Tulsan Wins Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Monday, February 26th 2007, 12:57 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa woman wins a gender discrimination lawsuit against her old employer. The News on 6’s Emory Bryan reports the verdict against the Progressive Insurance Company was for more than $60 million.

Kelly Grant lives in Tulsa now, but she filed the lawsuit over what happened to her at the insurance company's office in Norman. Grant says she was being promoted through the company, but that stopped when a new boss, a man, started demoting her and she was eventually fired.

Grant says she's happy at her new job working for a law firm, but for the last three years she's been in court suing her old employer, Progressive Casualty Insurance. Grant says she was moving up through the company, and made $100,000 her last year at the company, but the promotions stopped when her new boss was hired.

“Up throughout the ranks of upper management who were all men, and I was the only female manager in Oklahoma from the time I started in ‘96 to the time I was effectively terminated in 2004,” said Grant.

A federal jury agreed Grant was the target of discrimination, and last week issued a verdict against Progressive for $60 million. Because of limits on punitive awards, Grant figures she'll see no more than a million dollars at most, including what the jury awarded her for lost wages.

“Now this is vindication and redemption and hopefully a voice for women,” said Grant.

Grant says even though the company won't have to pay as much as the jury wanted, she hopes it's enough to encourage women to fight discrimination and enough to help stop it at the workplace.

She believes she gave the company plenty of chances to make things right before the lawsuit was ever filed.

"And it got taken away from me for no reason except that they were discriminating against women and then they tried to lie about it," she said.

The company said it doesn't respond to cases that might involve pending litigation, and would not say if they intend to appeal the verdict.