HONOLULU (KHON2) — Employment discrimination can destroy lives. With many teetering on the brink of houselessness or bankruptcy, any amount of employment discrimination can be fatal.

A Hawai’i woman who was injured while on the job, then who was prevented from coming back to her job has been vindicated by the Honorable James H. Ashford.

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Ashford denied Coca-Cola’s move to postpone implementation of a previous order made by the Hawaii Department of Labor that requires Coca-Cola to reinstate Tammy L. Josue of Honolulu to her previous position.

Citing the move to be unlawful discrimination, the judge awarded lost wages of $318,515.69 and reinstatement to her previous position.

The Hawaii Supreme Court and Department of Labor determined that the world’s largest beverage company had discriminated against Josue and that they were in violation of Hawai’i Revised Statutes Section 378.  

This means that Coke unlawfully refused to reinstate the employee to her former supervisory position when she returned to work after she sustained an injury while working for Coke. 

Instead of providing Josue with her previous position, Coke attempted to force her to take either positions that were downgrades from her previous position or positions for which Josue was not qualified to perform.

“Coke’s discrimination wasn’t just unlawful, it was an appropriation of Ms. Josue’s right to work by Coke. The discrimination by Coke towards one of its loyal and hard-working employees was disgraceful,” said T.J. Lane, Tammy L. Josue’s attorney.  

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“Ms. Josue is grateful to Judge Ashford, the Supreme Court and the Department of Labor for their rulings on Ms. Josue’s behalf. Ms. Josue feels Judge Ashford made the correct ruling by denying Coke’s attempt to postpone Ms. Josue’s reinstatement or forestall payment to Ms. Josue during Coke’s appeal,” explained Lane.