Recently, eBossWatch, in honor of National Boss Day, released a list of the top 25 workplace settlements over the past 12 months dealing with employment related issues in the workplace. Citing multiple sources, including the EEOC and new releases, eBossWatch found more than $356 million in settlements and verdicts around the country. Leading the pack is a judgment against Mercy General Hospital in the amount of $168 million for sexual harassment. Claims involved race discrimination ($25 million judgment against ArcelorMittal), age discrimination ($18.3 million judgment against Dr. Pepper Snapple Group), disability discrimination ($8.5 million judgment against Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company), religious discrimination ($5 million judgment against AT&T), retaliation ($1.8 million judgment against US Department of Veterans Affairs),and sexual orientation and religious discrimination ($1.6 million judgment against Mary Ann's Mexican Restaurant). None of these top 25 came out of Alabama this year, according to this list.
Practice pointer. As you can tell from the amount involved in workplace judgments and settlements, claims can be very expensive for employers. These amounts don't include the attorneys fees incurred in defending the claims, the impact of bad publicity, and the time spent by numerous employees dealing with the claims rather then performing their normal job duties. As we approach the end of the year, it is a good time for employers to review their policy and procedure manuals, train the work force, and make any changes as necessary.