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Supreme Court Backs Whistleblowing Air Marshall

On January 21st, the Supreme Court affirmed a former air marshal's right to whistleblower protection relating to his leaking of air security plans to the media.  The 7-2 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts in the case, Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean, No. 13-894 (U.S. January 21, 2015),  represents a rare victory for government whistleblowers who expose dangers to public health or safety. More ›

11th Circuit: Employer Aware of Employee's Underreported Hours Cannot Rely on "Unclean Hands" Defense in FLSA Case

Santonias Bailey, a TitleMax employee, underreported his hours worked.  His supervisor instructed him to do so, and the supervisor would also himself routinely revise Baily’s time records to reflect even less hours worked.  Bailey’s self-underreporting of hours violated TitleMax’s policy, however, which requires employees to verify time worked; further, his failure to report his supervisor for the supervisor’s instructions and revisions violated a second TitleMax policy relating to reporting of problems with supervisors.  More ›

7th Circuit Finds That Naming EEOC Claimant in SEC Filing May Have Been Retaliatory

Celia Greengrass worked as an account executive for International Monetary Systems, Ltd. ("IMS"). In September 2007, Greengrass made an internal complaint about alleged harassment by a manager; two months later, she quit her job. In January 2008, Greengrass filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging sex discrimination, national origin discrimination, and retaliation.

In March 2008, IMS was due to make its annual SEC filings, which required it to disclose any material legal proceedings, including the principal parties, facts, and relief sought. Upon consultation with an outside accountant, IMS elected to not include Greengrass's EEOC complaint in the SEC filing information. IMC did, however, without naming the complainant, refer to a different EEOC complaint brought against the company. More ›

California Court Expands Going and Coming Rule

Craig Schultz was a drafter for a civilian company that had several buildings located on a large U.S. Air Force base. He drove his personal vehicle onto the base, and was permitted to travel around the base and use military vehicles in light of his employment with the civilian company. While driving to work one morning, and while on base, he suffered symptoms of his diabetes which led to him flipping his car and sustaining severe injuries. Schultz filed a workers' compensation claim seeking benefits because his injury occurred on his employer's premises, and thus, he claimed he was injured in the course of his employment.California Court Expands Going and Coming Rule  More ›

California Supreme Court Holds 24-Hour Security Guards Entitled to 24-Hours of Pay

Security guards who work eight hours per day, are on-call eight hours per day, and reside/sleep (off duty but on site) eight hours per day are entitled to be paid for the entire 24-hour time period, says the California Supreme Court. More ›

6th Circuit: Interruptions During Meal Period Do Not Automatically Render Time Compensable

Yesterday we told you about the California Court of Appeals' decision in which the court found that it was not unlawful for an employer to require its security guards to be "on call" during rest periods. The Sixth Circuit reached a similar conclusion, but with respect to meal periods.  More ›

California Court of Appeals Allows On-Call Rest Breaks

In a striking move, the California Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion wherein it held that California law does not require employers to relieve employees of all duty during rest breaks. More ›

First Circuit Confirms Importance of Good Faith Interactive Process

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has given us yet another case demonstrating the importance of not only engaging in the interactive process, but doing so in good faith.

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kohl's Department Stores, Inc., No. 14-1268 (1st Cir. December 19, 2014), the employee, Pamela Manning worked a fairly predictable schedule as a sales associate. Later, the store restructured its staffing system which led to Manning's scheduled hours becoming more unpredictable. She therefore informed her supervisor that she could not work erratic shifts because it aggravated her diabetes, and subsequently brought in a doctor's note to that effect, requesting a predictable day shift. More ›

Eighth Circuit: Custodian Failed to Establish Constructive Discharge Following Wife's Public Comments

A school custodian’s hours and work assignments were changed six days after his wife spoke about eliminating the superintendent’s position at a school board meeting about budgetary issues.  The custodian’s reassignment happened four days after the school district eliminated two part-time custodial positions that previously handled the work.  The custodian resigned effective on the date his schedule was to change.  He claimed that his working conditions were “uniquely intolerable,” in part because his new assignment required outdoor work and he was severely allergic to bee stings, although his doctor never recommended excusing the custodian from performing any outdoor duties. More ›

Justice Department Extends Title VII Protection to Transgender Government Employees

In a surprising reversal, on December 18, 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") will now interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") as extending to protect discrimination claims based on gender identity, including transgender status. Although this is a noteworthy change of position by the Department, the Employment Litigation Section of the DOJ enforces Title VII against state and local governments only, and private employers therefore will not be affected by this expansion.   More ›