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Want to drive out litigious employees? $7.5 million is the going rate

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Question: It’s natural to get mad when one your employees files a legal complaint or lawsuit. Getting mad is fine … getting even isn’t. But “getting even” seems to be a popular pastime in American businesses today. That’s why claims of retaliation are the fastest-growing form of illegal discrimination claimed by U.S. employees.

A perfect Case in Point this month: Execs at a Virginia Beach time-share company effectively froze out (and then fired) the sales manager after she contacted the EEOC about filing a discrimination charge. The damage: $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages … a whopping $7.5 million total.

The background: Pamela Depaoli was a very successful sales manager for a vacation time-share company when she inquired about a promotion to director. The company president told her the position was being eliminated. Instead, three weeks later, the president hired a man for t...(register to read more)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jorgemariaperez February 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

In this current economy people is desperate trying to get money from others. We are over 30 years in business without ever have a single case. This year 2011 we have for first time in our business-life 5 cases! People are using any excuse to get extra money for different reasons. The most notorious is an employee claiming origin-racial- Hispanic discrimination when in our working place everybody is Hispanic! – Other is claiming sexual harassment, as a result other employees that are working since we are in business 25 years ago, some of them 20 years, others 14 years, all of them have signed a notarized letter stating that the sexual harassment claim cannot be possible because it never have happened in the working place. Let’s see what happen and if justice is done.
What I think is that this country must do something to protect employers that also should be considered and protected from abusive employees that are getting hired with the intention of sooner or later sue their employer. It is not true that business insurance cover these matters. Sometimes, yes, they do, but the deductible is extremely high and for small business that probably are making 2 thousand maximum a day with not much profit left. A deductible of 10 thousand dollars per case is a lot of money. In our case as I said, for first time in our 30 years in business we are having 5 cases, which mean 50 thousand dollars of deductible! We are so afraid and concern that we are considering to do not hired new employees.
A lot of business-owners friends of mine are considering going out of business as a result of these events happening more often. As everybody agrees, life like that is not worthy, why we have to be punished because we have the talent to develop a business and create jobs. Most laws are protecting employees, but who protects the employers? We are the ones that suffer all the economic ups and downs, and push everyday wishing to get some business, while employees when there is nothing to do or no business coming in, just seat and wait to be paid. Most of the time, the employees are the ones that are going home with some money in their packet while the employer goes home empty and frustrated.
On top of all that, the employers are sued by the employees, usually with lies that dishonest lawyers working in contingency are helping them to build a case. We employers should do something strong to protect us just like employees have against employers.
I think “we” the employers are doing nothing to protect our business and our future; we don’t have laws that protect us. Why?


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