Daniel McCoy, co-chair of Fenwick’s employment practices group, is quoted in a New York Times article titled “Settling Is Not the Only Way to Resolve an Employee Lawsuit.”
According to the article, small-business owners tend to settle employee lawsuits, rather than fight what may ultimately be a costly battle; however, this is only one approach.
The article discusses a case in which California small-business owner, Jeffrey Herold, who owns West Coast Trends, refused to settle litigation brought by a former employee – a case that Herold said was unfounded. Ultimately, Herold not only forced the settlement cost down significantly through a willingness to go to trial, but also forced the plaintiff and his lawyer to sign a written apology.
In the article, small-business owners and lawyers offer advice on how to protect a business against employee litigation. Daniel says that employers should document incremental disciplinary procedures so that employees understand work expectations and keep in mind that a terminated employee will either feel that the termination was fair or unjustified and employers should keep this in mind when taking termination steps.