MCAD Digest: Lammlin v. Seder Foods…Employee Wins Race Discrimination Case

Overview: In Lammlin v. Seder Foods, the MCAD found in favor of the Complainant and awarded back pay and emotional distress damages. This is the MCAD’s first decision in 2016. This case included direct evidence of discriminatory bias, where the Respondent testified at public hearing that he sought a “salesperson who not only spoke Spanish, but who was culturally Latino.” As expected, the hearing officer rejected Respondent’s perceived “cultural affinity” defense and applied the mixed-motive analysis. In arriving at emotional distress damages, the hearing officer noted “the meager evidence proffered regarding his emotional distress, including the absence of testimony regarding its nature, severity and duration” and ultimately characterized its award as de minimis.

Decision Date: January 20, 2016

Docket Number: 10-SEM-00741

Hearing Officer: Judith E. Kaplan

Claims: Employment discrimination based on age, disability, ethnicity

Prevailing Party: Complainant

Back Pay: $11,100

Front Pay: $0

Emotional Distress: $5,000

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