JENNIFER L. PASSANTINO
, and No. 97-36191
, and the marital
plaintiff, Jennifer Passantino
(hereinafter Passantino), after a
jury awarded her
, that the district court did not abuse its
discretion in admitting a taped interview into evidence, that the
district court did not err in its jury instructions, and that the
district court acted within its discretion in allocating all
front pay, backpay, and compensatory damages to Passantino's
state law claims while allocating the punitive damages to
Title VII claim.
Jennifer Passantino began working for Johnson & Johnson
Passantino started with CPI in 1979 as a Health Care
1987. In 1988, with CPI's permission, Passantino
maintained a home office, as CPI
(Most sales persons within CPI
had home offices.) Passantino
meeting with her
supervisor, Lew Williams, stated that "Jennifer
demonstrates very strong selling skills, organizational ability,
and good business judgment.
has developed the sales and
promotional plan for Key Accounts, generating 12 million dollars
in Johnson & Johnson
It added that she
As the Western regional manager, Passantino was rated the
employee with the greatest promotional potential in her
positive reviews, Passantino
began to suspect that, because of
had been passed over for several promotions for
Several events gave her
First, Williams, her
exhibited sexist behavior.
referred to women buyers as "PMS,"
"menstrual," and "dragon lady.
also stated that most women
probably just wanted to stay home.
This sexism was not limited
also testified that two co-workers,
Williams told Passantino
that she should consider looking outside
complained about the conduct of
and told her
that it was her
problem to get along with
Following the complaints by Passantino and Upshaw, the
offensive behavior of all three men increased both in degree and
1993 performance report was
with peers."1 From this point on, Passantino
slighted when trying to speak, and was the subject of derision
generally -- co-workers rolled their eyes at her
there were side-bar conversations among other managers that
In short, after Passantino
longer taken seriously.2
Johnson's reorganization, Passantino
expressed interest in a
that year, Passantino
learned about three newly-created positions
(National Commissary Manager, Director of Trade Marketing, and
between them and Passantino
did not give them a reduced
In November 1994, Passantino
contacted CPI's EEO officer and
was warned several times that if she
made a complaint, she
have to "live with the burden of coming forward" because the
decision to complain "could have many ramifications.
of these warnings, Passantino
formally complained to Doug Soo Hoo
analysis in order to see if there was any truth to Passantino's
suspicion that she
was being paid less than similarly-situated
testified that Soo Hoo never provided
In December, 1994, Passantino
decided to lodge a formal
responded that the military market was an "old boy network" in
which it was hard for women to be successful.
directly if she
was a sexist.
A second meeting was held in February, also in New Jersey.
First, Williams and Hogan conducted Passantino's
Then, Hogan told Passantino
never saw this analysis, a
salary analysis document was placed in her
document falsely reported that Kenan -- one of Passantino's
asserts that these ratings were fabricated in order to
and Upshaw testified that they understood this to be a
remained unsatisfied with CPI's response to her
experienced a range of retaliatory acts by CPI
, making it
nearly impossible for her
to perform her
also testified that other actions
were taken which undermined her
Williams became distant and communicated less with her
, that she
received product and sales information late, and that she
out on bonuses (including an award trip) and sales opportunities
as a result.
stated that Williams made
comments demeaning her
participation in the policy groups that
had joined, even though she
had joined them upon his
suggestion, in order to enhance her
advancement within the
testified, and provided documentary corroboration
to prove, that prior to her
regarded as well-qualified for promotion into upper management.
complaints, and particularly after her
complaint, however, it was a different story.
obvious sign that, as Passantino
put it, she
was "losing ground."
For some unexplained reason, Williams was instructed to send his
evaluations of Passantino
and Upshaw to Hogan, the Vice
also retaliated against Passantino
by offering her
demotions, without always making clear that the jobs offered were
After initiating her
received three offers of district manager positions.
rejected these jobs as demotions.
Then, in August 1995, she
possibility of layoffs in the immediate future, Passantino
accepted on the condition that CPI
one year of
employment, absent cause for termination, as insurance against
the inherently risky undertaking.
In March 1996,
rejected a district manager position in Los Angeles
offered a demotion to a position as a sales administration
manager, with a much lower salary range.
In this position, she
would have lost her
company car, had no opportunity for
commissions, and would have had to live in a more expensive area.
accepted the position, however, on the condition that
receive a year of guaranteed employment.
Again rejecting her
offered to Passantino
because it was one of the jobs involved in
rejected another position which was
a step back with no potential for salary growth.
During the same
period, on a different occasion, when Passantino
interest in a new military marketing position, Williams told her
should not be interested in that position because it paid
less, even though in fact that position paid $20,000 more than
the position she
held at the time.
Ultimately, Hogan told Passantino
that because she
to accept these district manager positions (which were
would not be considered for higher positions.
also told her
decision not to accept the demotions meant
could be deemed no longer promotable.
did not receive any further offers.
Throughout this period, which followed her
executives were repeatedly vague about whether positions offered
were promotions, demotions, or lateral transfers.
never knew if she
was considering a
job that would improve her
prospects or effectively end her he
called them laterals.
Others in the corporation told her
that these jobs would be demotions.
The same dissembling and her
career's advancement opportunities.
testified that, as a result of this stressful
series of events, she
constantly worried, cried, and felt trapped
was forced to spend less time with her
family because she