LOS ANGELES (Aug. 16)
A jury in Los Angeles has awarded $2.2 million to a man who said his supervisors at a major defense contractor called him a “cheap Jew” as well as other anti-Semitic slurs for nine years.
Jeffrey Graber, 41, testified that he was frequently harassed during his service with Litton Guidance and Control Systems.
As a result, he developed digestive problems and eventually was put on permanent disability leave because of severe depression, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In a typical incident, Graber said, supervisor Jean Wood called him a “cheap Jew” for not contributing to a Christmas gift. Another time, when Graber told co-workers about a good deal he had gotten on a watch, Wood observed that he “must have Jewed (the seller) down.”
Graber started working at Litton’s photocopying and binding center in 1985 and left in 1994 on full disability for psychological problems caused by the supervisors’ abuse, Graber’s lawyer, James Leonard Brown, said.
Graber said he stuck it out for nine years because he didn’t want to lose a steady job with good benefits.
Graber, who has moved back to his home state of Michigan, told the Los Angeles Times that the supervisors also made constant racist remarks and jokes about Polish, Mexican and African American employees.
In its judgment, which has not yet been confirmed by the judge in the case, the jury found that each of the three supervisors was liable for $10,000 in damages. The jury also assessed Litton more than $555,000 for loss of wages and emotional distress, and more than $1.6 million in punitive damages.
Litton did not comment on the case, but in court testimony, Wood and two male supervisors said they did not know that Graber was Jewish.
“The reason I did this is because I wanted to stop this from happening in the workplace. I didn’t do it for the money,” Graber said. “I didn’t think those things happened at a big company like that.”