Showing 13 posts from November 2012.

Seventh Circuit Orders Jury Trial Because Employer Couldn’t Prove date of Phone Call Triggering Title VII’s 300-Day Limitations Period

A Wisconsin employer is facing a federal jury trial, all because it failed to properly document a simple phone call. In a decision issued yesterday, Begolli v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. et al, No. 12-1875 (7th Cir. Nov. 29, 2012), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals revived a plaintiff’s discrimination claim against the employer after a lower court had dismissed the suit, finding that a question of fact existed as to whether the plaintiff had filed within Title VII's 300-day limitations period. The trial was necessary because the employer could not prove when it had called the plaintiff to deny his employment application. More ›

Seventh Circuit Upholds Decision in Favor of Employer in Race Discrimination Case

Two African-American nurses filed a complaint against their hospital-employer alleging that the hospital had discriminated against them on the basis of race and retaliated against them for their complaints about racial discrimination in violation of Title VII. Throughout their employment, both nurses complained about their working conditions. They alleged their supervisors failed to make the changes that they recommended and treated them less favorably due to their race. The nurses also alleged that they were retaliated against due to their complaints of race discrimination. More ›

Christian Employee Lacks Religious Accommodation Claim

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed the issue of accommodations of employees' religious practices. More ›

Hospital’s Challenge to NLRB Health care rule Denied

A hospital challenged the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) certification of the union as the representative of a "wall to wall" bargaining unit of the hospital's professional and non-professional employees. The hospital claimed that the Health Care Rule (which limited the number and type of bargaining units allowed in an acute care setting) violated the National Labor Relations Act, Section 9(c)(5) because it endorsed the extent of a union's organization as the controlling factor in determining bargaining units. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, rejected this argument, as well as the hospital's argument that the NLRB violated the Rule because the union was required to show, and the Board was required to find, extraordinary circumstances to join together a number of the Rule's designated units. The Court of Appeals, however, found that such a showing was not required under the Rule. More ›

U.S. Supreme Court: State Court Should not have Ruled on Validity of Noncompete Clause; Issue Was for Arbitrator

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Oklahoma Supreme Court erroneously struck down a noncompete agreement, declaring it invalid under state law. The problem with the state court's decision, however, was that there was an arbitration agreement in the employer's employment agreements; thus, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the state court should have allowed an arbitrator to determine whether the non-compete was valid or not.   More ›

Sixth Circuit: Adverse Decision Against Union does not stop Retirees from Bringing Action on Same Grounds

In the recent decision in Amos v. PPG Indus. Inc., No. 10-3319 (6th Cir., November 1, 2012), an employer reduced health care benefits of employees represented by unions. The unions brought a lawsuit in district court on behalf of the employees and alleged the reduction in benefits constituted a breach of the collective bargaining agreement as the health care benefits of retirees were vested and could not be reduced. More ›

USCIS Issues New Guidance on Work Authorization and I-9 Processing for Deferred Action Recipients

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program (DACA). The program permits individuals who came to the U.S. as youth and who meet certain requirements to remain in the U.S. and to work, despite their undocumented status. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has now begun issuing Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to participants in the DACA program. Therefore, on November 19, 2012, USCIS issued an important document providing guidance to employers on the treatment of such EADs and the processing of Forms I-9 in these cases. (EADs issued to DACA participants can be identified by the category shown on the card: "C-33".) The new USCIS document provides specific guidance regarding both new employees and existing employees, summarized below. More ›

Co-Workers’ Seemingly Ageist Remarks Insufficient to Create Triable Issue of fact in ADEA Case

During the course of an investigation into employees fraudulently submitting falsified customer service surveys, a 60 year-old employee was terminated. He subsequently filed an age-discrimination claim in Texas state court pursuant to the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). In support of his claim, he claimed his co-workers called him names like "old man," "old fart," "pops," and "grandpa," but he never reported this before he was terminated. The District Court granted summary judgment on behalf of the employer. The employee appealed, contending the District Court 1) used the wrong causation standard in analyzing his termination and 2) erred in granting summary judgment on his hostile work environment claim. More ›

Second Circuit Grants Injunctive Relief to Prevent Recurring Sexual Harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC) brought a lawsuit on behalf of a class of female employees against a grocery store operating in Oswego, New York, alleging sexual harassment and a sexually hostile work environment in violation of Title VII and New York State law. The sole alleged harasser was the store manager, who was alleged to have engaged in verbal and physical harassment. An employee made numerous complaints to management about this alleged harassment, but the store owner allegedly discredited the complaints, likely due to the fact that the store owner and the alleged harasser were in a long term romantic relationship. After a jury trial, the employee was awarded over $1.25 million in compensatory and punitive damages. More ›

Employee’s Facebook Pictures Reflecting Conduct Inconsistent with FMLA Leave Supports Employer’s Termination Decision

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that an employer did not retaliate against an employee who had taken intermittent leave nor did it interfere with her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when it fired the employee for fraud. More ›