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Ex-'Price Is Right' Model Brandi Cochran Wins Maternity Suit

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By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 30, 2012 4:07 AM

Producers of "The Price Is Right" will be paying a very nice price after losing a maternity lawsuit to former model Brandi Cochran.

A jury last week found the show's producers guilty of discriminating against Cochran during her pregnancy, Reuters reports. In her lawsuit, she claimed they'd made negative comments about her body and then dismissed her when she experienced complications after her pregnancy.

The jury awarded her $776,000 in compensatory damages. But the next day, they increased her award by a considerable amount.

Jurors determined that Cochran was also entitled to punitive damages, reports CNN. They awarded her an additional $7.7 million.

Laws about employment discrimination are fairly strict when it comes to certain categories of people. That includes pregnant women, something that's considered a "disability" under the law.

Employers can't dismiss employees for being pregnant or for any complications that require them to miss work in connection with having a child.

There are also protections for employees who need to take time off to care for children under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If you need to do that, you should be covered, although you may not be paid for the time you take off.

But just because it's the law doesn't mean everyone follows it without a little nudge. If your employer is one of those people who needs a push, get an attorney to help you apply some force.

It's one thing to violate the law inadvertently. That's what compensatory damages are for. For employers who do it on purpose, there are punitive damages.

That's what the jury did for Cochran when they awarded her the extra $7.7 million. Their finding indicates that they thought "The Price Is Right's" producers acted intentionally.

But Cochran didn't get everything she wanted, according to the Chicago Tribune. Jurors rejected her claim for mental hardship. Still, her award should be enough to deal with that if she wants.

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