Discrimination and Harassment
Punitive damages and attorneys fees awarded in discrimination and harassment cases can be in the hundreds of thousands, and even sometimes millions of dollars. As the number of protected classifications grows with new federal, state, and local legislation, so does the number of potential claims. Depending on the specific jurisdiction, protected classifications include race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, marital status, religion, creed, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, domestic violence victim status, and many others.
We help our clients minimize their risk of such litigation through effective training, employment policies, and HR counseling.
When a civil rights charge is filed with a state agency or the EEOC or suit is filed in state or federal court, we zealously advocate on behalf of our clients to resolve such claims as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
Many times, employees who lose their discrimination or harassment claims still collect large damage awards on a retaliation claim because they successfully proved their employer disciplined or fired them after they complained. Employers often overlook the potential for retaliation claims, but this is a mistake. We help employers implement effective policies for responding to employee complaints of discrimination or harassment to minimize the risk of such claims, and defend employers against such claims.
Discrimination and Harassment Victories
- We obtained a Summary Judgment Dismissal of a Title VII discrimination case in federal court; an extremely infrequent result in this area of law. For this Indiana client, the victory prevented a trial, saving thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours of business disruption, and eliminated the potential for bad publicity in a small close community.
- Race Discrimination Settlement: A new client in the printing business came to us after the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination recommending a $75,000 punitive/pain and suffering award for what the EEOC believed was a case of failure to promote based on race. We negotiated with the EEOC for less than a month and were able to convince them and the Charging Party that their case was weak and not worth trying. They accepted our settlement offer of $4,000.00.
- We won a victory in the New York Division of Human Rights (DHR) for a restaurant that was accused of sex discrimination. The restaurant fired a female employee for not pooling her tips. She alleged sex discrimination because, according to her, the restaurant did not require her predecessor, a male, to pool his tips. The case went to a trial at DHR, and we convinced the judge, without the benefit of supporting documents, that the male predecessor did pool his tips after the restaurant changed its policy. We further showed there were no discriminatory actions or intent on the part of the restaurant. In the face of the evidence produced, the Hearing Commissioner found no sex discrimination and dismissed the case.