Some discrimination cases have a way of resurfacing even after you thought you had settled the matter. That can happen when the litigious employee reapplies for work. If you’re going to settle a case, consider including a clause that guarantees the former employee will never apply again. That might have been prudent in this case.
Recent case: Kevin Graham, who is black, worked as a seasonal employee at a municipal golf course. He resigned in the middle of the season. He reapplied the following year, but the golf course didn’t rehire him, allegedly because he had quit midseason.
He thought it was because he was black, so he sued.
The town that ran the golf course offered to settle the case and said it would consider hiring him the next season. Graham applied, but didn’t get the job.
He sued again, alleging this time that the interview was rigged so he wouldn’t be hired.
The court eventually dismissed the case, but only after his former employer paid thousands in legal fees. (Graham v. Town of Normal, No. 07-CV-1284, CD IL, 2010)
Final note: When settling a bias case, have your attorney include a will-not-reapply clause in the settlement agreement. You may have to sweeten the settlement pot to get the employee to agree. But it will probably be far less expensive than defending another discrimination lawsuit, which costs money for legal fees and wastes time in court that would be better spent on business.
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