Keller Prevails in Pregnancy Discrimination Trial

Jun 28, 2019

(WB) - A Napa County jury on Wednesday ruled in favor of The French Laundry and Chef Thomas Keller in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee.

Vannessa Scott-Allen, 28, a former captain at Per Se in New York, filed a lawsuit in 2016 after she was denied a transfer to The French Laundry earlier that year because she was pregnant. The complaint was for $5 million. The allegations included pregnancy discrimination, fraud and misrepresentation. 

For every allegation, nine members of the 12-member jury voted in favor of Keller and the other defendants, including The French Laundry and its general manager, Michael Minnillo. Civil juries do not have to be unanimous. The claimss included alleged gender/sex/pregnancy discrimination; intentional misrepresentation; concealment; and solicitation of employee for misrepresentation. Deliberations lasted about 1 1/2 days.

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