A pair of former brokers for Goldman Sachs & Company’s Los Angeles offices earned $7.6 million in monetary awards after filing a wrongful termination and discrimination suit against the company. The men, Chris Barra and Luis Sampredo, received a total of $5.2 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages against the company. Barra received an additional $100,000 for the discrimination charge.
The lawsuit came about after Barra, who bears the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves, was fired from his position at Goldman Sachs. Barra had allegedly been repeatedly chastised and harassed by the branch manager in Goldman Sachs’s Los Angeles offices when he went on reserve duty. Barra and Sampredo worked together as a team at Goldman Sachs for nine years up until their firing in 2007, and filed the suit in 2010. They believe that the termination came as punishment for Barra needing to perform his military duties for the reserves.
The ruling is important for several reasons. One, it reinforces the rights available to employees when they believe they have been wrongfully terminated. Two, it is of specific importance to members of the Armed Forces, as it issues a stern warning to companies that they are not allowed to discriminate against members of the military or discourage them from taking a leave of absence to fulfill their military duties.
Barra and Sampredo now work together at UBS Financial Services. Goldman Sachs did not immediately issue any comments on the case after the decision was handed down.
For more information on how you can exercise your employee rights and protect yourself in the event of wrongful termination, speak with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.