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National Guard Sergeant awarded $85K for workplace discrimination

A Washington National Guard sergeant who claims she was
fired for deploying to Iraq has won a lawsuit against her
former employer, Catholic Community Services.

A federal jury in Seattle awarded Grace Campbell $485,000
Tuesday.

“I think it’s a fair and good verdict. It recognized the
situation that she had to go through and gave her justice
for the circumstance,” said Campbell’s attorney, James
Beck.

Beck said that in Feb. 2008, Campbell informed co-workers
that she was preparing to deploy to Iraq later that year
as a member of the Washington National Guard’s 81st
Brigade. She was fired on March 20, 2008.

Campbell claimed that she had been a target of harassment
and discrimination from fellow workers and management, who
resented her for her service. Beck said management
threatened to fire Campbell if, “it was learned that she
had volunteered for duty.”

“This was a situation which never should have occurred,”
Beck said in a statement. “Sergeant Campbell told her
employer about the ongoing discrimination on at least
three occasions, but there was never any formal
investigation or decisive action to stop the treatment.”

A call to Catholic Community Services of Western
Washington for comment was not immediately returned.

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