Quick settlements encourage more suits; sometimes you have to trust a jury — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Quick settlements encourage more suits; sometimes you have to trust a jury

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Performance Reviews

Most employers have severe cases of “juryphobia.” They assume a jury will automatically side with an employee and award hundreds of thousands of dollars to right an alleged wrong.

As a result, employers are often too eager to settle cases just to get out from under the possibility of a runaway jury. But caving in like that can make you a more tempting target for other employees.

If you and your attorneys are convinced you didn’t do anything wrong, it may be best to trust a jury to hear the case and come to the same conclusion.

Recent case: Avril White, who is black, worked as a student recruiter at a Texas Job Corp vocational training facility. During the time she worked there, the campus had more black students than white or Hispanic students.

White was fired for alleged poor performance, including not processing bonus payments, poor planning and the inability to get along with others.

She sued, alleging race discrimination. A jury heard the case, including allegations that the facility treated white employees better than black staff.

But the jury concluded that none of that evidence of possible facilitywide prejudice trumped White’s poor performance as the reason she was fired. It ruled for the training center. (White v. Management and Training Corporation, No. 09-50010, 5th Cir., 2009)

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