A federal jury in New Orleans has awarded a former employee of Boh Bros. Construction $201,000 in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The lawsuit stems from a series of incidents in which former employee Kerry Woods was subject to verbal abuse and sexual taunts by a supervisor.
Woods was working on the I-10 Twin Span project which connects New Orleans and Slidell over Lake Pontchartrain.
Woods was awarded $1,000 for back pay and $200,000 for "emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life."
Boh Bros. was also ordered to pay $250,000 in punitive damages. The company plans to appeal the ruling.
The ruling came March 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The EEOC filed the suit against Boh Bros. in September 2009. The suit claimed that Woods was intimidated by the potential "loss of his job" and endured "extreme emotional distress."
The supervisor pantomimed anal sex and accused Woods of being a homosexual, the suit claimed.
After filing a harassment report within the company, Woods was transferred to a facility further away from his Mississippi home, in Chalmette. He was later fired in 2007.
Woods sought out the EEOC, which filed the suit against Boh Bros. after the parties failed to reach a settlement.
New Orleans attorneys Walter Christy, Jocob Credeur and Erin Wedge represent Boh Bros.
Houston attorney James Sacher and New Orleans attorneys Gregory Juge, Nancy Graham, and Tanya Goldman represent the EEOC.