David Duvall former white executive at North Carolina Novant Health wins $10 million in reverse discrimination lawsuit after he is fired to make way for a black woman and white woman.
David Duvall, a former senior vice president of marketing and communication at Novant Health, was awarded the money by a federal jury in Charlotte on Tuesday FOX46 reports.
In his lawsuit, filed in 2019, Duvall had alleged that he was pushed out of his job without warning or explanation in July 2018 as the company tried to diversify top leadership positions.
‘We are pleased that the jury agreed that Duvall’s race and gender were unlawful factors in his termination — that he was fired to make room for more diverse leaders at Novant,’ his attorney, S. Luke Largess, said in a statement to the Winston-Salem Journal.
‘Duvall was a strong advocate of diversity at Novant. We believe the punitive damages award is a message that an employer cannot terminate and replace employees in order to achieve greater diversity in the workforce,’ he added.
At what cost workplace diversification?
According to the suit, Duvall said he had unfairly ended up being replaced by one Black woman and one White woman.
Duvall accused Novant of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits race and gender discrimination in the workplace.
The jury sided with Duvall, and said Novant Health failed to prove that it would have terminated him regardless of his race.
The healthcare company had argued that Duvall was fired because he had poor leadership skills.
A rep for Novant Health said the company was disappointed by Tueday’s verdict.
‘We are extremely disappointed with the verdict as we believe it is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination,’ spokeswoman, Megan Rivers, told the Winston Salem. ‘We will pursue all legal options, including appeal, over the next several weeks and months.’
‘Novant Health is one of thousands of organizations to put in place robust diversity and inclusion programs, which we believe can co-exist alongside strong non-discriminatory policies that extend to all races and genders, including White men,’ it continued. ‘It’s important for all current and future team members to know that this verdict will not change Novant Health’s steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity for all.’