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Pollard v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

United States Supreme Court
532 U.S. 843 (2001)


Sharon Pollard (plaintiff) sued her former employer, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (DuPont) (defendant), for being subjected to a hostile work environment on the basis of her gender in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Act), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. At trial, the federal district court found that Pollard had been subjected to coworker sexual harassment and that her supervisors were aware of the sexual harassment, which had resulted in a medical leave of absence and eventual dismissal. The district court awarded Pollard $107,364 in back pay and benefits, $252,997 in attorney’s fees, and $300,000 in compensatory damages. The $300,000 for compensatory damages was the maximum permitted under the statutory cap for compensatory damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1981a(b)(3). The district court’s award included front pay, or lost compensation for the period between judgment and reinstatement or in lieu of reinstatement. DuPont appealed, arguing that front pay was excluded from compensatory damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1981a(b)(3). The court of appeals affirmed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)

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