|Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer|
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Staffing Firm Controller Scores Manhattan MDV
Sydney Nurse, 43, isn't quitting her $100,000-a-year controller's job at the midtown employment firm, Concepts in Staffing. On Jan. 2, she'll be back running the accounting department. "She's going back to work because she should not have to give up her job because of racism," said Nurse's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson.Ouch.
If the evidence quoted in the paper is reflective of the plaintiff's case, it's clear that they got to use one of a plaintiff employee's best arguments -- the arrogance of the employer. When Nurse suggested to the owner of the company that harassing comments might violate the law he was alleged to have said:
"I am the law. I'm Artie A. This is my company and I can do whatever I want."
According to the company's counsel, rather than discriminating, the owner of the company had a lengthy track record of promoting people of color. Pretty clear which way this particular jury viewed the two approaches.
Of course that's just one side of it and you can be sure that the employer thought going in that it had a strong chance that it either was not believable or that it had something to counter act it. And of course the employer may very well have the best of it, because there is a long way between a verdict and money in the pocket of the plaintiff.
Still, at least for me, it re-enforces two points: