Plaintiff was employed in the Multnomah County Sheriff?s Office, and was eventually promoted to HR Manager. ?She took FMLA leave ion 2002 and again in 2005. ?On June 13, 2005, she was notified that her position would be eliminated. She? was? transferred? to? a? lower? paying? position. She continued to take FMLA leave, and then received an unfavorable performance review. ?The County then terminated her from employment.
Plaintiff filed suit under the FMLA alleging retaliation.? ?The jury awarded $250,000 in back pay and $1,551,000 in front pay.? ?The Court declined to award liquidated damages. ?On a post trial motion, the Court vacated the jury?s award of front pay, and awarded $267,000 instead.? ?The Plaintiff appealed the vacation of the front pay and the denial of liquidated damages.
In a case of first impression the Ninth Circuit decided that ?under the FMLA, front pay is an equitable remedy that must be determined by the court, both as to the availability of the remedy and the amount of any award?.???? ?The Court distinguished Cassino v. Reinhold Chemical, an ADEA case as dicta. ?The Court remanded on the issue of liquidated damages because of a lack specific findings to support the employer?s good faith.?? ?Traxler ?v. ?Multnomah ?County, ?596 ?F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. 2010) (McKeown, Hawkins, Bybee).