Wyatt Employment Law Report

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Selecting Counsel Under EPLI Policies

By Michael D. Hornback

hands helping 7175094MediumLitigation is stressful.  The anxiety normally first sets in with the service of the Complaint, even if you anticipated it was coming.  You scurry to talk with your employees who may be witnesses, you amass relevant documents from the personnel file, and you send out a litigation hold requesting that folks preserve all their emails related to the plaintiff.  Fingers crossed, right?

Normally, in conjunction with taking all of the steps noted above, you start thinking about which lawyer and/or firm you want to hire to represent the company.  You have relationships with several different lawyers who have worked with you in the past, some on corporate issues, some on non-employment corporate litigation, and then one or two that have helped you with those thorny day-to-day employee issues.  Your prior employer also had a good lawyer that might fit this case.  Which lawyers have experience dealing with these specific types of claims?  Do any of the lawyers have a good relationship with plaintiff’s counsel?  How well do they know the judge?  All important considerations when you are trying to decide on counsel.

You recently purchased Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”), so you make a claim only to learn that you have no ability to select your own counsel.  Under the terms of the policy, the insurance company makes that Continue reading

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2014 EEOC Enforcement and Litigation Statistics

By Courtney Ross Samford

On February 4, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released enforcement and litigation statistics for fiscal year 2014.  A total of 88,778 workplace discrimination charges were filed in 2014, which is down slightly from prior years.  StatisticsRetaliation charges were at an all-time high and comprised nearly 43% of all charges.  Thirty-five percent of charges alleged race discrimination, while 29% claimed discrimination based on sex, which includes pregnancy and sexual harassment.  The EEOC’s enforcement activities resulted in almost $300 million over the last year.

The data also indicates that the EEOC’s Office of General Counsel was busy in 2014, filing a total of 133 lawsuits on the merits against employers across the country.  The EEOC secured $22.5 billion in monetary relief through litigation and mediation.

Finally, the EEOC released updated statistics on a state-by-state basis.  Texas led all states with more than 8,000 charges.   Tennessee charges increased to 3,221, while charges in Kentucky, Indiana and Mississippi decreased to 975, 2,700, and 1,781, respectively.