Actually that headline is a little too frivolous for what are clearly serious subjects, employers facing disability claims and depression as a disability. When the two came together before an Atlantic City jury the net result was a verdict for Scott Jones, a 55 year old salesman, Depressed worker wins $1.8 million over firing from gas company.
One of the killer lines that is sure to strike terror in any employer’s lawyer’s heart: “Jones’ annual reviews showed he performed satisfactorily.” Just yesterday in a training session, I was pointing out that performance appraisals are always key exhibits in an employment trial, and the real question is whose exhibit will they be. Here, it sounds as if they were Plaintiff’s Exhibits, which always spells trouble for the defense.
Problematic performance appraisals and the fact that Jones was nearing his 20th anniversary with the company, with nothing more, would be enough to make it clear that this could be a problematic trial if things went south.
Based on the result, they did.