Napoleon Harris v. U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Case No. 1:18-cv-03562
On September 1, 2022, our client, Napoleon Harris, won a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Department of the Army. We filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963. After a seven-day trial, the jury concluded that the Army fired Mr. Harris in retaliation for complaining about race discrimination. The jury awarded Mr. Harris $300,000 in compensatory damages, which is the maximum amount permitted under law. Senior Counsel Nekeisha Campbell represented Mr. Harris at the trial.
In March 2012, Mr. Harris began working for the Army as a civilian employee at Fort Meade, MD. In July 2013, Mr. Harris contacted an Army Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) counselor to file a race discrimination complaint. Three weeks later, the Army fired him. In the termination letter, Army supervisors accused Mr. Harris of security violations and attendance issues.
After exhausting Mr. Harris’ claims through the federal administrative EEO process, we filed a wrongful termination lawsuit on November 19, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The Army filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint, which included race discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims. In October 2019, the Court granted the motion as to the race discrimination and hostile work environment claims. However, the Court declined to dismiss the retaliation claim, noting that the Army fired Mr. Harris only three weeks after his EEO activity.
After the parties completed discovery, the Army moved for summary judgment, arguing that no reasonable jury could rule in Mr. Harris’ favor. After we submitted our legal arguments and evidence in opposition, the Court denied the Army’s Motion for Summary Judgment and scheduled the case for a jury trial.
The trial began on August 22, 2022. We called witnesses and presented evidence to challenge the Army’s alleged reasons for firing Mr. Harris. We also presented evidence that Army supervisors discussed Mr. Harris’ discrimination complaint with other employees and contractors, and that even after firing Mr. Harris, the supervisors continued to press employees for negative information about him. After deliberating for several hours, the jury reached a unanimous verdict, finding that the Army fired Mr. Harris in retaliation for his discrimination complaint. Furthermore, the jury awarded Mr. Harris $300,000.00 in compensatory damages, which is the maximum amount permitted under law.
We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Harris and our sincere gratitude to the jury.
Do you need an attorney for a wrongful termination lawsuit?
If you need experienced legal representation to file a wrongful termination lawsuit, Alan Lescht and Associates, P.C., can help. We will request evidence in discovery, respond to motions, and present evidence and witnesses in court. We represent federal employees throughout the EEO process, at hearings before EEOC administrative judges, in appeals before the Office of Federal Operations, and in federal lawsuits of discrimination and retaliation cases.