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Want to Get Sued? Run Your Business Like a Frat House.

February 19, 2015

Posted in Business Litigation, Business Start Ups, Corporate Law, Employment Law

photo - want to get sued by Andrew RattoMaybe you’d rather spend your time and energy in court rather than developing ways to better run your business and make it more profitable. Sure you could spend money on capital projects or marketing, but that’s not nearly as fun as paying an attorney or the person who’s suing you.

It may be your business and you have wide discretion under the law on how to run it, but there are limits based on the law and common sense. Want to have fun at your business like you did at your frat back in the day? If so, you do so at your peril.

One example may be some of the business in Silicon Valley which have earned a reputation for sexism and discrimination in the male dominated high tech industry, according to USA Today.

  • Tinder, a popular dating app (ironically enough), settled a lawsuit filed by its female, former vice president of marketing, who claimed she had to deal with a pattern of sexist behavior.
  • In January a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial involving Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Former partner Ellen Pao alleges female employees routinely deal with sexism on the job in the freewheeling industry.
  • An ex-Zillow employee is suing the real estate giant for sexual harassment, describing its internal culture as an “adult frat house.” Rachel Kremer accuses Zillow management of “despicable and inappropriate sexual conduct” while she worked there.

Zillow states it investigated Kremer’s claims and fired the alleged harasser employed at its Irvine office.

Want to provide a plaintiff’s attorney with Exhibits A and B in your future trial? Do what Kremer’s ex-boss allegedly did: send explicit text messages and an e-mail with an advertisement for a sex toy to an employee.

Why have your phones constantly ring from calls from potential clients and customers, when you can have the phones at a plaintiff’s attorney’s office ringing with callers thinking about suing you?

Kremer’s attorney Mark Geragos told USA Today there’s “no doubt” the lawsuit will expand due to the number of former and current employees who’ve contacted his office. Geragos told the newspaper the frat house business approach ”is clearly a major problem at this company.”

Just because a lawsuit has been filed doesn’t mean the allegations are true or that the plaintiff can, and will, prove his or her case. But why act unprofessionally, if not illegally, and run the risk of being sued, which comes with the time, energy and money needed to deal with the lawsuit as well as possible bad publicity about your business?

Learn about the law and how to keep your business out of the courtroom and out of the media. Contact my office today so we can talk about your approach to your business, the law and the legal system.