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$2M Pharmacist Verdict Affirmed by
MA Supreme Judicial Court
Working women across the country are celebrating a legal victory for a woman in Massachusetts. Cynthia Haddad of Pittsfield sued Walmart for gender discrimination – and won. Now, the state supreme court has upheld a multi-million dollar award for damages.
“I worked so hard to be who I was and to have that just taken away so quickly, so suddenly, gave me a lot of ammo to fight,” says Cynthia.
She’s been fighting since 2004 when she was fired from her 10-year job as a pharmacist at Walmart. She was working in the Pittsfield store when she asked her supervisors why she was earning less than her male counterparts.
They fired her for breaking ambiguous rules at the pharmacy but allowed male pharmacists to break pharmacy laws without any consequences. Her attorney says it was discrimination because she questioned her lower salary for doing the same work as male pharmacists. And she was fired for doing something that male pharmacists were allowed to do every day – leave the pharmacy area briefly to get something to eat.
“Walmart can be the largest company in the world, but for those 12 jurors, Cindy Haddad is just as important as Walmart. It’s a tremendous equalizer and the jury gets to say if she’s been wronged,” says her attorney Richard Fradette. He is also a pharmacist.
Cynthia was awarded $1 million in compensatory damages ($733,000 being front pay) and $1 million in punitive damages. Walmart fought the damages but Monday, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the ruling.
“I keep running around the corner and going ‘Yay!’ I’m obviously very relieved at this point that it’s over. We’ve been waiting a long time,” said Cynthia.