Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, March 13, 2009

Individual Claim in Large Scale RIF Leads to MDV

Many employers, and their lawyer's including this one, sometimes feel that there is less exposure to individual claims when there are large, economy driven layoffs. If nothing else it feels less "personal," at least in terms of being singled out. Still as this Newsday story from earlier in the week, Ex-Nassau worker 'delighted' with $1M verdict shows, that is not always the case.

Roberta Miller was one of 2,600 employees of Nassau County who was laid off during a "budget crisis" in 1992. However, she argued that she was selected because she was a "token Democrat" in a Republican department and that her termination was because of her political views and activity. This week, a New York State Supreme Court jury agreed.

Besides a good reminder that individual claims can be filtered out of large scale, economic based layoffs, it's also a reminder of how long employment law cases can take. Miller is now 72, and as we all know, a jury verdict which was just now obtained 17 years after her termination, is by no means the end of the road.


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