Most employers have severe cases of “juryphobia.” They assume a jury will automatically side with an employee and award hundreds of thousands of dollars to right an alleged wrong.
As a result, employers are often too eager to settle cases just to get out from under the possibility of a runaway jury. But caving in like that can make you a more tempting target for other employees.
If you and your attorneys are convinced you didn’t do anything wrong, it may be best to trust a jury to hear the case and come to the same conclusion.
Recent case: Avril White, who is black, worked as a student recruiter at a Texas Job Corp vocational training facility. During the time she worked there, the campus had more black students than white or Hispanic students.
White was fired for alleged , including not processing bonus payments, poor planning and the inability to get along with others.
She sued, alleging race discrimination. A jury heard the case, including allegations that the facility treated white employees better than black staff.
But the jury concluded that none of that evidence of possible facilitywide prejudice trumped White’s poor performance as the reason she was fired. It ruled for the training center. (White v. and Training Corporation, No. 09-50010, 5th Cir., 2009)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- Court: Constant racial slurs plus unequal treatment warrant a trial
- Drivers ed: Take it up with the DOT first
- Despite EPA's gender-equity requirements, you do have discretion to set wide salary
- How to tactfully handle 'Hire my relative' pleas