Mean and Median Settlement Values of Employment Discrimination Cases

According to a study of employment discrimination settlements that occurred in 1,170 cases settled by federal magistrate judges in Chicago over a six-year period ending in 2005, “The mean settlement amount is $54,651 … and the median is $30,000.”  These numbers applied for single-employee litigants, as opposed to class-action figures, which are higher.

Perhaps the numbers above differ from your assumptions.  What should these values mean to you, if you are an employee who is considering, or has taken, legal action against an employer?   One thing they do not mean is that the numbers provide a value for your matter.  Before assuming the value of your case, you should consider many factors.  Such as:

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Filed under Employee Tip - Considering a Legal Action, Employee Tip - Severance & Settlement

Infosys Class Action: 2nd Amended Complaint Filed After Motion to Dismiss Denied

As posted here, clients of the attorney-author and co-counsel are pursuing a federal class action lawsuit against Infosys Limited Inc. (“Infosys”). The lawsuit is pursued by a proposed class of job applicants and employees who challenge under Federal employment discrimination laws Infosys’ alleged policies and conduct to discriminate in favor of South Asian workers and against non-South Asian workers. For example, as alleged in the suit, Infosys expressly prefers to hire South Asians over non-South Asians and, in furtherance of its discriminatory objectives, disproportionately employs H-1B (and other visa) workers from India. As alleged, over 90% of Infosys’ 15,000 + United States employees are South Asian (predominantly Indian).

On September 30, 2014, the Court issued an Order that denied Infosys’ pending motion to dismiss (which had attempted to end the case) and the Court allowed the plaintiff workers to file a second amended class action complaint.

On October 2, 2014, the Court formally accepted, for filing, the second amended complaint.

The attorney-author of this website article, Michael Brown, is among the attorneys representing the workers pursuing the lawsuit, along with attorneys Daniel Kotchen and Michael von Klemperer of Kotchen & Low LLP and Vonda K. Vandaveer of V.K. Vandaveer, PLLC.

Please contact attorney Michael Brown at (920) 238-6781 or mbrown@dvglawpartner.com if you have any information or questions about the case.

The second amended complaint’s new allegations include information from a former Infosys recruiter, indicating that he and other recruiters in Infosys’ Talent Acquisition Unit were expressly instructed by Infosys senior management to favor South Asians over non-South Asians in their recruiting efforts. The recruiter observed that over 90% of the workers Infosys hired and employed within the United States were of South Asian national origin and race (predominately Indian). The recruiter observed senior management make statements indicating Infosys had preference for South Asian hires, with one executive remarking “Americans don’t know shit.”

The second amended complaint also includes updated statistical information about Infosys’ disproportionate employment of South Asian workers (including H-1B workers from India) for large numbers of job positions within the United States.

Please click here, or scroll below, to read the Second Amended Complaint:

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Filed under Employee Info/Tips - Litigation - Mediation

Work for Wal-Mart and Have to Buy Clothes Per Their New Policy?

My law firm represents workers in employment and wage lawsuits across the U.S. and is investigating Wal-mart’s new dress code policy.  Are you a Wal-mart worker — or do you know one– who has bought clothes due to Wal-mart’s new dress code policy?

If so, and you are interested in speaking with a lawyer, please contact me, attorney Michael Brown, at 920-238-6781 or mbrown@dvglawpartner.com.

According to news reports, Wal-Mart has a new dress code policy that requires workers to wear certain clothes to work.  If workers do not have the clothes– e.g. pants, shirts, etc. of the required kind and color– they must obtain or buy them.  Wal-mart informs workers they can buy the clothes from Wal-mart.

It is possible workers may have legal rights and options.  Different States have different laws that potentially apply to clothes-purchase issues.  Legal rights depend on the circumstances, including the State a given employee works in, whether the employee has purchased clothes (and has a receipt or other proof), and other factors.

A worker interested in legal rights should not rely on his or her own assumptions or advice from people who are not employment attorneys.  If you are interested in speaking with an attorney, please feel free to contact me.

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Filed under Employee Tip - Considering a Legal Action, Employee Tips - Unpaid Wages

If You Get a WI Unemployment Attorney, Do It Before Your Hearing

I am an attorney and assist Wisconsin workers with unemployment appeal issues.  Often, I get calls from workers after they have had an unemployment hearing (which they lost).

If you think you may need an attorney’s help for a WI unemployment appeal, then please consider talking to the attorney before the hearing.  Once the hearing is completed, the amount of assistance an attorney can give is limited.

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Your Job Going Downhill? Be Careful About Mentioning “Severance” First

As an attorney who often deals with employment law, it’s no surprise I’m often contacted by employees whose jobs aren’t going well.  Many employees report their employers appear to be preparing to fire them, or trying to force them to quit (by making life hell at work, etc.).

Some of these employees ask me, “Should I just ask my employer to admit they want me gone and ask if they’ll give me a severance?”

There is no catch-all legal advice if you are in this situation, as all situations are different and your particular facts could impact advice an attorney would give.  With that said, I can say it is usually not in employees’ interests to raise the topic of severance first.

Here are factors why mentioning “severance” first is often a bad thing for employees: (1) the employers can claim the employees (by mentioning severance first) had “quit”, and use that “quit” notice as basis to try to disqualify the employees from unemployment benefits; (2) the same “quit” theory can often be used to defeat legal claims from employees who pursue discharge-related legal claims (e.g. discriminatory discharge, etc.); (3) the employers may not offer any severance anyway; and/or (4) if the employer was open to offering a severance, the offer may have been better than what the worker envisioned had the worker kept quiet and waited for the employer to mention severance (and a severance offer) first.

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Know What’s “On the Table” Before Pursuing/Threatening Legal Action

Before you file a legal complaint– or threaten your opponent that you may file a legal complaint– make sure you understand what is on the table.  That is: what do you stand to win?  What do you stand to lose?  The answers, in fact, usually require significant legal analysis and help from a lawyer.  But people too often guess at answers, and usually guess wrong.

In the film No Country for Old Men, the fellow pictured below was offered a coin toss and had memorably (and understandably) questioned what it was he stood to win or lose .

NoCountryPuttinUp

Do you know what you stand to win or lose pursuing a legal claim?  Really?  Chances are, you don’t have as much on the line as the guy in the movie (or at least I sure hope not).  But you may be making big gambles– or missing out on big opportunities– based on incorrect assumptions.

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Starting a Business and Have a “Junk” Non-Compete or No Non-Compete With Former Employer? That’s Good, But No Guarantee You’re in the Clear

Some Wisconsin workers consider starting their own business, and make plans for the business before leaving their current employer.  Some such workers have non-compete agreements with their existing employers.  Some don’t.  In either event, you should not assume you are in the clear and will not be sued by the former employer if they think your new business is competitive.  First consider having an attorney review your situation (no, it doesn’t have to be me).  Read more below to learn why.

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Filed under Employee Info/Tips - Litigation - Mediation, Non-Compete Issues