This page is focused on wrongful termination settlements and verdicts in the state of New Mexico. It is usually unusual for good claims to go to trial, because they frequently settle out of the courtroom.
Most of these cases consist of mixed settlements, implying that they involved a single, or perhaps several claims of unlawful termination caused by whistleblower, gender discrimination, race, color, national origin, religion discrimination, workplace retaliation, age discrimination, constructive discharge, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity discrimination, firing in violation of public policy or disability.
The data listed below exhibits an overview of the different types of claims filed and their numbers in NM in 2017.
|State||2017 Total Charges||% of Total USA Charges||Race||Sex||Natl Origin||Religion||Color||Retaliation All Statutes||TVII Retaliation||Age||Disability||EPA||GINA|
Wrongful discharge and discrimination cases & settlements in New Mexico
Jennifer Smith v New Mexico Department of Health
Jennifer Smith worked for the Department of Health for 6 years when she was fired.
She blew the whistle when she reported that the department’s HIV Services Program was misspending federal funds and had accounting problems.
She was reprimanded and fired in retaliation.
She alleged that she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for her whistleblowing reports, which violates the Whitleblower Protection Act and Fraud Against the Taxpayers Act. She sued the department, and a jury awarded her $52,000 in lost wages (which was doubled by state law) and $30,642 in lost benefits. Source
EEOC v New Mexico Orthopaedics Associates
Melissa Yalch Valencia was a temporary employee working at New Mexico Orthopaedics Associates. The company was satisfied with her work, so they offered her a permanent position.
She informed her employer that she has a toddler daughter who had several disabilities, and that she would need to take some time off because of upcoming surgeries. She was fired on the same day. Her ex-employer texted her the following, “[s]orry Melissa but life isn’t fair sometimes we have no room here for a disability and I will not accommodate to one nor will NMO…”
Valencia presented this undeniable evidence of associational disability discrimination to the EEOC. The Americans with Disabilities Act makes it illegal to discriminate based on a disability of a loved one (42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(4)).
The EEOC sued the company on her behalf for wrongful termination and violating the ADA. The case was settled though a consent decree, she was paid $165,000 in damages. Source
EEOC v. BOK Financial Corporation
Elizabeth Morantes and Yolanda Fernandez, 2 women over 40, worked for the Bank of Albuquerque for many years.
They were both fired for reasons that did not apply to younger male employees, since they were not fired.
Alleging wrongful termination due to sex and age discrimination, they reported the events to the EEOC. A lawsuit was brought against the company for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
The case was settled through a consent decree, where the women received $230,000 in damages. Source
EEOC v Roberts Truck Centers
Katherine Abernathy and 3 other women were subjected to sexual harassment by their colleague, Larry Leyva. When Abernathy complained about the harassment to management. Nothing was done to stop Leyva’s harassing behavior, and Abernathy was retaliated against for speaking out and wrongfully terminated.
Sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The women contacted the EEOC, who sued the company on their behalf. The women received a total settlement of $300,000 though a consent decree. Source
EEOC v DXP Enterprises, Inc.
DXP Safety Alliance, Inc. hired Connie Brooks in 2011. A few days later, after the company learned that she had a prior back injury, she was fired. The company also made comments about her age (she was 52 at the time).
She contacted the EEOC alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The EEOC sued the company for wrongful termination due to age and disability discrimination. A consent decree was reached, where Brooks received $120,000 in damages. Source
EEOC v Wal-Mart
The law protects job applicants as well as existing employees from wrongful discrimination.
Such was the case when Ramona Bradford’s adult son and daughter applied for positions at a Wal-Mart location in Northeast Albuquerque. Bradford had previously filed a sex discrimination charge against Wal-Mart, which was the reason her children were not hired.
Title VII protects workers from retaliation for opposing discrimination. The EEOC sued Wal-Mart on the family’s behalf and a consent decree was reached. The Bradfords received a settlement of $87,500. Source
When thinking about this list of wrongful firing verdicts from New Mexico, take into account that the large amounts of money are caused by punitive damages, which are brought to prevent employers from doing the same kind of wrongful behavior. Punitive compensation is very uncommon. A large percentage of lawsuits settle for between $20,000 to one hundred thousand dollars.
This report on unlawful firing settlements and verdicts in NM is intended for informative purposes. Even though you may feel resemblance to any of these examples, do not forget that each and every single case is different.
What is the average wrongful termination settlement/award in New Mexico?
It is understandable that you would like to check just how much money you can expect to get for your unlawful discharge case. In the event that you settle, the figure you receive is generally based upon these factors: job search costs, emotional distress, benefits lost, reason of termination, medical expenses and lost earnings. Punitive damages could also be granted in rare situations, if the workplace behaved egregiously.
As you can see from the example lawsuits above, providing a typical settlement for unlawful discharge cases in NM is really difficult since every single case is different.
The average wrongful termination settlement in New Mexico is between $5,000 and $100,000. Lawyers are helpful in reaching a higher settlement.
The majority of courtroom awards tend to be bigger, approximately $100,000 to $500,000. This is certainly one reason employers like to reach settlement before going to court. Numerous years of litigation, bearing the legal costs and possibly losing the lawsuit in the end can be costly.
Filing a wrongful discharge or discrimination claim in New Mexico
If you believe you were discharged for an unlawful cause, below is information on what to do.
To start, you will want to get in touch with a wrongful termination law firm in New Mexico to see if there is a claim worth pursuing.
Don’t delay, there may be cutoff dates to filing unlawful dismissal claims in New Mexico.
Next, you’ll probably need to file a timely claim with the EEOC in Albuquerque.
Here are some pointers on filing a wrongful discharge claim.
Even though employment-at-will is the prevailing form of employment in the USA, there are laws to protect employees against unjust discrimination and harassment.
WrongfulTerminationSettlements.com was created as a compass for people who feel they have been terminated wrongfully, or discriminated against at their workplace.