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Now that the 1991 Civil Rights Act has been signed into law, employers find themselves in a potentially volatile arena, where employees may sue more often and for greater damages.
Specifically, the Act allows juries to award punitive damages to victims of intentional discrimination, be it racial, physical or sexual. For the first time, women and disabled persons can receive cash awards, leading watchers to predict a sharp increase in lawsuits brought by both groups.
Job bias claims are "very much a risk management issue," says Jane Rastallis, senior consultant for Betterley Risk Consultants, Worcester, MA. However, she adds, it's an issue that few people--from employers to insurance personnel--are prepared to …