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Workers Win $600,000 in Levi Lawsuit

September 10, 1997|Associated Press

A Texas jury has awarded $600,000 to five Levi Strauss & Co. employees who complained they were injured on the job and then forced back to work prematurely in a reentry program. Attorneys for the San Francisco-based jeans maker argued that the plaintiffs were seeking money, not justice. They also contended that if the employees prevailed, other companies would be discouraged from rehiring injured workers. The company is expected to appeal. "We continue to vigorously deny all the plaintiffs' allegations," said company spokesman Clarence Grebey. The five employees, among more than 100 who are suing the company, said they went back to work after company executives threatened them with dismissal. They also alleged they were subjected to inhumane conditions in a program the company touted as a way to get formerly productive employees back to work at one of seven El Paso plants. The $600,000 compensatory damages were awarded for lost wages, lost fringe benefits and mental anguish.

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