Human Capital & Careers

Level 3 Guilty of Age Discrimination

Jury Awards plaintiff $5 million in emotional distress damages, $5 million in punitive damages and $300,000 in lost salary, bonuses, and stock opti...
Stephen TaubJune 13, 2001

A federal jury in Denver issued a $10.3 million verdict against Level 3 Communications Inc. for age discrimination against an employee.

After a five-day trial, the eight-member jury awarded John Abuan $5 million in emotional distress damages, $5 million in punitive damages and $300,000 in lost salary, bonuses, and stock options.

Abuan, 53, came to Level 3 from Pacific Bell in 1997.

In a statement, Level 3 commented that it “strongly disagrees with the jury’s verdict and award in the Abuan case and intends to appeal.” It noted that the jury found for Abuan for age discrimination and company retaliation against him, but didn’t find for him in his claim of racial discrimination. Abuan is a Hispanic Filipino.

Level 3 said it is firmly committed to diversity in its workplace. It also said the “applicable law in this case provides a maximum of $300,000 for compensatory and punitive damages.”

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