So what's the message for employers? Do all you can to avoid employment lawsuits, Salvatore advises. "Have proactive, enlightened human resources policies and training for managers," he advises. "Establish meaningful complaint procedures and investigate complaints so people don't feel they have to go outside to get redress." He also advises mediation or even arbitration of employee disputes to resolve problems before employees get mad enough to sue.
When you have to terminate someone, Reesman advises, think carefully about your reasons, and be sure you can document them. "Make sure you're making the personnel decision for the right reason, and that it would stand up under cross-examination," she says. "Cross-examine your reasons before somebody else does."
- McGuiness, Norris & Williams LLP, www.eeac.org
- Meites, Mulder, Burger & Mollica, (312) 263-0272, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Proskauer Rose LLP, email@example.com, www.proskauer.com