Never ignore an employee lawsuit, even if you think it is frivolous. Instead, prepare to defend yourself as soon as possible. That way, you can push for a quick dismissal if it’s clear the employee has no case.
Recent case: Tonjia Wingo, a black man, was fired from his job following an internal investigation into charges of sexual harassment. During the investigation, other employees collaborated the victim’s allegations. Wingo himself confessed to some of the accusations, but added that he was “just joking around” with the victim.
Wingo sued, alleging he was treated more severely than nonblack employees.
However, his employer claimed that there was no evidence that discrimination played any part in Wingo’s firing. When Wingo could offer no evidence of his own, the court quickly dismissed his case. (Wingo v. City of South Bend, No. 11-2002, 7th Cir., 2011)
- HR must step up as economy takes a tumble
- Employee didn't apply, so college couldn't have discriminated
- Be alert for retaliation suit if manager reports that a colleague discriminates or harasses
- Can we terminate worker to keep domestic violence from spilling over into our workplace?
- South Bend postal boss's comments not harassment