TUPELO – A Lee County jury sided with a former restaurant worker in a wrongful termination suit and awarded her more than $85,000 last week.
Phuong Thi Nguyen worked at the Ichiban Japanese Grill for Wanika Chau and Wah Dao. According to the complaint filed in county court, Nguyen said she was fired after she reported illegal activity at the North Gloster Street restaurant. She also said she had not been paid a proper wage.
Following the three-day trial officiated by Judge Charlie Brett, the jury awarded Nguyen $1,943 in lost wages and $50,000 in damages for the mental anxiety of being fired. In addition, the jury ordered the defendants to pay $33,948 in damages for substandard wages that violated the Fair Labors Standards Act. No damages were awarded on the wrongful discharge claim.