James Woods knows the power of excuses. The intense and versatile actor, known for roles in films like „The Onion Field“ and „Ghosts of Mississippi,“ had no plans to speak to representatives at Kent Hospital in Warwick, R.I. that he and his nephew had sued over the death of his brother Michael. But a „change in rhetoric,“ involving a warm apology from hospital president Sandra Colletta, ended her determination not to settle. The result was, in addition to feeling better between the parties, a financial agreement that took care of his brother`s children and the promise to create a patient safety institute in his brother`s name. Apologies and disclosures are progressing in litigation – or even before a dispute has occurred. In the Woods case, the apology came in the lawsuit against Michael Woods, 49, who died of a heart attack after being admitted for sore throat and vomiting. A doctor said she ordered putting it on a heart monitor, but that was never the case. Testimonies suggest that Woods spent more than an hour in a hospital hallway while he had had his myocardial infarction. Remember that if the agreement does not meet the legal requirements, you can still bring an action before an employment court. A settlement agreement (formerly known as a compromise agreement) is a contract between you and your employer that both parties must comply with by law.
They are usually used in situations where both parties feel that their working relationship is not working and that a „clean break“ is the best way forward. Under these conditions, you and your employer can agree on the basis for the termination of your employment in the company. Most people identify with themselves as decent, competent, and morally. When defendants are accused of discrimination in illegal work, they are reluctant. They are not „discriminators“! Why would they apologize for something they think they never did? Is the apology not perceived as an admission of wrongs that continue to encourage the complainant? If you plan to file a formal complaint against your employer and they ask you to sign a settlement agreement, you are in a strong position to negotiate a payment amount. You should consider your employer`s vulnerability, for example, whether they should defend litigation or deal with bad publicity if you assert a right. On the other hand, it may not be about the money for you, but about getting a written apology or a positive referral from your employer. Excuses are difficult. By expressing regret and assigning responsibility for a prejudicial act, the person who apologizes transfers the „power“ of himself to the person receiving the apology. . .