When you’re negotiating settlement of an employment action, you have much more to consider than just “how much money.” There are many nonmonetary remedies that can—either alone or combined with money—bring the parties to agreement. And how money is paid out can also be a good bargaining chip.
An employee who’s been laid off or fired and believes that it’s due to unlawful discrimination can’t simply sue and then sit around waiting for a payout from his or her former employer. Rather, the law requires that he or she get out there and look for another job—or risk a hit to any back pay damages.
The Recorder reports an uptick in defamation claims by fired employees. These claims are often in the form of plaintiffs saying that their bosses gave others false reasons for their firing. These types of claims strike fear in the hearts of employers, but employers do have some powerful defenses to call upon.
The following is a guest blog post by Jeffrey Osofsky, an attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles with a practice focusing on defending employers and individual managers against employment-based lawsuits. Mr. Osofsky wishes to thank Munger Tolles Partner Terry Sanchez for his assistance with this post.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act generally prohibits employers from basing their employment decisions on certain protected characteristics (race, sex, pregnancy, etc.). But what happens when an employer sued for discrimination can show that, despite any unlawful consideration, it would have reached the same decision about that employee anyway?
As reported on Law.com, a recently-filed suit accuses Citigroup of using “companywide layoffs during the recent financial turmoil to purge its workforce of scores of female employees to save the jobs of less-qualified men.” This lawsuit took aim at what it called “recessionary discrimination.”