After a two and a half week trial before the Honorable Steve Locke in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in the matter of Adan Abreu v. VERISON, et al, a ten person jury determined that Mr. Abreu had been the victim of race, color and national origin discrimination and retaliation. After deliberation a day and a half, on March 26, 2019, they awarded Mr. Abreu $2,655,000 for his damages, including lost overtime, severe emotional distress and punitive damages.
In July of 2012 Mr. Abreu was moved from Fire Island for allegedly not wearing his VERISON Company shirt. He brought a complaint to the New York State Division of Human Rights who found that their investigation revealed that the "dress code was not regularly enforced." Further, the Division of Human Rights found "white employees were not reprimanded for not wearing their Shirt or wearing shorts as they reprimanded [Mr. Abreu]." Also the Division of Human Rights found that, "other employees committed more serious infractions, but were either not transferred from Fire Island to a different location or were reinstated to Fire Island." After Mr. Abreu filed an internal complaint of discrimination with his then employer, he was penalized and retaliated against for expressing his opposition to VERISON's discriminatory practices.
Despite this finding, VERISON refused to correct its mistreatment of Mr. Abreu and he was forced to file his Federal law suit. After years of litigation, this Federal Jury of four women and six men found just what the State Division of Human Rights found and further found that the discrimination committed by VERISON, Dave Lucas and Rick Francis was worth a finding of punitive damages.
As a result of his mistreatment, this 28 year veteran of VERISON and former U.S. Marine ex-Marine lost overtime pay and was diagnosed with severe anxiety, depression and PTSD. "The award of $2,655,000 serves as a lesson to corporations, big and small that people have rights and that there is a price to be paid when you abuse people and discriminate against them", said Frederick K. Brewington, Mr. Abreu' s attorney. A copy of the Verdict Sheet and Federal Complaint are attached.