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Minnesota judge awards $130,000 to women fired for gender

During the course of their career, Minneapolis residents often must handle a great deal of stress and demands from their job. While these demands can be difficult enough to deal with on their own, the situation can be far worse when employees are subject to employment discrimination.

For example, three Minnesota women recently obtained success in a lawsuit they filed after they were dismissed from their chauffeur jobs. The women were hired to chauffer a Saudi prince and his family and friends. However, the prince and his friends informed the chauffer companies that they wanted male drivers, because women are not permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, the women were dismissed from their jobs based on the request.

The women filed lawsuit against the limousine companies based on their employee rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Ultimately, a federal judge awarded the women $130,000 each, including $100,000 for mental anguish and suffering and damages for wage loss.

The case is an important example of what is and is not permissible in the workplace. Typically, employers are subject to discrimination lawsuits when they act in a discriminatory fashion out of their own volition. The case above illustrates how discrimination does not always become acceptable simply because it is based on a customer's request instead of the employer's own choice.

Employees have rights under both federal and state law that protect the employee from discrimination at the workplace. When employees' rights are violated, the employees should understand their ability to obtain legal relief and hold the employer responsible for the unlawful discrimination.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, "3 female chauffeurs win discrimination case," Jan. 30, 2016

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