State employee gets $3M after supervisors ignore allergies
NEVADA CITY, Calif. (AP) — A California state employee who claimed his supervisors harassed him and ignored his documented allergies to perfume and certain chemicals will receive a $3 million payout from a lawsuit he filed against the state.
After a one-month trial, a jury sided with John Barrie, an employee at California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, in Nevada County, the Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/2qTHXSe).
Barrie, 60, said that between 2010 and 2012 supervisors repeatedly ignored directives to keep perfumes and chemicals like Windex and Comet away from him. He also said that when he filed internal complaints his supervisors tried to punish him by moving him to different parts of his building, at one point putting his cubicle in the office lobby.
Barrie, who still works for the department, filed a lawsuit in 2013.
His attorney, Lawrance Bohm, said the case could have been resolved back then but that Barrie’s managers continued to isolate him.
“I actually thought this would not end up being a case. It all seemed so obvious. Why are you doing this to this guy? He’s a great employee. All you had to do was keep these chemicals out of the workplace and leave the guy alone,” Bohm said.
Liza Whitmore, a spokeswoman for the Caltrans district where Barrie works, said the department “has reviewed the decision and is weighing options for a possible appeal.”