Riddle me this:
Employee sues her boss for sexual harassment. Case settles for $127,500, and she has to agree to confidentiality and non-disparagement.
About nine years later, boss becomes an internet pariah for allegedly poaching a beautiful and beloved lion in Zimbabwe. Somebody in the media finds out about the sexual harassment settlement (how’d they do that, if it was confidential?). Media rep contacts ex-employee, who says that her lawyer has told her she can’t talk about the settlement, but . . .!
“You know I only keep in contact with a couple of people there [at boss’s office] and neither of them really want to be part of this . . .. They don’t want to be a part of who he’s become.”
“I have actually already been told by my lawyer that I can’t say anything.”
“This is huge isn’t it? It’s amazing how big this has become. Karma is a bitch – that’s all I have to say.”
If the boss ever comes out of hiding, can he sue his ex-employee to get his $127,500 back?
Robin Shea is a Partner with the law firm of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP and has more than 20 years’ experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act), the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act; and class and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage-hour laws; defense of audits by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; and labor relations. She conducts training for human resources professionals, management, and employees on a wide variety of topics.