St. Cloud auto parts chain pays $50,000 in marriage discrimination case

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The state Department of Human Rights announced that a St. Cloud auto parts chain has paid $50,000 to a former worker who was fired because her husband went to work for a competitor – the result of the state's first marriage discrimination lawsuit in a decade.

JoDee Goblirsch, of Willmar, and her then-husband both worked for Auto Value Parts when he gave his resignation notice in the spring of 2010 when he got a job with Napa Auto Parts in Olivia, Minn.

He was told by superiors that if he quit, his wife would be fired. And the company made good on the threat – on her husband’s last day of work, she was given her paycheck and asked to leave, the Star Tribune reports.

So the state successfully sued the store’s parent company, Automotive Parts Headquarters Inc., on the basis of marriage discrimination.

The company, which also paid a $5,000 fine, admitted that it fired Goblirsch because of her husband’s new job. But the company doesn't admit to discrimination. The case summary says, "The respondents deny that they violated the Minnesota Human Right Act (MHRA), and the settlement of this case does not constitute an admission of any liability of violating the MHRA or any other law, or of any wrongdoing."

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