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February 28, 2012 / Admin

ASU To Pay Million Dollar Verdict to Employees

Three female employees of ASU can breathe a sigh of relief now after being awarded a million dollar verdict in a harassment suit they filed against their employer, Alabama State University. Cynthia Williams, Jacqueline Weatherly and Lydia Burkhalter sued the university alleging that a female administrator was responsible for creating a “hostile work environment” for them.

In the suit, the three female coworkers alleged that Lavonette Bartley, an ASU employee for about 27 years, created a racially-hostile work environment for them. Once the women filed the negative complaints about their boss, Bartley allegedly retaliated and fired all three.

On  February 17, 2012, the jury found in favor of Burkhalter on the separate claims of sexual harassment allegedly attributed to Bartley. The million dollar verdict was intended to compensate the plaintiffs for emotional pain and mental anguish, along with back pay for Williams and Burkhalter and lost leave time for Weatherly. Following the entry of verdict, ASU released the following statement :

“Alabama State University was extremely disappointed to learn of the jury’s decision in federal court; however, we respect the jury and thank them for their civil service. We maintain our position that the allegations were baseless. The University and its legal team will review the next best steps forward, including, but not limited to, appeal options.”

If you believe that you have been the victim of racial, sexual, or other harassment at the workplace, please contact Khorrami LLP at for a consultation.

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