Category Archives: Employment Litigation

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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

Collective Action Waivers Survive Court Scrutiny Despite NLRB Ruling

On February 1, a federal court in New York joined appeals courts in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th circuits in finding enforceable a waiver of the right to bring collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in arbitration agreements.  This decision is at odds with the National Labor Relations Board’s … Continue Reading

Be Mindful Who is Included in Your Tip Pool – FLSA Lawsuits are Lurking

A recent case from the federal court in Orlando provides a reminder that sharing pooled tips too widely could violate the Fair Labor Standards Act and expose the employer for failing to pay the minimum wage. In Rubio v. Fuji Sushi & Teppani, Inc., a former server sued the restaurant where she had worked for … Continue Reading

Court Says Employer Not Liable for Unreported Work Time

        The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act brought by an employee who failed to follow her employer’s policy for reporting uncompensated work time.  In Margaret White v. Baptist Mem’l Health Care Corp., the employer, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. (“Baptist”), automatically … Continue Reading

Accurate Timekeeping System Gives Company Win on Overtime Claim

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently found no liability for a company that kept accurate time records in the face of a former employee who claimed that he was not paid for overtime hours that he worked at home.  In Brown v. Scriptpro, the employer, Kansas-based company ScriptPro LLC, had an automated timekeeping system … Continue Reading

Appeals Court Says ADA’s Safe Harbor Provision Permitted Medical Examination and Disability-Related Inquiries for Wellness Program Tied to Group Health Plan

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Florida, ruled on Monday that Broward County’s wellness program, which required employees to undergo a biometric screening and fill out a health assessment questionnaire, did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The ADA generally prohibits medical examinations and disability-related inquiries unless job-related and … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Ruling on FMLA Eligibility Reminds Employers to Keep Accurate Time Records

In Donnelly v. Greenburgh Central School District No. 7, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently highlighted the importance of keeping accurate time records for employees to determine Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) eligibility.  To be eligible for leave under the FMLA, an employee must work “at least 1,250 hours of service…during the … Continue Reading

The Fifth Circuit Says Employer Can Privately Settle FLSA Claims Without DOL or Court Approval

For over 30 years, the federal courts in Florida (and in other states) have required that settlements of minimum wage and overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) be reviewed and approved either by a court or the US Department of Labor.   Now, one court, the Fifth Circuit Court Of Appeals, the federal … Continue Reading

United States Supreme Court Says Pharmaceutical Reps are FLSA Exempt Outside Salespeople

The U.S. Supreme Court handed the pharmaceutical industry a huge victory in the battle over whether pharmaceutical sales representatives are entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The pharmaceutical industry took the position that its sales representatives were exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements as exempt outside salespeople. The sales representatives argued … Continue Reading

Tampa Federal Court Rejects NLRB D.R. Horton Decision – Arbitration of FLSA Collective Action Claims Permitted

In January we blogged about the NLRB’s decision in D.R. Horton, Inc., which said that requiring employees, as a condition of employment, to sign an arbitration agreement barring collective or class actions for employment-related claims violated the law (see NLRB Says Not To Requiring Employees To Sign Arbitration Agreements Prohibiting Group of Class Action). A … Continue Reading

Unpaid Internships = Cheap Labor? Think Again.

In the third of three recent wage and hour class actions brought by unpaid interns against  media and entertainment companies (Wang v. The Hearst Corp. and Glatt and Footman v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc.), a former unpaid intern for the “The Charlie Rose Show” has sued Charles Rose and his production company on behalf of all interns … Continue Reading

Two Federal Courts Greenlight Employment Arbitrations

In January we blogged about the NLRB’s decision in D.R. Horton, Inc., which said that requiring employees, as a condition of employment, to sign an arbitration agreement barring collective or class actions for employment-related claims violated the law (see NLRB Says Not To Requiring Employees To Sign Arbitration Agreements Prohibiting Group of Class Action).  In … Continue Reading

NLRB Says No to Requiring Employees to Sign Arbitration Agreements Prohibiting Group or Class Action

On January 3, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled in D.R. Horton, Inc., that requiring employees, as a condition of employment, to sign an arbitration agreement prohibiting them from filing collective or class actions for employment-related claims violates the law.  The decision involved an overtime case brought by Michael Cuda against his employer, … Continue Reading

If an Employee Works Overtime and No One Knows Will the Employer Be Liable? A Recent Case Says, "No."

