There may be nothing quite as frustrating as being sued by a former employee who clearly has no case. Frivolous lawsuits can take up lots of time and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees before it’s all over.
Fortunately, courts are becoming more willing to punish truly frivolous lawsuits and the employees who bring them. Those monetary sanctions should dissuade some lawsuits.
Recent case: Charlene sued her former employer, accusing it of race discrimination and other wrongdoing. She was uncooperative during pretrial discovery, refusing to answer questions or provide documents.
Finally, the judge ordered her to pay her former employer $5,000 in sanctions as punishment for her lack of cooperation. (Emanuel v. Bastrup ISD., No. 1:12-CV-0592, WD TX, 2014)
Final note: Unfortunately, defending against lawsuits that don’t pan out is a cost of doing business.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Make sure written employment contracts exclude oral promises
- Treat cases independently when employee being disciplined files complaint of her own
- Employee acts as own lawyer? Consider cutting your losses
- Limit access to information about litigation