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The Sound Practice of 'Happy Law'

Legal experts share 4 tips for heading off nuisance lawsuits by ex-employees.

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4. Anticipate litigation

According to Godar, once litigation begins or if an employer can anticipate it, there are two options. If you anticipate it, you might seek to immediately negotiate a release with a small amount of compensation, whether it’s two weeks of pay or four weeks of pay, and get a full release from any action someone might bring.

Once a lawsuit is launched, “It’s our advice to work very hard at the front end to have no probable cause found,” Godar counseled, “or if you know that there is going to be a challenge under discrimination, to fight the unemployment compensation because you can get some discovery, some information under oath immediately. 

“Often, the employee is not as well prepared as he or she might be in six months when they are lawyered up. And finally, sometimes there are flat-out frivolous lawsuits. At that point, you might go after the lawyers for bringing it.”

“All of these steps are like bricks in the wall to minimize a [corporate] culture where somebody wants to go out and use good employment laws as swords rather than shields,” Kaplan said. “Employees are smart. They know that if they bring a complaint, they have additional protection because anti-retaliation laws are so strong.” 

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