David Vs Goliath Series – Wrongful Termination Myths
Attorneys handling wrongful termination and harassment claims are often asked by their clients to estimate the settlement value of their case. This frequently comes up either at the start of the case or at some point during litigation when mediation or settlement discussions are about to occur. From an attorney’s perspective this can be a tough conversation to have with a client. Often the harassment and termination has effected them emotionally and financially. Unfortunately, clients often draw upon myths or misconceptions about the legal process to come up with an idea about how much their case is worth.
The following is a list of myths and realities when understanding the “value” of a wrongful termination, harassment, and/or retaliation claim:
Myth No. 1:
“My company is afraid of bad publicity.”
Fact: Everyone is afraid of bad publicity, but not all cases will result in bad publicity. In reality, the press rarely publishes stories about workplace discrimination or harassment apart from cases involving celebrities or high-profile individuals. Further, cases are sometimes litigated in arbitration, where documents are not publicly filed or disclosed. Some companies are sued enough that another lawsuit is, well, just another lawsuit.
Myth No. 2:
“My company always settles.”
Fact: You only hear about the settlements. Nobody brags about losing. Even still, a “settlement” doesn’t always mean a big payout to employees.
Myth No. 3:
“If you depose my coworkers they’ll have to tell the truth.”
Fact: More often than not witnesses just don’t want to get involved. While they might not lie, they may not want to jeopardize their job by throwing their company under the boss. It is not unusual for witnesses to say, “I don’t remember” to pointed questions.
Myth No. 4:
“My friend/neighbor got way more and his/her case wasn’t as good.”
Fact: There’s too many factors involved in the value of the case to use one case as a benchmark for another, unless both employees were subjected to the same conduct by the same employer, around the same time. One employer may have insurer; one employee may be more sympathetic; one employee may have been fired and suffered more economic loss; one employee may have been subjected to direct comments of a discriminatory nature; one employee’s case may be in arbitration. There are simply too many factors to compare cases.
Myth No. 5:
“I’ll get justice in court.”
Fact: True, but you may not like it. Lady Justice is not sympathetic; she weighs evidence without sympathy, and she only weighs evidence that is relevant to the case. So while an employee may feel that the jury will do the right thing, there are significant legal precautions taken to ensure that the jury follows the facts and the law, and only the facts and the law.
Contact Urbanic & Associates – Wrongful Termination Attorney
Have you been the target of workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation? If so, you may need a Wrongful Termination Attorney. Call Los Angeles discrimination attorney, Urbanic & Associates for help defending your rights and pursuing justice. Since 2000, the trusted legal team at Urbanic & Associates has been dedicated to aggressively advocating our clients’ rights, helping them stand up to even the most formidable opponents in any legal setting.
To discuss your options with attorney James Urbanic and team we are available to take your call 24/7 at (310) 216-0900.