What a chilling message to employers who don't abide by federal law in treatment of employees: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] filed a major class action lawsuit in federal court in Chicago against United Parcel Service [UPS]. It contended that the company allegedly denied sufficient medical leave for disabled employees.
As recently as two months ago, reports Teresa Baldas in THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, UPS settled a religious discrimination suit EEOC in Tennessee and last January another one of those. This current suit "claims UPS sets arbitrary deadlines for returning to work after medical treatment -- in one case firing an employee who would have exceeded its 12-month leave policy by mere weeks - in violation of federal law." UPS denies the contentions.
Employment lawsuits, and plenty of them, have been anticipated in this era of Ledbetter. The collapse of the old social contract between companies and employees and with nothing to replace it have thrown open the door to taking employers to court. Loyalty is an anachronism. In addition, given the surging number of layoffs and low job security even for those who have jobs, suing an employer can make good economic sense. Yeah, take the money now and worry about future employment prospects later. Blowing one's resume with a lawsuit seems less of a risk when there are fewer and fewer decent jobs and the tenure in them shorter and shorter. Post-lawsuit, one can start a business or purchase a franchise.