The opinion of the court was delivered by: STERN
The facts of Kyriazi "s individual case, as found by this Court, together with the facts found in the class case, are set forth in Kyriazi v. Western Electric, supra. Briefly, as they pertain to the individual claim, they may be summarized as follows.
Kyriazi, a native of Greece, received a B.S. in Economics from the School of Economics in Athens, Greece in 1952. She emigrated to the United States in 1958. In 1961 she received a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University and in 1965 she received a Master of Industrial Engineering Degree, also from Columbia. She was hired by Western in 1965 as an engineer in the Information Systems field at Western's headquarters in New York, and was transferred to the Industrial Engineering organization of Western's Kearny plant in February, 1966. In May, 1967, she was promoted to the position of Industrial Engineer and in February, 1969, she was transferred to the Information Systems organization at Kearny, where she held the position of Information Systems Staff member. She remained in that capacity until she was fired on November 19, 1971.
As this Court observed of Western's treatment of Kyriazi in connection with the liability stage of Kyriazi "s individual case:
From the very first, Kyriazi's experience with Western was fraught with difficulties. . . . (T)he Court finds that upon her transfer to the Kearny plant, Kyriazi encountered the top-to-bottom discriminatory sex policies of Western; that she refused to function within the sex segregated role expected of an employee at Western; that she actively protested and rebelled against what she perceived to be the unfair treatment of women at Western; and that in return she was denied promotion, discriminated against by her superiors, unfairly denied salary increases, subjected to odious personal harassment by fellow workers and, finally, fired when, instead of complying with her employer's ultimatum that she seek psychiatric help, she formally complained of sex discrimination.
461 F. Supp. at 924-26. Accordingly, after resolving much of the conflicting evidence in Kyriazi's favor, the Court found that Kyriazi was underpaid, that she was harassed by her co-workers, that she was denied promotions all on account of her sex and that she was ultimately terminated by Western both on account of her sex and in retaliation for having lodged a formal complaint of sex discrimination. In addition, the Court found that the individual defendants, Kyriazi's supervisors and co-workers during the period in question, were liable to her under state law for tortious interference with her contract of employment based upon the odious personal harassment they inflicted on her during her tenure at the Information Systems organization at Kearny.
This Court has already found that Kyriazi is entitled to back pay from Western and to reinstatement at the level where she would have been had she not been the victim of discrimination. In order to determine the back pay due plaintiff, we must determine the course of her employment had Western not improperly fired her on November 19, 1971, and discriminated against her before that. As the Court found in connection with the liability stage of Kyriazi's case, Western computes salary on the basis of age, rank, and rating. This Court has previously addressed the manner in which damages are to be computed. The work record of each woman is to be evaluated. Each promotional opportunity which was or should have been available to her is to be considered where appropriate. Each woman is to be compared to the male employee most like her with respect to age, education and experience, in order to determine a suitable rating from which to compute seniority and salary. She will be awarded the difference between her actual salary and what a comparable male would have received. Kyriazi v. Western Electric, 465 F. Supp. 1141, 1145-47 (D.N.J.1979).
Where the evidence indicates that supervisors are conscientiously and fairly attempting such evaluations, their conclusions are entitled to great weight. Subjective perceptions will vary. A perfect evaluation is not required, even if it were attainable.
But when, as here, an employee has demonstrated that her supervisors were unlawfully discriminating against her, then their ratings and rankings are no longer presumptively valid. It falls upon them, in such circumstances, and upon their employer, to demonstrate the Bona fides of low rankings awarded by supervisors . . . No satisfactory evidence in support of the . . . evaluations of Kyriazi was offered to the Court by Western.
Kyriazi's damages, therefore, will be determined as follows. During the period prior to Kyriazi's termination, she will be ranked the same as Liu except, of course, in those periods in which she received a higher rating.
The salary which Kyriazi should have received is that which Liu received, adjusted to reflect that Kyriazi was 9 1/2 years older than Liu and three years senior in service, and at times had a higher rating. Her award for the period prior to her termination is the difference between the aggregate wages she would have received using this computation and her actual wages.