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Jackson v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 1, 2017

RICARDO JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Robert D. Mariani United States District Judge.

         I. Introduction and Procedural History

         On April 12, 2017, following a two day trial, a jury returned a verdict finding that Plaintiff, Ricardo Jackson, had proven that his race was a determinative factor in Defendant's, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, decision to terminate Plaintiff from his position as a corrections officer. As this constituted a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the jury awarded Plaintiff $62, 000 in compensatory damages. In accordance with applicable law, the issues of back pay, front pay, and reinstatement were reserved for the Court's determination. See, e.g., Donlin v. Philips Lighting N. Am. Corp. 581 F.3d 73, 78 n.1 (3d Cir. 2009). Plaintiff now moves for this Court to award back pay and prejudgment interest. (Doc, 82). Defendant opposes the method Plaintiff used to calculate back pay. (Doc. 88). For the reasons that follow, the Court will award Plaintiff $147, 326.21 in back pay and prejudgment interest.

         II. Findings of Facts

         1. On April 12, 2017, a jury found that Plaintiff proved by a preponderance of the evidence that his race was a determinative factor in Defendant's decision to terminate Plaintiff from his position as a corrections officer. (Doc 74).

         2. The last day Plaintiff was paid for working as a corrections officer by Defendant was January 4, 2011. (Exs. 6, 12, 23).

         3. At the time Plaintiff was terminated from his employment as a corrections officer, he was earning $35, 000.00 per year. (Jackson Test., April 11, 2017, Doc. 90 at 8-9).

         4. Plaintiff has requested back pay from January 5, 2011, to March 15, 2015. (Doc. 83 at1).

         5. If Plaintiff had not been terminated, Plaintiff would have earned $146, 650.00 as a corrections officer between January 5, 2011, and March 15, 2015. ($35, 000.00 per year x 4.19 years[1] = $146, 650.00).

         6. Plaintiff testified that between January 5, 2011, and March 15, 2015, he held three jobs: working for a family business, waiting tables at Cooper's restaurant, and cooking at Meshoppen Diner. (Jackson Test, April 11, 2017, Doc. 90 at 9).

         7. Plaintiff testified that he worked at his family business for two years earning $400.00 per month. (Id.).

         8. Plaintiff earned $9, 600 while working at the family business. ($400.00 per month x 12 months per year x 2 years = $9, 600.00).

         9. Plaintiff testified that he worked as a waiter at Cooper's restaurant for three to four months. (Jackson Test., April 11, 2017, Doc. 90 at 9-10). Plaintiff testified that he earned $1.82 per hour at Cooper's, worked three to four days a week, and earned $15.00 to $25.00 in tips per night. (Id. at 10).

         10. Plaintiff earned $1, 833.75 while working at Cooper's restaurant. (($1.82 per hour x 8 hours per day x 3.5 days per week x 15.16 weeks[2]) ($20.00 per day x 3.5 days x 15.16 weeks) = $1, 833.75).

         11. Plaintiff testified that he worked from May to August at Meshoppen Diner. (Jackson Test., April 11, 2017, Doc. 90 at 10). Plaintiff testified that he worked forty hours per week at that job and earned $10.00 per hour. (Id.).

         12. Plaintiff earned $6, 928.00 while working at Meshoppen Diner. ($10.00 per hour x 40 hours per week x 17.32 weeks[3] = $6, 928.00).

         13. Between January 5, 2011, and March 15, 2015, Plaintiff earned a total of $18, 361.75 from other employment. ($9, 600.00 at the family business $1, 833.75 at Cooper's restaurant $6, 928.00 at Meshoppen Diner = $18, 361.75).

         14. Between January 5, 2011, and March 15, 2015, Plaintiff earned an average of $4, 382.28 per year from other employment.[4] ($18, ...


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