We have all heard the riddle of whether a tree that falls in a forest with no one present makes a noise. A federal appellate court sitting in Indiana faced a similar question regarding a former employee’s claim for overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In the case of Kellar v. Summit … Continue Reading

Love That Tender: Mooting an FLSA Action

On September 20, we posted, Was Dionne The FLSA Magic Bullet We Thought?, which discussed recent cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) where the employer tried to moot the lawsuit by tendering the back pay and liquidated damages claimed by the former employee.  As a refresher, in Dionne v. Floormasters Enterprises, Inc., the … Continue Reading

Administrative Law Judge Reviews Two Facebook Postings – One Protected, One Not

As another follow-up to our posts, NLRB OK’s Employee Bad-Mouthing on Social Media, Update: The NLRB Seesaws On Social Media Bad-Mouthing, NLRB Issues Guidance On Social Media Policies and Administrative Law Judge Recommends Employees Fired For Facebook Be Reinstated and Provided Loss of Pay, an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) has made a recommendation on another … Continue Reading

Was Dionne The FLSA Magic Bullet We Thought?

Has the Eleventh Circuit Court Appeals provided employers with a means to resolve a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuit quickly and avoid paying attorneys’ fees or has the plaintiffs bar already revised its litigation strategy?  The federal appeals court with jurisdiction over Florida, Georgia, and Alabama recently denied attorneys’ fees to a plaintiff suing … Continue Reading

Cutting of H-1B Employees’ Salary Costs Employer More Than a $1 Million

A recent decision from a federal court in Tennessee affirmed an administrative decision awarding more than $1 million in back pay to H-1B physician employees of several clinics owned by Mohan Kutty.  The decision is Kutty v. Department of Labor. Kutty is a physician who operated clinics in Tennessee and Florida.  He hired several foreign … Continue Reading

Polygraphing Employees – A Recent Eleventh Circuit Case Serves as a Refresher

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision addressing an employer’s requirements under the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA).  The decision, Cummings v. Washington Mutual, is the first in recent memory from a court with jurisdiction over Florida. Before discussing the case, we provide a quick refresher on EPPA.  Generally, the … Continue Reading

Employers Should Reflect on Two Recent Supreme Court Class Action Decisions

The U.S. Supreme Court ended its term this week.  As the Justices start their three-month vacation, employers should reflect on two important decisions from the Court’s last term dealing with class actions.  What are the takeaways? (1)  One-size-fits-all class actions for discrimination cases won’t cut it.    This year’s blockbuster case, Dukes v. Wal-Mart, was … Continue Reading

Employers Beware: Tort Claim Against Supervisor Revived on Appeal

A Florida appellate court (Alexis v. Ventura, Fla. 3d DCA June 29, 2011) has revived an employee’s tortious interference against her former supervisor.  Ketlyne Alexis originally sued her former employer, Arbor E & T, for harassment and discrimination.  Alexis then added Lilliam Ventura, her immediate supervisor, as a defendant to a tortious interference claim in … Continue Reading

Court Says $2.5 Million Discrimination Case Should Have Never Gone to the Jury

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal recently reversed a hefty jury verdict in favor of the employee and directed the trial court to enter final judgment in favor of Florida International University (“FIU “).  See St. Louis v. FIU, Third District Court of Appeal, No. 3D08-2316, March 30, 2011.  The case was a big win for … Continue Reading
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