Fox is planning a recession-savvy reality TV show, "Someone's Gotta Go," in which struggling small businesses let their employees vote a co-worker out of the office.
But as the National Law Journal reports, wrongful termination suits are all but guaranteed:
Public relations fears aside, employers are exposing themselves to liability, such as discrimination and retaliation lawsuits, [employment-law attorney] Rice said. For example, what happens if the employees vote off an employee who is black, a woman or elderly, and the person claims discrimination? Just because they're on TV doesn't mean they waive their rights to sue for discrimination, he said.
"If someone ends up getting the ax, and you're a member of a protected group, you'd have to deal with the fallout from that," Rice said. "And since no one knows in advance who is going to get the ax, there's not much you can do in advance to waive these things. Employment rights can't be waived in advance."
Of course, actual discrimination is still an essential element of an employment discrimination lawsuit--nominally, anyway.