Category Archives: Employment Litigation

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Proving Emotional Harm: Using One’s “Head”

Ver la versión en español aquí Stress. Anxiety. Paranoia. Anger. Fear. Depression. Angst. These are the types of words you would expect to hear from a plaintiff seeking compensatory damages (damages for alleged pain and suffering) in a discrimination or harassment case. How does a plaintiff prove the existence of pain and suffering? Often times, … Continue Reading

EEOC Decides to Peel the “Onionhead” on Religious Discrimination

Ver la versión en español aquí Why would an employer force its employees to tell each other “I love you” or require employees to “thank God for their employment”? According to a lawsuit filed by the EEOC in New York federal court, the owners of United Health Programs of America and Cost Containment Group subscribe … Continue Reading

Forms Over Substance – Fair Credit Reporting Act Authorization Form Litigation

Ver la versión en español aquí Employers rely on background screening as part of the hiring process. Recently, numerous large, well-known employers have been accused of failing to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). Why is this happening? The issue is the legality of the forms these employers may be using to obtain applicants’ authorizations to collect background … Continue Reading

Wait for It!…Wait for It! (But Don’t Expect to Get Paid for It.)

Ver la versión en español aquí Yesterday, employers gained an important victory in the ongoing wave of litigation over what time is or is not considered compensable work time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers are not required to pay employees for the time spent waiting to clear … Continue Reading

Pro Rata, Quid Pro Quo, Severance Agreement, Lawsuit – Uh-Oh!

Ver la versión en español aquí “Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.” -David McCullough Hickory Foods, Inc. out of Jacksonville, Florida provided a departing employee, Jonathan Thomas, with a written severance package. The company wanted to pay Thomas an additional eight weeks of his annual salary as severance. … Continue Reading

Gender Identity/Transgender Discrimination: A New Federal Enforcement Priority

Ver la versión en español aquí Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation discrimination (though many state and local laws do). The battle to amend this most prominent of employment laws to protect sexual orientation has been waged for years, unsuccessfully. Yet, seemingly overnight, issues of gender identity or transgender discrimination have leapfrogged to … Continue Reading

Back by Popular Demand: “New Mental Disorders Could Lead to Spike in ADA Claims”

Ver la versión en español aquí What do forgetfulness, menstrual cramps and temper tantrums have in common? They are all symptoms of new mental health disorders recognized in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a handbook widely used by health care professionals to assess and diagnose mental disorders. … Continue Reading

Mandatory Arbitration Agreement Designed to Avoid Court is Now the Source of an EEOC Lawsuit

Ver la versión en español aquí Mandatory arbitration agreements can reduce litigation. However, for at least one large employer, the arbitration agreement itself has created litigation. Last week, the EEOC sued restaurant franchise operator, Doherty Enterprises, Inc. claiming that the company’s practice of requiring employees to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement violates Title VII. Doherty … Continue Reading

Employees Behaving Badly Part 1: Female Employee Chooses Beauty Over Comfort . . . And Her Job!!

Ver la versión en español aquí Shawna Palmer was going to squeeze her toes into those Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks – fill in the name of any other high end shoe brand – no matter what! After all, there was a beauty pageant title on the line – Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix in … Continue Reading

Employers Pay for Antitrust “Conspiracies”

Ver la versión en español aquí Employers who agree not to poach each other’s workers may face substantial monetary exposure. This was the lesson learned the hard way by tech powerhouses Adobe, Apple, Google and Intel in a recent California antitrust class action suit. The Silicon Valley giants and other defendants were sued in a … Continue Reading

Health Care Reform – Business as Usual (For Now)

Ver la versión en español aquí Much publicized court cases in the last several weeks make us wonder whether the federal Health Care Reform law will survive. We leave the answer to that question to the U.S. Supreme Court. For now, employers should adopt the “business as usual” approach and continue to prepare for implementation … Continue Reading

True Colors – Can Naming a Paint Color Be a Discriminatory Act?

Ver la versión en español aquí Benjamin Moore & Co. is an American paint company. A former Benjamin Moore Manager, Clinton Tucker, alleges that the Company is marketing paints with racially insensitive names – his two names as a matter of fact. Tucker claims that Benjamin Moore’s Clinton Brown and Tucker Chocolate paint colors refer to … Continue Reading

Religious Discrimination: The Balance Between Protecting Customer Relations and Making Employee Accommodations

Ver la versión en español aquí A bank teller in Kentucky recently sued her employer claiming that she was fired from her job for telling every customer she met to “have a blessed day.” She was just being polite, right? Well, the bank alleges that several customers were offended by the teller’s comment. The teller also … Continue Reading

Should Your Employment Policies Be Translated?

Ver la versión en español aquí “Comprenden sus empleados las políticas de empleo?” If you did not understand that, take notice of a recent decision by a federal court judge. In the case, an employee sued his former employer for alleged unpaid wages. When the employee began his employment, he signed an agreement stating he … Continue Reading
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