Avoid the Iceberg™ of Workplace Discrimination Claims

How can an employer protect itself from discrimination and other employment-related claims?

With the exception of small “mom-and-pop” shops, successful business owners must relinquish control of certain business operations to executives and managers in order to expand and grow. The potential down side of this delegation of power is that errors in judgment or intentional actions by these supervisory employees can land the company in a courtroom. Discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination claims are just a few examples of employment-related litigation.

Take, for example, the recent racial discrimination and wrongful termination case involving Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles.  An African-American worker sued his former employer for racial discrimination by his Hispanic supervisors who allegedly gave him less desirable shifts than his Latino co-workers based on his race and then wrongfully fired him after he complained about it to supervisors. A jury found in favor of the employee and ordered Roscoe’s to pay damages and attorney’s fees in excess of $3 million, resulting in an appeal and a bankruptcy filing by Roscoe’s.

A proposed class-action lawsuit was also recently filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco against accounting powerhouse PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP by a disgruntled 50+ year-old job applicant claiming age discrimination based on the company’s alleged practice of hiring of employees under age 40.

In support of the action, plaintiff points to Pricewaterhouse’s alleged use of a recruiting tool only accessible to current college students, its mandatory partner retirement age of 60, its average age of employee of 27 (where national stats show an accountant/auditor average age of 43), and the fact that two-thirds of its employees are younger than 35 (where stats show that nationally only 35% of all accountants/auditors are age 21-36). It will be interesting to follow the outcome of this case.

So how does an employer protect itself?

Successful businesses often hire law firms with extensive experience in all aspects of Employment and Labor Law to advise them on a continuous basis to assure the business’s practices are in compliance with applicable and ever-changing federal and state laws and regulations, as well as to defend them against employee lawsuits. At Carico Johnson Toomey LLP, we pride ourselves on helping our business clients Avoid the Iceberg™. And we can help your business, too.

If you need an Employment and Labor Law attorney or need help with an Employment Litigation matter, Carico Johnson Toomey LLP is conveniently located right in the South Bay area of California and offers years of experience and expertise. Call (310) 545-0010.



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