Ex-AutoZone worker awarded $185M in gender lawsuit

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SAN DIEGO – A federal jury ruled AutoZone Stores Inc. should pay $185 million to a female employee who complained about gender and pregnancy discrimination.

Rosario Juarez claimed she was demoted from a management position at a store in San Diego in 2006 after she became pregnant. She was fired after filing a lawsuit challenging her demotion.

On Monday, Juarez was awarded $185 million in punitive damages for unlawfully demoting and firing a female employee who complained about gender and pregnancy discrimination. It was an addition to $872,000 in compensatory damages awarded to her the week prior.

AutoZone vowed to appeal the ruling, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Juarez said the company started treating her differently after she told a district manager in 2005 that she had become pregnant.