Showing 4 posts from October 2012.

Thirteen Month gap Between Protected Activity and Alleged Retaliation Leads To Summary Judgment For Employer

In Anderson v. Donahoe, a U.S. Postal Service employee suffered from asthma. The employee claimed his employer failed to accommodate his disability which allegedly arose due to flare ups of his condition that he experienced while working as a part-time mail processor. For seven years, from 2002 through 2009, the employee filed multiple complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in addition to union grievances, requesting a reasonable accommodation of his disability. During the same seven-year period, the employee had extended periods of absences from work. The employee sued his employer claiming that it had violated the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Rehabilitation Act. The trial court granted the employer summary judgment. The employee appealed. The Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the granting of summary judgment against the employee. More ›

Tax Court Finds Masonry Contractors to be “Employees”

In this case, the employer, an S corporation that operated a masonry subcontracting business, treated its workers as independent contractors and not employees. The workers were hired on a per-job basis, brought their own tools to the jobs, were free to work for other employers and were paid on a piecework basis in cash. The payments made to the workers were often not adequately recorded and minimal documentation existed. The employer was then selected for an employment tax audit through which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determined the workers should have been categorized as employees. As a result it determined the employer owed employment taxes it should have originally withheld, along with penalties and interest on these amounts and penalties for the failure to file returns and remit these amounts. More ›

Seventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Against Illinois Eavesdropping Law Claim

Illinois is somewhat unique among the states when it comes to its eavesdropping statute. Illinois has a statute which prohibits recording a phone conversation unless all the parties to the conversation consent. 720 ILCS 5/14-2(a)(1). In the same act, persons are barred from later using or distributing any data procured through a recording that lacks the required unanimous consent. 720 ILCS 5/14-2(a)(3). There are exceptions, and a significant one covers a situation where one of the parties to the conversation has fear of a crime occurring. 720 ILCS 5/14-3(i). The statutory exception imposes specific requirements, including that one of the parties to the conversation makes or requests the making of the recording, that said person has a reasonable suspicion that another party to the conversation has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime against that person or a member of that person's immediate household, and that the recording of the conversation may produce evidence of that criminal offense. Id. More ›

NLRB: Auto Dealership did not Violate Labor Law when it Fired Employee for Posting Facebook Photos of Accident at Sales Event

In a decision made public yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board determined that a car dealership employee who was terminated for posting mocking photos on Facebook of a serious accident at its "Ultimate Driving Event" was not engaged in concerted activity, and that his termination. therefore, did not violate the National Labor Relations Act. The decision in Knauz Motors, Inc. d/b/a Knauz BMW, Case 13-CA-046452 (Sep. 28, 2012), is not all good news for employers, however, as the Board suggested that other photos posted by the employee, which mocked the food at the sales event — but which no other employee commented on or joined in — constituted protected activity because they related to earlier complaints from the sales team regarding the food. More ›