"Hostile work environment" claims against Costco are upheld for nominal damages
Six black employees sued Costco alleging a hostile work environment existed in the warehouse where they worked. After a mistrial in their first trial, three of the six employees secured unanimous verdicts, although none prevailed on their illegal termination claims. All parties appealed, and the Sixth Circuit threw out the award of damages for emotional distress, holding that such damages are not properly recoverable under the law. The dissent strongly disagreed with the majority's conclusions and that these conclusions were dictated by existing precedent.
The case is Erica Betts, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation.