woman, and other white men also lost their jobs without warning.
Novant Health said that Duvall’s claims were not based on anything real. It was just speculation.
Mr. Duvall was expected to be good at his job, not just average or good. He was a senior vice president, and Novant Health said this in court papers.
Mr. Duvall did what he was told to do, but over time he showed that he is not special or a good successor to his boss.”
When someone is in charge, they have to speak publicly in front of the board of directors. When Mr. Duvall couldn’t do that, the chief executive thought he could not command them well.
Mr. Duvall’s boss did not think he was good at collaborating with others. Mr. Duvall missed a meeting about the patient experience, Novant Health said.
The boss of Mr. Duvall thought that David’s position in the company needed someone else in it because he could do better.
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