Thursday, April 19, 2007

The cost of defending an employment discrimination lawsuit

Ever wonder how much it costs an organization to defend itself from an employment discrimination lawsuit? Check out this graph from a recent Business Week article.

Here are the numbers:

- $10,000 if the suit is settled

- $100,000 if it's resolved through summary judgment or other pre-trial ruling

- $175,000 if it goes to trial

- $250,000 if the trial is won by the plaintiff(s)

- $300,000 if the plaintiff victory survives appeal

The numbers vary depending on the type of case, with age and disability suits often the most costly. A good source of this type of data is Jury Verdict Research. The EEOC also has detailed information on their website about the amount they've obtained through both litigation and other avenues.

The good news for employers? Very few suits go to trial--only 6%. The vast majority are settled.

Of course this doesn't take into consideration the impact on PR, recruiting, time wasted, etc. etc...

Thanks to Michael Harris for pointing out the Business Week article.

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