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Highly regarded businesses often fare better in court

When prestigious companies in Texas face legal action related to employment discrimination, they tend to have better odds of obtaining a favorable resolution. This is according to research done by the Kellogg School. In many cases, the company's status helps it to get the benefit of the doubt from a jury. However, if a highly regarded company is found liable, it could be punished more severely than others.

Each year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receives roughly 100,000 discrimination complaints. According to the Kellogg School study, juries were 14 percent less likely to find a highly regarded company guilty of discrimination compared to those that had less prestige. The fact that how a company was perceived impacted the outcome of a case was known as the halo effect. Researchers found that this same effect could be found among Major League Baseball pitchers who were perceived to have a high status for throwing accurate pitches.

When a company is deemed to have a high profile, it could be more likely to face lawsuits related to discrimination. This may be true even when other companies may have violated the law in a more egregious manner. While the halo effect could be helpful in many legal situations, prestigious organizations are often punished more severely because they are being called out for their hypocrisy.

Generally speaking, employers are allowed to make employment decisions for any reason assuming that it doesn't violate discrimination law. Companies that find themselves in Title VII disputes may benefit from keeping detailed records as to how an employee was treated or why that person was terminated. It may be a good idea to create a written anti-discrimination policy to reduce potential liability in any discrimination suit that may arise.

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