A jury has awarded $95 million against Aaron’s Inc. in a sexual harassment lawsuit. The Complaint was filed by a former employee of the Fairview Heights branch against her boss. The jury said the woman, whose life struggles became part of the case, is entitled to $95 million in compensation. A cap on damages in federal sexual harassment cases will reduce that to about $41.6 million. Ashley Alford, the Plaintiff, will receive $15 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages. The rent-to-own company, which formerly operated as Aaron Rents, says it will appeal. The company operates a chain of more than 1,800 stores.
The EEOC and Aaron’s entered a consent decree in December 2009 in which the company agreed not to discriminate against employees or subject them to sexual harassment or retaliate against them for reporting harassment. It also provided St. Louis area managers three hours of sexual harassment training, among other requirements. The company, based in Atlanta, has 1,146 corporate-owned stores and 664 franchise stores in 48 states, and more than 10,000 employees. David S. Ratner, managing partner of Morelli Ratner PC, a law firm with offices in New York and New Jersey, represented Ms. Ford in this case and did a good job.
Source: Saint Louis Times Today
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