WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A Maryland jury has returned a verdict for Evangeline Parker, represented pro bono by Fish & Richardson and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, in a case alleging sex-based discrimination and violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by her former employer, Reema Consulting Services, Inc. The jury awarded Parker $725,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for being subjected to a hostile work environment based on sex, and for being fired for speaking up about the hostile environment.
“Ms. Parker was a star performer, with an exemplary professional record, who followed policy after being the target of harassment born of false rumors. We’re thankful the jury got this right, sending a strong message that this type of behavior is unacceptable,” said Fish Principal Daniel Tishman, who represented Parker in this case.
In her complaint, Parker outlined clear allegations of sex-based discrimination, mainly that a male co-worker concocted a false rumor that she had “slept her way to the top,” and her attempts to resolve the resulting harassment she faced from her superiors, co-workers, and subordinates resulted in her retaliatory termination. The jury awarded Parker $340,000 in compensatory damages, as well as $385,000 in punitive damages.
The Maryland jury ruling follows a monumental 2019 decision secured by Fish and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in the case at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which set forth powerful precedent that clarifies and strengthens Title VII protections against sex stereotyping for the many unfortunate victims throughout the country.
“Ms. Parker was a model employee who, upon following protocol against false accusations, was fired while her harassers were protected. This decision exonerates Ms. Parker and sends a clear message to any employer who would penalize a woman for standing up for herself and her rights,” noted Joanna Wasik, counsel at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
Fish attorneys are dedicated to serving the communities in which they live and work, and pro bono work is an integral part of the firm’s professional culture. Fish believes that the practice of law is a privilege that carries with it the responsibility to provide pro bono legal services to those who cannot afford to pay. In 2020, nearly 75% of the firm’s attorneys took part in pro bono projects, resulting in roughly 22,000 pro bono hours dedicated firmwide.
The case is Parker v. Reema Consulting in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. In addition to Tishman, the Fish team included principals Andrew Kopsidas and Ahmed Davis and associates Taylor Burgener and Tracea Rice, among others.
About Fish & Richardson
Fish & Richardson, a premier global intellectual property law firm, is sought after and trusted by the world’s most innovative brands and influential technology leaders. Fish offers patent prosecution, litigation, trademark, and copyright counseling and advocacy for a broad range of client needs. Our deep bench of attorneys with first-chair trial experience in every technology makes us the go-to firm for the most technically complex cases. We have an established reputation as a top-tier firm for patent portfolio planning, strategy, and prosecution, as well as post-grant proceedings at the PTAB. Fish was established in 1878, and now has more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists in the U.S., Europe, and China. Our success is rooted in our creative and inclusive culture, which values the diversity of people, experiences, and perspectives. For more information, visit fr.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
About the Washington Lawyers’ Committee:
Founded in 1968, The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs works to create legal, economic and social equity through litigation, client and public education, and public policy advocacy. While we fight discrimination against all people, we recognize the central role that current and historic race discrimination plays in sustaining inequity and recognize the critical importance of identifying, exposing, combatting, and dismantling the systems that sustain racial oppression. For more information, please visit www.washlaw.org or call 202.319.1000. Follow us on Twitter at @WashLaw4CR.