Showing 14 posts from March 2015.

Does your Handbook hold up? The NLRB Offers Guidance for Employment Policies

Having an employee handbook is an effective way to communicate the rules of the workplace and the employer's expectations of its employees. Employers not only use handbooks in day-to-day personnel management activities, but also for discipline and termination, and as a defense in litigated disputes. It is, therefore, important for those handbooks to be compliant with applicable state and federal authorities.

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Court Shoots down ADA Discrimination Claim Premised on Employer's Alleged Embarrassment

It would never occur to most employers that "embarrassment" could serve as the grounds for a disability discrimination claim, but that's exactly what an employee attempted to argue in Lester v. City of Lafayette. In this case, a federal district court judge rejected a former city employee's argument that she was fired because officials from the City of Lafayette, Colorado (the "City") were embarrassed by her disabled daughter.  More ›

Everything must go? Dealership's Service Advisors not Exempt from Overtime

Classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt can prove to be an arduous task for some employers. For others, however, the classification is easy, particularly where the state or federal authorities expressly spell out the employees at issue. That still proved problematic for one California employer, however. As demonstrated by this week's Ninth Circuit opinion, even seemingly obvious classifications are not always so.  More ›

Supreme Court Vacates fourth Circuit in UPS Pregnancy Discrimination case, but Rejects EEOC's "Most Favored Employee" Argument

Since the case was argued on December 3, 2014, practitioners and clients alike have been anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.That wait is over as the Supreme Court issued a divided opinion yesterday. The majority opinion vacated the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had affirmed summary judgment in UPS's favor in a suit that arose out of the company's decision to deny leave to a pregnant driver in accordance with the terms of its leave provisions set out in a collective bargaining agreement.   More ›

Supervisor's "Hitler" Comment not Enough to Create Hostile work Environment

Does a single incident create a hostile work environment? Just this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that one offensive comment was insufficient to create a hostile work environment. More ›

Lie Rejecter: Employer's Fraud Defense to Disabled Employee's Claim Fails

It's no secret that in formulating their defense to employment claims, employers often seek to discredit employees' allegations through the employees' own contradictory statements or positions taken. This issue arises most frequently in the disability discrimination context, where, to prevail, an employee must prove that he was able to perform the essential functions of his position, with or without accommodation. But if the employee has sworn to another entity, agency, or court that he is disabled and therefore incapable of working (so that he can get certain unemployment or disability benefits, for example), does this seemingly obvious contradiction sound the death knell on his discrimination claim? Maybe not. More ›

"Unconscionable" to Provide Arbitration Agreement to Dancers While "Mostly Naked"

Not surprisingly, a court has found that employers should probably not present (and potentially force execution of) important legal documents to employees while they are mostly naked.  This shouldn't be too much of a stretch for most employers, but the reasoning behind the court's ultimate decision could have more far-reaching implications for all employers. More ›

Employment Status of Cosmetology Students is not so cut and Dry

The issue of whether "interns" are employees entitled to wages has been at the forefront of employment litigation over the past couple of years. Similar to interns, cosmetology students are now filing suits against their schools, claiming entitlement to wages for hours spent performing cosmetology services as a part of their curriculum and in order to obtain their state licenses. Not surprisingly, courts across the country have reached different results in this dispute.  More ›

Oakland Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Requirements take Effect this Week

Employers in Oakland, California take note: A voter-approved measure raising Oakland's minimum wage and creating sick leave requirements for workers in the City went into effect this week. If you have employees in Oakland, review your policies and practices to make sure you are in compliance! More ›

Employee's case Dismissed After Suing Wrong Employer Defendant

Often times, employees name parent companies and other affiliated entities when suing their employers, seeking to hold responsible anyone and everyone who could possibly be construed to be the "employer" for the purposes of employment law related claims. That plan backfired on a New York employee, after she attempted to recover from a holding company who really had no employment relationship with the employee. More ›