Litigating Legal Claims Against Publix Reduces Management Bonuses
Did you know that Publix stores’ yearly management bonuses are based in part upon legal claims made at a particular store? In other words, if a store has minimal claims, bonuses go up! Another way of saying this is if a store manager can minimize claims, bonuses go up! Depositions taken in a case several years ago illustrated how this concept occurs. Upper management of Publix stores’ compensation is based on the profitability of a store. Profitability is defined as what is left over after claims are paid. There is a formula used by upper management to determine the profitability of a store and the bonus that a manager will get. Management is penalized for any losses that occur at a store. This policy was put into place about five or six years ago and was announced by the CEO of Publix.
Lawyers litigating against Publix and other large box stores should be aware of these policies and procedures that encourage and promote management to cover up legitimate claims. It can even be said that Publix store management is encouraged to cover up problems and/or perhaps lose crucial evidence that could be helpful to a claimant in establishing knowledge of a condition or circumstance that caused a person’s injury.
What is interesting about this policy is that it doesn’t promote safety by increasing bonuses based upon a lack of claims. If a particular store accident ends up paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars in a claim, the store management suffers by a significant reduction in their bonus. This system is in place not only for liability claims but also for workers compensation claims. It’s based on the frequency rate of accidents and the total payout for claims for a particular year. The effect that claims have on bonuses has been described as “significant.”
Lawyers with claims against Publix and other large box stores are encouraged to seek documentation regarding these bonus structures. It is highly likely that Publix defense counsel will attempt to elicit a confidentiality agreement – don’t do it! Let the judge order such an agreement over your objection. Participating in the covering up of such policies and procedures is always a bad thing.
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