Good news: Courts open to attorneys’ fees for employers

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in Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Sometimes, anti-discrimination agencies such as the EEOC pursue cases that turn out to be groundless. Since employees get attorneys’ fees when a court determines employers violated their rights, it seems reasonable that employers should get attorneys’ fees when they have to waste time and money on frivolous litigation.

It turns out some courts are beginning to entertain such requests.

Recent case: The EEOC filed a lawsuit against Ceridian after it fired a black employee for poor performance. The company gave the EEOC proof it had fired white employees for similar reasons, and the agency backed down.

The company then asked the court to force repayment of its attorneys’ fees. The court didn’t—this time—because the EEOC’s case wasn’t entirely frivolous, but it didn’t rule out doing so in the future. (EEOC v. Ceridian, No. 07-4086, DC MN, 2009)

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