Way back on October 11, 2011 we posted that the gender discrimination and “actual or perceived” disability lawsuit filed against the management law firm of Proskauer Rose by its longtime CFO should be a warning to all employers – no one is immune from a discrimination suit.
Just as a medical specialist is no less likely to suffer from the malady she treats, an employment lawyer, or law firm, is similarly at risk. This is not to say that such suits have any merit, only that such suits may be brought by anyone from the mailroom to the boardroom, or by a disgruntled applicant or an employee of long tenure.
The firm responded then in the New York Law Journal that it “was disappointed” that the suit was filed, but that it was “meritless” and that the firm “would be vindicated.”
It has now been reported that there has been a settlement of the suit! “Proskauer is pleased to have successfully resolved the matter with its former Chief Financial Administrative Officer Elly Rosenthal,” the firm said.
Takeaway: Do whatever it takes not to be sued! Anyone can be sued, and every employer who is sued starts out by announcing to the world that it will “be vindicated.” More than 1½ years later, although there has been a “successful” settlement, the employer has nonetheless paid good money to settle, and has no doubt paid through the nose to defend (unless it has appropriate insurance). It takes only one disgruntled employee to sue (indeed, who is not “disgruntled?”), and in this dire economy, where hiring is limited and layoffs are the norm, the pool of potential disgruntled employees is large.
P.S. The national law firm of Patton Boggs has just been sued by a retired “income” partner who alleges that he was treated less favorably than other attorneys after he suffered a disabling back injury that limited his ability to work.