One unhappy employee may not have much of an effect on your organization, even if she sues. But watch out! Handle the lawsuit poorly and you could see litigation grow as co-workers join in.
Recent case: Susan Duling believed that the grocery chain where she worked discriminated against women. She said the company steered them into low-paying jobs and didn’t post job openings. The result: Men who were picked by their supervisors got all the opportunities. She sued, alleging a companywide discriminatory policy.
When other employees were called to testify during discovery, the company allegedly cracked down on one of those employees, treating her in a way she apparently found disrespectful. She then joined the lawsuit, too, with additional pregnancy and claims.
She might never have sued had she been handled more gingerly. (Duling, et al., v. Gristede’s, No. 06-Civ-10197, SD NY, 2010)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Always remind employees of their FMLA rights
- Think twice before changing employee's job duties or hours during FMLA leave
- When employee returns from FMLA leave, ensure position is truly equivalent to former job
- During FMLA, you can pay exempt workers by the hour