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EPL Claims Scenarios

West Coast Machine Shop | 16 Employees

A male employee approaching retirement age volunteered in front of witnesses to be laid off if layoffs became necessary. Business eventually slowed to the point that the employee had to switch jobs or laid off. The employee chose to be laid off. Two years later the same employee sued alleging age discrimination. After 1.5 years of litigation, the company paid $140,000 in damages & attorneys fees.

Seattle Construction Co. | 45 Employees

A family quarrel began with a relative by marriage claiming the owner’s deceased father promised him lifetime employment and sued for wrongful termination resulting in:

  • Employer/Employees several weeks of depositions;
  • After 2.5 years brought in a mediator;
  • Owner had to pay attorney’s fees for both sides at total cost of $275,000;
  • Owner had to value the company – cost $25,000;
  • Owner bought out relative’s share of the company $750,000 (which was more than the company’s revenues at the time.).

Total Cost to the Owner: $1,050,000.

Midwest Manufacturing Co. | 200 Employees

A supervisor called an employee an @#*# @*#!!. Case is still pending in Federal Court. Anticipated Damages are in excess of $40,000 plus attorney fees.

Washington Construction Co. | 100 Employees

Male Foreman, who worked for company for 12 years, was a large man and suffered from a hernia. His doctor told him the only way to correct the problem was to lose weight. The employee elected to have his stomach stapled. Lost 150lbs very quickly and became too weak to perform his job. The company let him go. The employee then sued under ADA and alleged discrimination. The employee made $40,000annually.

The carrier will settle. They set reserves at $80,000

West Coast Restaurant | 24 Employees

The restaurant Manager who was gay and recently adopted a baby, alleged that the owner’s Mother, who ate lunch at the restaurant everyday, constantly harassed him about his lifestyle and the adopted baby.

Despite making several complaints to the owner, the owner never did anything to stop his Mother from harassing his employee.

Settled out of court. Total Cost incurred $85,000.

Midwest Air-Freight Company | 70 Employees

Agreed to pay $60,000 to a former employee who alleged his co-workers harassed and discriminated against him because he had the virus that causes AIDS. In addition to the settlement the company had to donate $25,000 to charities promoting AIDS research & provide training to all of their Managers.

National Pizza Chain in Florida

A male manager alleged that his female boss made comments about his body. She touched his buttocks and told him that she loved him. He told her to stop and six days later she fired him.

Federal court ordered the employer to pay $240,000 in damages.

Chicago Beverage Manufacturer | 400 Employees

Two African American applicants applied for factory jobs
and were turned down. They went to the EEOC & filed discrimination charges. The EEOC investigated the company and their employment practices for approximately 1 year. As a result, the Company had to:

  • Pay $100,000 to each applicant;
  • Pay $205,000 divided among 25 other applicants;
  • Pay $75,000 to the Company’s former Personnel Manager;
  • Pay Attorney’s Fees of $25,000;
  • Establish an anti-discrimination training program for management;
  • Report to EEOC for next 3 years;
  • Promote & offer job reassignments for female workers (During the EEOC’s investigation they discovered that the company segregated female employees in job assignments).

The Personnel Manager claimed that he was discharged in retaliation for opposing discriminatory hiring practices.

Total Damages: $505,000.

Mid-West Auto-Parts Retailer | 50 Employees

Agreed to pay back wages and lost benefits to 15 former employees to settle a sex discrimination suit brought by the EEOC.

Total Damages: $455,000.

East Coast Water Treatment Company | 15 Employees

Because of national origin slurs, the jury awarded the plaintiff $200,000 in front and back pay, $100,000 for emotional distress and $265,000 for the plaintiff’s attorneys.

Total Damages: $565,000.

THIRD PARTY CLAIMS

There have been a number of these claims including the most famous ones against Denny’s Restaurants. On more than one occasion they have been sued by customers who were not served because of their race.

A more recent one occurred in a Miami Beach restaurant that has less than 25 employees. After discovering that the restaurant added a 15% tip to their bill, an African-American questioned surrounding customers and learned that a tip had not been added to the white customers’ bills. When questioned about this, the owner told them “you people don’t tip.” The result was that the plaintiff received $10,000 for violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and the restaurant had to undergo sensitivity training at a cost of another $5,000. (not covered by most insurance). Total Damages: $15,000