Serial Litigation – Age discrimination cases
Employers have been warned to brace themselves for a trend that has emerged where job candidates exploit age discrimination legislation to file claims against a raft of employers at the same time.
It appears that some individuals are making employment tribunal claims if they send employers CVs that include their age and do not receive a response. One woman recently won a number of out-of-court payouts of between £4,000 and £10,000 when she sued up to 22 accountancy firms when they did not reply to her job applications. An employment tribunal ruled in five of her cases that she was a ‘serial litigator' rather than a genuine job applicant but some legal experts believe this could still cause the floodgates for similar damage claims to open as employees make copycat claims.
Whatever the outcome of the cases, the companies involved face very substantial legal fees, loss of management time and damage to their reputation as employers. It is understandable that some companies choose to settle out of court, even in cases where the claimant is unlikely to succeed, just to prevent negative publicity.
Employers are therefore urged to be careful with the wording of their adverts, to ensure that they keep records of all applications (even speculative ones), copies of responses and the reasons for non-selection where that applies. Seek advice if you are at all unsure.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016