Mitigating Punitive Damages in Employment Retaliation and Discrimination Cases: Leveraging Recent Court Decisions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will arm employment counsel with strategies for avoiding or mitigating punitive damages awards in retaliation and discrimination cases. Our seasoned panel of employment attorneys will examine recent court decisions awarding or upholding punitive damages awards and offer insights on preventative and trial defense techniques and practical advice on policies and practices that can help avoid million dollar awards.

Description

Employee retaliation claims continue to soar, with the EEOC receiving more retaliation claims in 2014 than any other type of charge. Adding to the threat for employers, the past year has seen a flurry of multi-million punitive damages awards, including a $185 million punitive damages award to a former employee alleging retaliation and discrimination—the largest single-plaintiff employment award on record.

Recent court decisions offer critical insights on the factors that lead judges and juries to award punitive damages in retaliation cases. They show that employers can mitigate the risk of severe punitive damages awards by implementing and enforcing anti-discrimination and harassment policies. On the other hand, the Ninth Circuit recently upheld a $6.6 million punitive damages award after finding the jury reasonably concluded the defendant company’s “culture” led to an employee’s termination.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment attorneys discusses strategies for avoiding or mitigating punitive damages awards in retaliation and discrimination cases. Our experienced speakers will examine recent court decisions awarding or upholding punitive damages awards and offer insights on preventative and trial defense techniques and practical advice on policies and practices that can help avoid million dollar awards.

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Outline

  1. Overview of statutory bases of retaliation claims—ADA, Title VII, FLSA, FMLA
  2. Review of federal and state law approaches to punitive damages
  3. Review of court decisions and damages awards
  4. Mitigating and defending against punitive damages

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What factors lead judges and juries to award punitive damages in discrimination and retaliation cases?
  • What evidence is critical to defend against claims of emotional distress and punitive damages?
  • What strategies have been most effective for employment counsel for mitigating damages issues during trial or settlement proceedings?
  • What preventive measures can employers implement to avoid punitive damage demands in the event of a retaliation or discrimination lawsuit?

Faculty

Francis V. Cook
Francis V. Cook

Partner
Fox Rothschild

Mr. Cook represents management in all areas of labor and employment law. He has wide-ranging experience in his field...  |  Read More

Professor Rachel Janutis
Professor Rachel Janutis

Interim Dean and Professor
Capital University Law School

Interim Dean and Professor Janutis teaches courses on civil procedure, remedies, complex litigation and conflict of...  |  Read More

Sarah N. Turner
Sarah N. Turner

Partner
Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani

Ms. Turner's litigation experience includes defending employers in wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment,...  |  Read More

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