Senator Tom Harman is working to put an end to the recent wave of unwarranted lawsuits targeting small business retailers and restaurant owners who give discourts to furloughed state workers. His commentary on the issue appeared in the Newport Beach Daily Pilot. Here is what Senator Harman had to say:
"Dozens of lawsuits have been filed in our state alleging that any special recognition of mothers violates the rights of men. The latest twist to these types of frivolous lawsuits involves employees that have been forced to take time off from their job without pay because of the economic downturn. It seems that some sympathetic restaurants and retailers have offered these employees discounts on meals or services. These businesses are now being threatened with lawsuits claiming that they are discriminating against other customers.
"These latest shakedown lawsuits not only trivialize our state’s landmark civil rights protections for private gain, but such abuse of our laws also illustrates a serious flaw in the legal system. Harassing lawsuits have become more and more common in recent years as greedy individuals have twisted the intent of civil statutes to benefit themselves. These actions are symptomatic of our practice of enforcing state statute through private legal action and far too often end up punishing honest businesses and slowing our economy."