$485K judgment awarded against Catholic nonprofit

  • Wed May 2nd, 2012 3:32pm
  • News

Herald Staff

SEATTLE — A federal jury awarded an Everett woman $485,0000 Monday after finding that Catholic Community Services of Western Washington wrongfully fired her because of her overseas military deployment.

Grace Campbell had been an active member of the National Guard during more than 10 years working for Catholic Community Services, a nonprofit outreach of the Catholic Church.

Campbell alleged that she was subjected to hostile treatment at her Everett workplace, starting in 2006, after a deployment to the U.S.-Mexico border. The discrimination continued after her return, she said, despite efforts to resolve it.

The agency fired Campbell in March 2008, as she was preparing to deploy to Iraq. She served there from October 2008 to August 2009, returning without civilian work. Tacoma attorneys James Beck and Andrea McNeely represented her in the suit she filed in 2010.

Catholic Community Services, in a statement, expressed deep disappointment in the verdict. Campbell’s termination owed not to her military service, the nonprofit said, but to violating client confidentiality policies.