AutoZone ordered to pay $185M over pregnant bias
San Diego — A federal jury in San Diego has hit AutoZone with $185 million in punitive damages after finding that the company retaliated against a pregnant manager, eventually demoting and firing her.
U-T San Diego reported Tuesday that the three-woman, five-man jury also awarded Rosario Juarez $872,000 in compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional stress.
The newspaper says it is believed to be one of the largest employment law verdicts for an individual in U.S. history.
AutoZone spokesman Ray Pohlman said in an email that the company plans to appeal.
The lawsuit claimed that when Juarez became pregnant in 2005, her boss continually suggested she step down because she couldn’t handle the responsibilities of the job.
The auto-parts retailer operates about 4,000 stores across the U.S. and abroad.