Employers to See More Complex Litigation Cases in 2016

2016 Will See Higher Influx of Employer Based Litigation.


Litigation is good news if you are an attorney, but if not, it’s a hard pill to swallow when you are the actual employer. I don’t know many people other than attorneys who are excited about the prospect of litigation on the horizon. I do however know many attorneys who go to great lengths to help clients avoid litigation. Litigation comes in many shapes and forms and can be anything from wrongful termination to a class-action law suit or a more standard claim between two organizations. Regardless of the reason, it is on the rise and steps need to be taken on how to hedge against yourself and your technology to protect your bottom line.

A recent report I reads showed that reason for more litigation in 2016 will be, “Corporations will be entrenched in cases inspired by new regulations promulgated by the outgoing Obama administration, more aggressive federal agencies, zealous activist groups and quickly advancing technology,” says the introduction to Crowell & Moring’s report, “Litigation Forecast 2016,” by partner Mark Klapow, who edited the report.

“The cases that will mean the most to the bottom line will likely emerge from small questions that pack big implications for outside the court,” said Mr. Klapow in the report.

I will list the rest of the article at the bottom, but the question I have to In-House counsel, HR, Board Members and Business Owners alike will be, “what are you doing to protect yourself over what you have done in the past?”

In addition, said Mr. Winkelman in the report, “Technology change continues to outpace regulations. Fifteen years after 9/11, security — and cybersecurity — is increasingly being addressed through regulation.”

Do you know what employees are doing during the workday? Do you monitor employee issued cellphones for cellphone activity and log it? Do you monitor computer activity? Do you have workshops on data breaches and what to do and what not to do? Do you archive and store employee cell phone images, computer forensic images, just in case something comes back to try and bite you? It is common for corporations to archive and store email for X number of years depending on the industry, but not nearly as common to do the same with digital forensic images that can mean the difference between a case being dropped and a case being settled for any sum of money.

It is time for employers to fully protect themselves from the possibility of litigation and thus settlement and work towards cases being dropped, rather than settled. Settlements affect the bottom line far more than cases being dropped.

We have developed several methods to help In-House counsel and HR as well as IT to protect the company and save money. Will you take this serious, or will you think that it will simply pass you by much like a data breach?