Category Archives: Employment Litigation

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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

Takeaway Lessons from One Employer’s Loss on FMLA Retaliation Claim

Ver la versión en español aquí The City of Hot Springs, Arkansas, found itself in hot water after not rehiring employee Wayne Jackson following his leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Jackson had surgery and went on leave in January 2010. After using his 9 weeks of sick leave, he took 12 … Continue Reading

Jail Staffer’s Response to Complaints Aids & Abets Sexual Harassment

“Think before you speak.” That’s a lesson we all learn at some point between childhood and early adolescence, right? Often, it’s a lesson instilled in us by our parents, and at times, we learn the lesson only after an embarrassing “foot in mouth” experience. Apparently, there is at least one full-grown adult out there who … Continue Reading

Two Decisions About Arbitration Agreements Florida Employers Should Note

Florida’s Supreme Court and the federal appeals court covering Florida recently issued opinions regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements.  The federal court opinion said that an arbitration agreement waiving an employee’s ability to bring a collection action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is enforceable.  The state court opinion said that an arbitration provision … Continue Reading

College’s No Gossiping Policy and Termination Thrown Out by NLRB Judge

Last week, an administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board, ruled that a technical college ran afoul of the National Labor Relations Act for instituting a policy prohibiting employees from gossiping and for then firing an employee who violated the policy.  Click here for a copy of the case. Laurus Technical College in Atlanta … Continue Reading

Prying Eyes: Reading a Former Employee’s Personal Email Gets Verizon Sued

An Ohio Federal District Court recently ruled that Verizon Wireless could be sued for reading a former employee’s personal emails on a company-issued device. During her employment, Verizon issued Sandi Lazetle a Blackberry which she used for company email.  According to Sandi, she was told that she also could use the Blackberry for personal email, … Continue Reading

Back Door Into Employee’s Facebook Wall is a No-No

A New Jersey federal court ruled this week that “private” Facebook wall posts are covered by the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”).  The SCA is a federal law that, among other things, prohibits unauthorized access of communications stored on the internet. Deborah Ehling, a former Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp. nurse, posted comments on her Facebook wall … Continue Reading

A Busy Week at the Supreme Court – Three Important Decisions for Employers

In the past few days, the United States Supreme Court has issued three decisions that significantly impact employment law. We offer a brief summary of the Court’s decisions and how they impact employers. American Express v. Italian Colors. The case was not an employment law case and dealt with the less-than-sexy issue of arbitration clauses. … Continue Reading

Court Turns Searchlight on Unpaid Interns in Film and Entertainment Industry

On Tuesday, a federal court judge in New York ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and state wage laws by not paying production interns.  The production interns, Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman, worked on the psychological thriller “Black Swan” performing work such as reconciling purchase orders and invoices, drafting cover letters, filing, making copies, arranging … Continue Reading

FLSA and Mootness: The Court Punts and Kagan Throws a Stiff Arm

We have blogged in the past whether offering back pay and other expenses to a plaintiff in a lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can “kill” the lawsuit. Some courts have recognized that offering the plaintiff full back pay and expenses makes the lawsuit “moot,” even if the plaintiff rejects the offer. Other … Continue Reading

Make Sure Your Recruiters Know What NOT to Say to Employees

Whether you have in-house or outside recruiters, make clear what they can and cannot say to your employees.  On March 11, 2013, an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) for the National Labor Relations Board made the recommendation that Aerotek, Inc., an employee staffing company, violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when its recruiters told employees … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Holds Liquidated Damages Discretionary for FLSA Retaliation

On February 13, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Florida, ruled that liquidated damages for a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are discretionary, and not mandatory. Moore v Appliance Direct, Inc. is the first decision on this issue in the Eleventh Circuit, which also covers Georgia and … Continue Reading

Florida Appellate Court Applies Amended Misconduct Standards for Unemployment Compensation Benefits

In August 2011, we blogged about the amendments to the unemployment compensation statutes, which included a new definition of misconduct (see Florida Employers Get Immediate Unemployment Compensation Relief).  The definition of misconduct is: A violation of an employer’s rule, unless the claimant can demonstrate that:  He or she did not know, and could not reasonably … Continue Reading
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