“You got to know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run.”
Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”
As certain as death and taxes, each day in this great country someone, somewhere is filing a head scratchingly stupid lawsuit. “Sue early and sue often” seems to be the mantra in our litigious society. The latest example comes from Sin City, where a gambler is suing a casino to recover his massive gambling losses.
The gambler’s argument? He was too drunk to know what he was doing. As Dr. Seuss might say, he drank in the limo on the way to the casino, he drank playing Keno*, he drank at dinner, he drank hoping to be a winner, he drank at the gaming table, he drank because he was able.
The gambler admits he was drunk for almost 3 days straight, and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in his “blackout” state. Now he wants his money back. His theory? The Las Vegas casino kept providing him “free” drinks and loans to gamble with when they knew he was blitzed. In other words, he was the sloppy drunk overserved victim.
Personal responsibility? That’s for losers, man! Bad choices? Give me a break (and a refund)!
So listen to Kenny Rogers - the man is a Grammy winning singer/songwriter, actor, roasted chicken magnate, and suspected plastic surgery aficionado after all. Don’t gamble that your company won’t get sued. You will, and often for ridiculous reasons. (Remember the $2.9 Million Dollar McDonald’s lawsuit over spilled coffee? Coffee is hot? Who knew?)
Increase the odds of your company winning an employment lawsuit by following sound human resources practices. First, don’t hire losers. Review employment applications carefully, contact employment references, and do background checks. Second, administer clear written policies in a non-discriminatory manner. Third, document all significant personnel decisions. Fourth, honestly communicate the reasons for termination. And finally, don’t drink on the job.