Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm has had considerable success in employment cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. The truth is, most employment law claims filed in state or federal court (or governmental agencies) lack merit, or cannot be proven, which is the same as lacking merit. Knowing this truth, most of our employment law work is on the defense side, but we accept select plaintiff employment law cases and have obtained enviable results including a confidential settlement approaching $3 million.
Defending Our Clients
We defend small and mid-sized businesses (including franchising clients) and successfully protect them from the full range of employment law claims plaintiffs can bring, including discrimination and sexual harassment claims and alleged violations of ERISA or wage/hour laws. Most of these cases are handled by our associates, most have been relatively easy to defend, and are often defeated at the agency level making litigation unnecessary.
Other cases involving sexual harassment allegations against company owners or key officers have been more challenging, but Carmen Caruso has delivered successful results in these cases, obtaining confidential settlements for far less than the plaintiffs had been seeking.
When our clients have insurance coverage for employment liability, we are typically approved by the carriers as defense counsel.
Many of our plaintiff-side employment cases are referred to us by other attorneys. We are selective in accepting employment law plaintiffs, but once we accept the case we are tenacious in seeking victory.
Glass Ceiling Discrimination & Sexual Harassment In Managerial & Professional Employment
We are most proud of the success we have obtained for professional and managerial women victimized by glass ceiling discrimination and/or sexual harassment. Our clients have included female vice-presidents singled out for termination in a phony Reduction in Force (RIF); highly successful saleswomen when male managers shifted their most lucrative accounts to male colleagues or withheld deserved credit for procuring large sales that earned substantial commissions; and law firm associates, businesswomen, college professors, and media personalities subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation when they tried to stop it.
These cases are difficult for the client to bring and can be difficult to prove absent incriminating texts or the like. Most often success will depend on successful cross-examination of the perpetrators above persuasive testimony by the client.
Carmen D. Caruso prevailed in the trial of a glass ceiling case by establishing on cross-examination that the company valued “aggressiveness” as a male executive trait while punishing a female executive for “being difficult to work with” where her behavior was much less “aggressive” than that of her male counterparts promoted at her expense.
Sexual harassment is always wrong. We have obtained substantial (confidential) monetary settlements for sexual harassment victims as high as nearly $3 million.
In 2017, we will take to trial the claims of an African American female attorney that was general counsel of the Illinois Human Rights Commission, who suffered retaliation after she complained that a subordinate African American female attorney was being mistreated by one of the Commissioners on grounds of race. The claim of retaliation in violation of the federal civil rights law has survived the defense motion for summary judgment and will be tried to a jury in the spring of 2017.
First Amendment Claims by Public Employees under Section 1983
We represent public employees claiming termination or other retaliation as the result of their exercise of their right to free speech, in violation of Section 1983 of the federal civil rights laws.
We represent whistleblowers in both public and private employment.
Other Plaintiff Employment Law Claims
Many of our plaintiff-side employment cases are referred to us by other attorneys, some of whom concentrate in employment law but do not try cases. We have successful experience in Title VII discrimination and retaliation claims, and discrimination and retaliation claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and ERISA (claims of discharge to prevent vesting).