Protect Yourself From Chronic Plaintiffs

Protect Yourself From Chronic Plaintiffs

April 7, 1999
While many claims of harassment and discrimination are legit, there are quite a few chronic suers out there. Michael D. Karpeles, a partner and head of the employment law group at Chicago’s Goldberg, Kohn, Bell, Black, Rosenbloom & Moritz, Ltd, offers this advice to employers to protect them from such plaintiffs.

Be suspicious of job candidates who have work histories that reflect a series of job changes every one or two years.

To learn more about a job candidate’s past, let the applicant do most of the talking and schedule successive interviews, if necessary, to dig out the history you are seeking.

After screening for job skills and experience, base your final selection of a job candidate on how well his or her work-related values match those of your company.

While some past lawsuits can be taken into account by a prospective employer, be aware that employers may not retaliate against a job applicant for past charges of discrimination with the EEOC or state or local human rights agencies.

As a way to minimize frivolous claims against the company, write employment contracts that spell out, in detail, the conditions of employment and the basis for termination.

Do not agree to settle every claim out of court.

SOURCE: Goldberg, Kohn, Bell, Black, Rosenbloom & Moritz, Ltd., Chicago, February 19, 1999.