Showing 15 posts in Eighth Circuit.

Hold the Mayo: Jimmy John's Workers' Disparaging Statements Not Protected by the NLRA Says 8th Circuit

How far can employees go during a labor dispute to make their case to the public? For years the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has granted employees a surprising amount of leeway, so long as their statements were not made with malicious intent and pertained to an ongoing labor dispute. In other words, employees could go quite far. Fortunately for employers, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals recently tamped down this enthusiasm and redirected the NLRB to long-standing Supreme Court precedent. More ›

Eighth Circuit: Worker's Blood Pressure was not FMLA-Qualifying Condition Absent Multiple Visits or Supervised Treatment

Kendrick Johnson was at work, and he had a headache so bad he felt like his head was going “to explode.” So he left his shift and went to a walk-in clinic. There, he received a prescription for blood pressure medication and a note stating that he was to remain off work for three days. Six days later, he was out of a job. Johnson sued his employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), alleging that he was denied leave to which he was entitled, which raised the obvious issue of whether he even had a “serious medical condition” under the law. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals answered that question last week, providing essential guidance for employers.  More ›

Nurse's poor work Performance Outweighs Claims of Whistleblower Retaliation

Lisa Pedersen was a dialysis clinic nurse who was responsible for assessing patients, working with physicians, and administering medication to patients. Pedersen was counseled about aggression in the workplace and other performance issues, which led her to become upset and yell at her manager. During a discussion later that day, Pederson articulated, for the first time, that she had previously noticed that a box of blood samples were incorrectly packaged and that she believed them to be compromised. Pedersen then notified another manager, a customer service representative, a vice president, and an employee relations manager of the suspected compromised samples. She also advised all parties that she felt she would be retaliated against as a result of exposing the potential contamination. More ›

Employee Successfully Defeats Employer’s Summary Judgment on Quid Pro Quo Claim

In this case, the employee secured her position with the employer through the assistance of a friend's husband, and after she was hired, the man became her supervisor. After she was hired, she claimed he started to sexually harass her. Specifically, she claimed that he put his arms around her shoulders and kissed the side of her face; put his arm around her shoulders on another occasion; and that he asked her to remove a hair from his chin with tweezers and kissed her. On each occasion, she claimed she was uncomfortable and tried to refuse, but he repeatedly told her not to complain and that he could get her fired. The employee complained to her supervisor's supervisor, who said she would be in touch to discuss further, but no such communications took place. Thereafter, the supervisor and a manager expressed concern about the employee's job performance, appearance, and tardiness. The supervisor's supervisor directed them to terminate the employee's employment. More ›

Employee Witness Entitled to Same Protections against Retaliation as Complaining Employee

In this case, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals holds that not only is an employee who complains about inappropriate conduct in the workplace protected from retaliation, but the same protections extend to those employees who participate in an investigation into the alleged conduct. More ›

Eighth Circuit Rules Employer paid Disability Payments Constitute Earnings for Purposes of Wage Garnishment

An employee was injured on the job and as a result could no longer work for her employer and began receiving payments under a disability insurance program paid for by the employer. Sometime after the employee began receiving disability payments, the employee was incarcerated and upon her release, was forced to pay restitution. The Internal Revenue Service sought to garnish these disability payments pursuant to her restitution sentence. The employee challenged this garnishment claiming that the disability payments constituted earnings under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (“Act”) and thus were subject to the limitations that the Act places on the amount of earnings subject to garnishment. More ›

Eighth Circuit: Undocumented Restaurant Workers were Entitled to FLSA Protection

—In a decision issued on July 29, 2013, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals became the second federal circuit to find that the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage protections extend to undocumented workers, such that those workers can file wage claims and recover damages. Addressing the issue in the shadow of a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision that denied similar awards for back pay to undocumented workers under the National Labor Relations Act, the panel of Eighth Circuit judges refused to extend that case’s reasoning. “The FLSA does not allow employers to exploit any employee’s immigration status,” the judges concluded, “or to profit from hiring unauthorized aliens in violation of federal law.” More ›

Court Finds Epileptic Employee not "Qualified Individual" Under ADA or Missouri Law

A mammography technician with epilepsy had suffered numerous seizures at work. The technician suffered epileptic seizures unpredictably, and they caused her to lose orientation and muscle control, which led to falls and injuries. The risk of injury to the technician and patients was too great, and the employer placed her on paid administrative leave. The employer thereafter made various other accommodations in order to eliminate environmental triggers to her seizures. Though she returned to work, the seizures continued. Her continued seizures and failure to find a accommodation led to the employer placing the technician on unpaid administrative leave. Once she began taking medicine to help control her seizures, the employer offered to reinstate her, but she refused.  More ›

Employees Cannot give Constructive Notice of need for FMLA Leave in the Eighth Circuit

This suit arose when an employee at a food production company missed a month of work due to depression. She ultimately lost her job for failing to comply with the company’s call-in procedure, which treated three consecutive absences without calling in as a voluntary termination of employment. The termination was executed despite the fact that the employee had intermittently taken leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and that a coworker would notify the employee’s supervisor when she was “sick.” The employee filed FMLA entitlement (interference) and retaliation claims against the employer. More ›

Eighth Circuit Revives Deaf Lifeguard’s Disability Claim

A deaf individual who could detect noises through the use of a cochlear implant and who used American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate successfully completed two lifeguard training programs through the county. Though he had an ASL interpreter to communicate verbal instructions, the interpreter did not assist him in executing lifesaving tasks. The individual applied for and was conditionally offered a lifeguard position subject to him passing a pre-employment physical. The doctor, however, determined that because the individual was deaf, he could not be a lifeguard, unless he was constantly accommodated. The county then undertook a job task analysis to determine whether the individual could perform the job with or without accommodation, and because it was uncertain whether the individual could safely work as a lifeguard by himself, the offer of employment was revoked. More ›

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