As the 2009 recession settles in, juries are expected to stick it to employers in workplace disputes this year, with the flailing economy weighing heavily on their minds amid a growing mistrust of corporate management.

Lawyers on both sides of employment litigation say they expect juries this year to be more sympathetic to employee plaintiffs than to employers, holding management to higher standards and doling out larger verdicts in cases involving everything from wrongful termination to retaliation to age and race discrimination.