NM jury awards $280,000 to employee who claimed his boss pushed religion on him
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A New Mexico jury has awarded $280,000 in damages to a water utility worker who claimed he was passed over for promotions because he resisted his supervisor's religious proselytizing.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that James Chavez won an $180,000 award on his claim that his supervisor retaliated against him for the exercise of his First Amendment rights and another $100,000 in punitive damages for the supervisor's conduct.
Chavez is a senior engineer at the water utility.
His lawsuit said John Stomp, then his supervisor and now chief executive of the water utility, is devoutly religious, often tried to discuss his beliefs in the workplace and tried to get Chavez to attend his church.
A lawyer for the utility says the water authority is reviewing its options.