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Donlin v. Phillips Electronics North America Corp.

April 26, 2007

COLLEEN DONLIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PHILLIPS ELECTRONICS NORTH AMERICA CORPORATION D/B/A PHILLIPS LIGHTINGS COMPANY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conaboy

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiff Colleen Donlin ("Plaintiff") brought this action against Philips Electronics North America Corporation ("Defendant") where she worked as a temporary warehouse employee from May 13, 2002, to January 10, 2003, alleging discrimination on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). At the close of trial on March 8, 2007, Special Interrogatories were given to the jury asking three questions: 1) whether Plaintiff proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the reasons given by Philips Lighting for not hiring her were a pretext for discrimination and that her sex was a determinative factor in the decision not to hire her; 2) whether Plaintiff proved by a preponderance of the evidence she was entitled to back pay; and 3) whether she proved by a preponderance of the evidence she was entitled to front pay.*fn1 (See Doc. 99.)

Because the issues of front and back pay are equitable remedies to be determined by the Court, see Pollard v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 532 U.S. 843 (2001), as the Court had discussed previously with counsel, the jury verdict was advisory only as to those issues (Doc. 105 at 519).*fn2

On March 9, 2007, the jury found Defendant had discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of sex. (See Doc. 99.) In its advisory role, the jury also found Plaintiff was entitled to back pay damages of $63,050 and front pay damages of $395,795. (Id.)

Pursuant to Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, when an advisory jury is used, the Court is to set out specific findings of fact and conclusions of law as to the matters submitted to the jury on an advisory basis. In accordance with Rule 52, the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law as to the issues of back pay and front pay.

I. Findings of Fact

1. On May 12, 2002, Plaintiff was placed in the position of warehouse associate at Defendant's warehouse in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania, by Adecco, a personnel placement company. (Doc. 105 at 41-42.)

2. Plaintiff was discharged on January 10, 2003. (Doc. 105 at 43.)

3. Upon leaving Defendant's Mountaintop facility, Plaintiff collected unemployment compensation and looked for another job. (Doc. 105 at 39.)

4. Plaintiff secured a full-time position at Romark Logistics where she worked until August 2005 when she accepted a position at Mission Foods (Gruma Corporation d/b/a Mission Foods). (Doc. 105 at 74, 134.)

5. Plaintiff worked at Romark, a business about thirty miles from her house, for approximately two years. (Doc. 105 at 135.)

6. At the time of trial in March 2007 Plaintiff was employed by Mission Foods in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania, and had worked there for one and one-half years, since August 2005. (Doc. 105 at 38, 134.)

7. Plaintiff was forty years old at the time of trial and has some college education. (Doc. 105 at 37.)

8. Plaintiff estimated she would have earned at the Defendant company approximately $182,923 for the years 2003 through the first two months of 2007. (Doc. 105 at 130.)

9. Plaintiff estimated her lost pension earnings for the same period to be approximately ...


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