The Bryan Times,

Due to my education in employment litigation, my past experience and publications, I have consulted in over 100 cases dealing with employment discrimination, including race, sex, religion and age. In short, every demographic category is protected except white heterosexual, non-handicapped men under age 40. This experience has given me much insight into why, especially why religion and age discrimination rarely prevail.

In the first step, which is filing a complaint with Ohio Civil Rights, only about four percent achieve a probable cause determination. Even then, one has to go to court, which can take up to five years. In court, commonly the answer to attorneys questions was “I really don’t remember. That was a long time ago.” The judge often responded, “Yes, I can understand remembering is a problem.” Consequently, the reason for the cliché “justice delayed is justice denied.”

The employer has a strong incentive to delay the trial because the longer the delay, the more likely the plaintiff will lose. If the plaintiff is 64 years old when discrimination occurs, a ruling may not occur until the person is in their early 70s. Then, if she prevails in court, the accused may appeal, delaying the final decision a few more years. In my experience, one is more likely to prevail in cases of sex and race discrimination, and rarely prevail in cases of religion, age and handicap discrimination.

Ironically, after laws prohibiting handicap discrimination were passed, discrimination increased because employers reason that if the person hired does not work out, and is terminated, he or she may bring suit. The solution is not to hire. Due to family connections, I have known a lot of deaf people and most, even those with degrees in areas such as engineering, or graduates from Gallaudet University for the deaf, end up living off the government.

A recent review of the cases of academics facing religious discrimination I was consulted in, I found of those I was able to determine the outcome, literally all lost, although several obtained small out-of-court settlements. In all of these cases, the paper trail firmly documented the religious discrimination. Now, when asked to consult in a discrimination case, I strongly encourage the litigant not to pursue the case because of the high probability of losing almost guarantees future employment prospects are damaged. Employers typically dig up as much dirt on the litigant as possible, which may make the news, potentially ending future employment prospects.

Dr. Jerry Bergman

Montpelier

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