Lisa Sherman, of Sherman Law Corporation, discusses the emotional and financial costs to empolyers when employment relationships break down.
The employment relationship is one that is very personal and intimate, so when the employment relationship breaks down, it is more personal, in a lot of ways, than a divorce or separation or custody dispute because we spend more time at work than we do at home. We are more connected to our work than we have ever been, and most of the time when we are at home, we aren't present because we are connected to our work. Because the work relationship is so 24/7 that when the relationship hits an impass, or one party wants out, which is going to happen more and more since the avergae time an employee holds a position now is a little over 6 years, that when that hits, the employer has a very emotional response. It's like an atomic bomb blew up and they declare all out, armageddon, scrotched earth litigation and there are far too many lawyers and law firms who are all too happy to oblige the client and capitalize on the emotional reaction and just start shooting with guns blazing and litigating. The problem is that no one has either educated the client or managed their expectations as to the legal landscape, the California employment laws, or the risk-benefit analysis. All of these things that need to be determined up front. So what happens is 6 months to a year down the road the client is in no better legal position than they were intially and the only difference is they've written big checks to their lawyers and they come to me in a panic. And I'm the one they retain to clean up the mess. So this is really one of the reason why I started my own law firm because I wanted to give personal service to clients and treat their money as if it were my own and make strategic decisions that made sense from the get-go and not just spend money to get into nasty litigation that is even more emotional than the actual breakdown itself.