Lucasfilm Wins Appeal in Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Lucasfilm said the ruling is a vindication of their commitment to equal employment opportunity.

Lucasfilm rejoiced over a California court's decision to reverse a pregnancy discrimination verdict against the motion picture company in 2010 that costed $1.2 million in attorney's fees. 

Marin County Superior Court Judge Lynn O'Malley Taylor originally ruled in 2010 that the $1.2 million be awarded to Julie Gilman Veronese, who lost her job as a personal assistant to San Anselmo resident and filmmaker George Lucas in 2008. Veronese, who was fired three days before she was to begin work, claimed that her termination was due to her recent announcement that she was pregnant.

The three-judge appellate panel in the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said "the jury received improper instructions and sent the case back to Marin County for retrial," according to the Marin Independent Journal. The $1.2 million in attorney fees will be vacated.

"The allegations in this case were without merit," Lucasfilm spokeswoman Lynn Hale said in an email. "Lucasfilm is committed to equal employment opportunity and has a long track record of providing a supportive work environment free of discrimination in which all employees are treated fairly. In particular, we have always championed working mothers and have exemplary programs in place to help employees start families."

In the lawsuit, at the direction of Lucas due to her pregnancy. Veronese said she had been excited to start the "job of her dreams" and would have no problem carrying out her duties.

Monday's decision was written by justices James Richman, Paul Haerle and James Lambden. Veronese has 15 days to ask the judges to reconsider. If she decides to petition the California Supreme Court, she has 40 days.

"It's so upsetting that three men in a position of power could think this way in 2012," Veronese's attorney and mother-in-law Angela Alioto told the Marin IJ. "No pregnant woman is safe in the workplace with this attitude, the attitude of these three men."

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