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You won! Just don’t count on losers paying your legal costs

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

In addition to paying damages such as lost wages, employers that lose discrimination cases often have to pay the winning side’s litigation costs. But the same isn’t always true when an employer wins the lawsuit.

Courts are reluctant to make employees pay when they lose, fearing that doing so may dissuade other employees from taking a chance at litigation.

Recent case: When a group of employees with language difficulties had to take a skills test in English, they failed. When they were terminated, they sued, alleging discrimination.

The jury sided with the employer, which then asked the court to order the employees to pay its legal bills.

The court refused, concluding that doing so might have a chilling effect on employee-rights litigation. (Rivera, et al., v. NIBCO, No. 1:99-CV-06443, ED CA, 2010)

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