Last week, I looked at the impact that an Obama Presidency would have on labor and employment law. Now, Reuters reports that the tough economic times also are likely to have an impact on this area of the law.
According to the report, with more and more employees losing jobs, there are bound to be more and more lawsuits for wrongful termination. Additionally, as the article rightly points out, when people do not have a lot of options they tend to look to courts for a remedy. This is unfortunate, because it can lead to an increase in the number of frivolous lawsuits by employees claiming that they were terminated for unlawfully discriminatory reasons.
What this means for employers is that you must be very careful when making employment decisions, even when the decisions are designed as cost savings measures. You need to prepare for the possible suit before making or implementing your employment decisions – not after the fact when the employee files a discrimination charge.
Before taking any action, make sure to get good counsel, so that you can – as we say in our office – stay in the board room and out of the courtroom.