A jury awarded our client Deanna McClurg $350,000 in compensatory, and $500,000 in punitive damages in an age and sex discrimination case against her former employer, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). The case was filed and tried in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri.
Ms. McClurg worked for MoDOT for over 29 years. She started as a Maintenance Worker in 1984, was soon promoted to Crew Leader, then Maintenance Supervisor, and was promoted in 1997 to the position of Regional Maintenance Supervisor. She spent the first 27 years in the Faucett maintenance building, running the entire barn operations for over 17 years.
Ms. McClurg was a true trailblazer. She was MoDOT’s first woman Maintenance Crew Leader, and first woman Maintenance Supervisor in the entire State of Missouri.
In 2010 – 2011, the Department decided to take action to significantly reduce its operating expenses, and initiated the Five Year Direction, followed by the more aggressive Bolder Five Year Direction. The Bolder plan required all Supervisors to re-apply for their own jobs, and encouraged them to apply for several jobs because their job would not be protected in the reorganization. At the time of the Bolder plan, Ms. McClurg was the only woman Maintenance Supervisor out of 50 supervisors. After the reorganization, there were none.
Ms. McClurg applied for 10 Supervisor jobs, and was rejected for all of them. MoDOT filled several of the positions with younger men, with far less experience. Many of the selected supervisors had recently documented discipline — Ms. McClurg had none. Ms. McClurg’s personnel file showed 27 years of strong performance, with absolutely no disciplinary write-ups.
When Ms. McClurg was passed over for all of the supervisor jobs, and demoted to maintenance worker, she asserted her employment rights by filing a discrimination charge under the Missouri Human Rights Act, and this lawsuit.
Update: Following our motion for attorneys fees and costs as the prevailing party, the Court entered Judgment for our client in the total amount of $1,121,857 plus interest, for her damages and attorneys fees and costs in this matter.