SHRM quoted Manatt’s Sharon Bauman, a partner in the firm’s Labor and Employment practice, for an article about how leaders can retain as well as inspire valued employees in a tough labor market. Bauman commented specifically on the best ways that leaders can defend themselves in the event of a situation escalating to legal action.
SHRM reports that employees are very sophisticated consumers and often realize that the best way to protect themselves from managers’ complaints about their individual performance is to strike first by filing complaints about their supervisors’ conduct. Taking precautions to avoid litigation land mines protects the individual supervisor and the organization as a whole.
“The employment-at-will defense will not guarantee a summary judgment of a wrongful termination claim at the hearing stage, so you’ve always got to assume that a case will make it all the way to the trial stage, and that the jury will be looking for a really good reason to justify the termination decision,” Bauman said. She advised, “Remember, it’s not just the potential dollar cost of being sued; it’s the time and disruption of interrogatories, depositions, hearings, mediations and potentially trials that will zap your team’s energy for six months to a year—or more—after the termination that are the biggest challenges you face.”
Read the article here.