Odessa Woman Wins $600,000 Verdict in Sex Discrimination Case Against UPS
MIDLAND, Texas – A federal court jury in Midland, Texas, has awarded a $600,000 verdict against United Parcel Service (UPS) in a sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a former driver for the package-delivery giant.
The verdict represents the culmination of a four-year legal battle between Odessa resident Amber Ibarra and Atlanta-based UPS (NYSE:UPS). The company fired Ms. Ibarra in 2009 after she was involved in an on-the-job single-vehicle accident, although she argued that the accident was simply an excuse, and that she actually was fired because she is a woman. The jury agreed, awarding a six-figure verdict against UPS.
“We always felt that if we could get a jury of Amber’s peers to hear this case, to hear what happened to her, and how she was treated, we would be fine,” says Midland attorney Holly Williams of the Williams Law Firm, P.C., who represented Ms. Ibarra at trial along with attorney Brian Carney. “The jurors agreed with us that women should be treated equally in the workplace, and I believe they intended to send a message with their verdict.”
In the 2009 accident, Ms. Ibarra was driving a UPS truck when it hopped a curb and hit a telephone pole, causing no injuries. Trial witnesses testified that several male UPS drivers from the same facility in Odessa were allowed to keep their jobs despite being in far worse accidents, including two accidents involving fatalities and others involving serious injuries.
Trial testimony also showed that UPS managers gave Ms. Ibarra more packages to deliver than her male counterparts, including one incident when a manager set aside six 100-pound packages for Ms. Ibarra to deliver between 9:30 and 10 p.m. even though she was pregnant at the time.
Jurors also heard how Ms. Ibarra and other women at the Odessa facility were subjected to a pattern of repeated insults and harassment based on their gender, including testimony that male managers did not want women working at UPS based on their perception that women were weaker and slower and because they had menstrual periods.
Williams Law Firm, P.C. is a boutique law firm in Midland, Texas, dedicated to representing companies and individuals in the Permian Basin who want to prevent and resolve workplace issues. Holly Williams is board certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. For more information, visit http://www.williamslawpc.com.