Clippings A jury awarded $240 million in compensatory and punitive damages to thirty-two mentally disabled employees whose rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act had been violated by their employer. The award reflected the jurors’ indignation as the EEOC proved at trial that these vulnerable employees had been subjected to regular physical and verbal abuse, forced to reside in substandard housing, paid less than other employees doing the same work, and compelled to sign over their Social Security and disability checks to their employer. However, the jury’s award was subsequently reduced to $1.6 million because compensatory and punitive damages in federal discrimination cases are capped by statute. Because this was a small employer, damages were capped at $50,000 per plaintiff (plus interest). Insofar as the employer, Henry’s Turkey Service, is now defunct, it is unclear how much of even the drastically reduced award will ever be recovered.
Practical Considerations What type of legal compliance strategy would you advise an employer to adopt? Why? –
What are the cons of “Pushing the envelope” in areas of legal uncertainty or erring on the side of caution?(more than one cons)
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