The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN FULLAM, Senior District Judge
After a non-jury trial, I entered an Adjudication on February 6,
2003, finding in favor of the plaintiff on his claim that he had been
fired for complaining about racial discrimination, and awarding him
$24,000 in back-pay. Plaintiff promptly filed a Motion to Amend the
Judgment and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, seeking an increase
in the amount of the award; but, for some unexplained reason, plaintiff's
motion (and defendant's subsequent response) languished in the clerk's
office and I was not made aware of their filing.
Plaintiff contends that there was no evidence to support my finding
that, even if the retaliatory discharge had not occurred, plaintiff's
employment by the defendant would likely not have continued for more than
a year, because plaintiff would have been fired for some other, perfectly
legitimate, reason. Plaintiff therefore argues that he should have been
awarded back-pay for the entire period from the date of his retaliatory
discharge until trial, and should have been awarded
front-pay and punitive damages. I reject these arguments. There was
ample evidence in the record of plaintiff's frequent clashes with
supervisory personnel, his constant insubordination and his general
dissatisfaction with his employment by the defendant. Indeed, the manner
in which plaintiff made the claim of racial discrimination which
triggered his discharge was tinged with insubordination; my finding of
retaliation was a close call. I adhere to the view that plaintiff's award
should be limited to one year of back-pay.
I do, however, agree with plaintiff on one point: Plaintiff is entitled
to pre-judgment interest on the back-pay award. My failure to include
pre-judgment interest was simply an oversight. The award will therefore
be amended accordingly.
AND NOW, this ___ day of January 2004, upon consideration of
plaintiff's Motion to Amend the Judgment, Findings of Fact and
Conclusions of Law, and defendant's response, IT IS ORDERED:
1. Plaintiff's motion is DENIED, except to the extent that plaintiff
seeks pre-judgment interest on the initial award.
2. The judgment heretofore entered on February 5, 2003, in the amount
of $24,000, is increased by the addition of pre-judgment interest in the
sum of $6,376, for a total judgment in the sum of $30,376.
3. Plaintiff may seek an award of counsel fees within ten days.
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