national-origin discrimination charges
( 17 percent).
Diversity Programs: An Expense
You Can’t Afford to Ignore
Employment-practice lawsuits and
settlements are hitting corporations
in their pockets. Award medians and
means associated with such cases
have gone up steadily since 1998,
according to Horsham, Pa.-based
Jury Verdict Research, which tracks
jury verdicts and settlements. In
2004, the award mean was
$555,533, up from $441,954 in 1998;
the award median rose to $218,133,
up from $164,200 over the same six
years. (See Employment Practice
Liability: Compensatory Award Medians, by Year chart.)
Beyond damages and settlements,
the often-immeasurable costs that
are associated with discrimination
• Lost market share. Your customers and investors who sympathize with plaintiffs are apt to take
their business elsewhere.
• Negative publicity. A percentage
Total Discrimination Charges
By Type of Claim* (2005)
Gender National Religion Retali- Retali- Age
Origin ation (All ation-
Statutes) ( Title VII
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
*Reflects the number of individual charge filings; individuals often file charges claiming multiple
types of discrimination.
of the public will believe the charges, even if the court rules in the
• Decreased productivity. This includes the time your employees
spend giving depositions, attend-
Thelen Reid: Provides Proactive Diversity Measures for Clients
Thelen Reid & Priest LLP not only successfully
defends its clients in high-stake, complex employment and wage and hour lawsuits, but also helps
companies with preventive measures, ranging
from diversity training to compliance audits.
“We are committed to advising our clients on
proactive steps that can be taken to achieve best
practices and prevent litigation,” says Linda S.
Husar, partner and national chair of Thelen Reid’s
Labor and Employment Department. Linda S. Husar
Putting the appropriate diversity programs and
compliance reviews in place can help a company effectively
manage the legal issues impacting the workplace, avoid litigation and offer an effective defense, if a lawsuit is filed. In addition, “Wall Street is placing a value on companies focused on
HR compliance and diversity initiatives, ” Husar says.
Thelen Reid’s diversity-related services include:
• Diversity training for managers and rank-and-file employees
• Monitoring supplier and vendor-diversity programs
• Counseling, reviewing and developing diversity programs.
“We advise corporations on diversity initiatives, ” Husar says,
“and ensure that the programs meet the clients’ diversity
objectives without running afoul of anti-discrimination laws.”
• Advising employers on all aspects of employment law, including sexual harassment, wage and
hour, discrimination, diversity, dispute resolution/
arbitration, employee handbooks, personnel practices, employee discipline and discharge matters.
• Compliance audits. “Our diversity audit covers
everything from an assessment of the work force
to an evaluation of the company’s hiring, promotion
and pay practices. If disparities based on sex or
race are revealed, we recommend how to fix it, ” Husar says.
Part of the strength of Thelen Reid’s diversity-related practice
areas lies in its own commitment to diversity. “We believe in
the value of promoting diversity in the workplace,” Husar says.
“We’re not just providing lip service to it, and we are eager to
counsel and assist clients in achieving their objectives.”
Thelen Reid is a national law firm with more than 440 attorneys. For more than 70 years, the firm has served a distinguished roster of clients, including many Fortune 500 companies. It has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and New Jersey.