Slow Path to Justice for Dismissed Employee

The path to justice can be long and slow when the defendant is some corporate goliath. Michael Winston sued Bank of America claiming that he had been fired for resisting wrongful practices by its subsidiary, Countrywide Financial. A jury agreed with him in February 2011 and he won a $3.8 million verdict.  Bank of America has appealed, and Winston has so far collected nothing.

The trial testimony by some of the company's top people raised some real credibility problems. The company's top human resources person testified that Winston was a problem employee and "not a team player." But a performance evaluation written by the same HR person shortly before Mr. Winston's dismissal reported that he had “done well to build relationships with key members of senior management and continues to do so,” that “Michael strives to be a team player,” and that he “is absolutely focused on process improvement in his areas and has been working tirelessly to do so since he’s been on board.” This sounds like someone who is and has been a team player.

More about this case, unusual only in that it involved a high-ranking employee of a notable company, can be read in the New York Times: He Felled a Giant, but He Can't Collect.

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