Dear Mr. Kalb,
Re: Christine O’Donnell’s Discrimination Suit
She is potentially a traditionalist. Here are some facts based on my years of experience dealing with these infernal complaints. Ninety percent have no basis and are dismissed early. O’Donnell’s lasted four years. Why? Was it dismissed without a settlement? We can’t know the answer to the last query.
The reasons for the suits fall into this rough order of priority: (1) resentment for being fired at will (which was disallowed in 1964) coupled with the practical reason of gaining leverage to reduce a firing at will (for possibly a trivial reason, which is widespread against white males) to a resignation or to a demotion or a reassignment; (2) word against lying word; (3) poor documentation by the employer (see prior reason); (4) poor handling by the HR department (where there is widespread understaffing and incompetence); (5) legally valid based on the law, not based on an actual prohibited animus; and (6) an idiot supervisor makes a stupid prohibited remark. The last are always settled except when the employee is a criminal. Hmm? Trads surely should hope not.
Most cases are never filed, that is, most are settled well before suit because most employers cannot afford to defend the volume of suits that would be filed if the supervisor were not to endure lousy performance.