When is a Loser a Winner?

Normally, when a jury finds for a claimant, but then awards no damages, then that is viewed as a defense verdict.  After all, damages are generally a required element of a claim.

But if the jury finds for a claimant, but awards zero damages – are they a “prevailing party”?  At least one panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals says yes.

In HA&W Financial Advisors LLC v. Johnson, an employer (HA&W Financial) sued an employee (Johnson) under an employment agreement.  A15A2298 (Ga. App. April 19, 2016).  The contract had a contractual attorneys’ fees provision that entitled “the prevailing party” to recover fees if either party sought to enforce the agreement. Continue reading

Yet Another Reason Why Employee Handbooks Matter

Although this blog is not intended to address the many statutory protections that govern the workplace (there are many other blogs that do that quite well), a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit reiterates the importance of following employee handbooks during the disciplinary process.

In Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, No 14-14596, 2016 WL 158820 (11th Cir. Jan. 14, 2016), a transgender employee – whose employment had been nominally terminated for sleeping on the job – asserted Title VII claims against her employer. Continue reading