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The Home Depot lawsuit is still alive and here’s why: The plaintiff’s attorney has filed a complaint with the Employment Development Department (EDD) over a case involving an employee who was fired for asking about discounts at Home Depot. In this case, the defendant (Home Depot) argued that it was an employer-employee relationship and therefore, it could bar the right of the employees to bargain for higher wages or other benefits. But the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, by a vote of 7 to 4, refused to take the argument upon merit. The ruling stated that Home Depot was a “neutral third party” which had nothing to do with the bargaining process, but rather was the place where the employees went to purchase their products. Thus, it could not be considered an employer-employee relationship and could not make its employees subject to the bargaining table. But what does this mean for the Home Depot lawsuit?

Home Depot Lawsuit

The lawsuit was supposed to be against the employer, but the truth is that it was actually against the very employee whose firing it was: the Home Depot employee. Home Depot did not fire the employee for requesting a discount; the employee simply asked for one.

Home Depot’s stock was affected by the request, and consequently, it had to make an employee to drop his or her hours in order to avoid the effect on the stock inventory. Home Depot did not follow its own policy in dealing with the issue-they sent the employee back to work, without offering any explanation or opportunity for negotiation.

The issue before the court was not just employment-related but also negligence-related.

Home Depot was aware for many years that its safety procedures were inadequate and even dangerous, yet they did nothing about it. As part of its fiduciary duty, it is duty-bound to look out for the best interests of its customers.

Therefore, the case should have been directed to a situation where there was a clear understanding that there was indeed a safety risk-a case where there was a record of injury or harm, and where an analysis of the potential damage showed that a reasonable person would expect to be negatively affected by the conduct-and that would be the fiduciary’s duty. But that did not happen here.

Because of the inaction of Home Depot management, this case became one of the first of what would turn into a series of cases against companies that choose to accept “no” as the answer to the question of whether or not they can perform a job, particularly when there is already clear evidence of poor safety standards or disregard for those standards.

A typical decision from such a case is for the employee to file suit against the company, which ultimately decides to do little more than file counters claiming they did nothing wrong. Either way, it does not make the employer appear good, and it also forces them to admit that they are in fact liable for the actions of their employees-but only after a protracted litigation process.

It may seem like an expensive endeavor for a corporation to endure, but ultimately, it ends up being much less. This type of litigation allows the attorney to gather information that is vital in determining liability, allowing the attorneys to build their case around the evidence they have gathered and prepare it for trial. Ultimately, that may mean the employee receives a large settlement, which is what has been envisioned for many of these cases.

Unfortunately, the Home Depot situation was not an isolated incident.

In fact, it seems that as many as six employees may have potentially been involved in this incident. The result was the same: the same company decided to settle with the disgruntled employee for a percentage of the possible damages. This, obviously, has a negative impact on the company’s reputation, leading to yet another case filed in the same general area.

So what can you do? If you are dissatisfied with your current employer, or if they have a history of firing people for reasons that you feel were discriminatory (or for any other reason at all), it is important to talk to a home depot attorney to see what your chances are of winning your case. While there is certainly risk involved in filing a case against your employer, it is better to take that chance than to stand behind something that could potentially go very wrong if you are right. A good home depot attorney will be able to review your case and tell you whether or not it is worth taking it to court over something so easy to prove that you were not involved in.

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