Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Triples Award in Wrongful Termination Claim
- posted: Jun. 14, 2020
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled a worker deserved more than $1 million in compensation—more than three times what a jury awarded her—after she was terminated for complaining about not getting properly compensated for securing the largest contract in the business’s history.
The court ruled Francoise Parker should have been awarded three times her lost sales commission in the jury trial, an amount that totals $1,047,295.44. She was fired in 2016 by EnerNOC, a company devoted to helping businesses improve their energy efficiency.
While still working for EnerNOC, Parker negotiated a $20 million deal with Eaton Industries. She was fired after she complained about not receiving her commission before the contract got to its opt out date, which would have resulted in her receiving a full commission plus $349,000.
She filed her initial lawsuit and won in state court and received the amount she would have been owed by the jury, but the case then went to the Supreme Judicial Court, which unanimously ruled EnerNOC must pay triple because it fired her in retaliation after she complained about not receiving what she was owed.
According to the decision, “The retaliation… had the effect of depriving the plaintiff of her right to be paid a commission under the true-up policy on the Eaton contract.”
EnerNOC petitioned the court to reverse the jury’s verdict, but was unsuccessful. It argued it should not have to triple the damages because of a policy mandating employees must continue to work for the company between the time the deal was completed and the opt out date, but the court ruled that policy to be unenforceable under the Wage Act.
For more information about the steps you should take if you’ve been a victim of wrongful termination, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.