James G. Ryan

James G. Ryan

Cullen and Dykman LLP

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Latest Publications


OSHA Fines May Increase More Than 80% In 2016

The recent budget Congress passed included a provision that allows the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to raise its fines, which has not been adjusted since 1990....more

11/24/2015 - Enforcement Actions Fines OSHA Safety Precautions Workplace Safety

Committee Passes Bill to Veto NLRB’s New Joint-Employer Standard

Recently, the House Education and the Workforce Committee approved the Protecting Local Business Opportunities Act (the “Bill”) with a 21-15 vote. This Bill was introduced as a response to the National Labor Relations Board’s...more

11/24/2015 - Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc. Hiring & Firing Joint Employers NLRB Staffing Agencies

Suspended Student Sues Penn State University Alleging New Sexual Misconduct Investigative Procedures Violate Due Process

Last week, a federal judge in Pennsylvania granted injunctive relief to a student who was suspended from Penn State University (the “University”) for alleged sexual misconduct. Specifically, the judge issued an order...more

11/9/2015 - Deportation Disciplinary Proceedings Due Process Sexual Conduct Title IX

With the Ninth Circuit’s O’Bannon Decision, The NCAA Must Comply With Antitrust Laws

Last year, in O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., Ed O’Bannon, a former All-American UCLA basketball player, along with nineteen others, filed an antitrust class action suit against the National...more

11/9/2015 - Antitrust Litigation Class Action Compliance Name and Likeness O'Bannon v NCAA SCOTUS Sherman Act

Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Prohibiting Transgender Discrimination in New York State

On October 23, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo (“Governor Cuomo”) exercised his executive power to expand the New York State Human Right Law to include protections for transgender individuals. The announcement came during the...more

10/29/2015 - Comment Period Discrimination Employment Discrimination Employment Policies Gender Discrimination Gender Identity Harassment Human Rights LGBT NYHRL Transgender

Second Circuit Holds Facebook “Likes” Protected by NLRA

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) released a summary order and held that an employee’s “like” on Facebook can be protected by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”)....more

10/26/2015 - ALJ Appeals Collective Bargaining Facebook Hiring & Firing Income Taxes NLRA NLRB Payroll Taxes Protected Concerted Activity

Court of Appeals Rules that Kansas University Cannot Expel Accused Student for Off-Campus Sexual Misconduct

To what extent can an institution discipline a student for off-campus behavior directed at another student vis-à-vis the Internet? This issue was addressed in a recent case involving the University of Kansas (the...more

10/26/2015 - ACLU Colleges Criminal Mischief Disciplinary Proceedings Education Code Educational Institutions Expulsion Internet OCR Online Platforms Sexual Harassment Students Title IX Universities

Ninth Circuit Issues Stay in O’Bannon Antitrust Lawsuit

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the “Ninth Circuit”) granted the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (the “NCAA”) request for a stay of a federal judge’s ruling that makes it illegal for the...more

8/18/2015 - Basketball Football Gender Equity Name and Likeness NCAA O'Bannon v NCAA Right of Publicity Student Athletes Title IX UCLA

NFL Deflategate Suit: Paving The Way For Forum Shopping in Federal Court

When a plaintiff decides to bring a lawsuit, one of the most crucial decisions he has to make is which judicial forum the case should be brought in. Many people only distinguish between state and federal courts. However,...more

8/18/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Collective Bargaining Deflategate First-to-File Football Forum Shopping New England Patriots NFL Popular Tom Brady

President Obama Drafts Executive Order Requiring Paid Sick Leave for Government Contractors

On August 5, 2015, President Obama drafted an executive order that would require all employers that contract with the federal government to provide paid sick leave to individuals who are sick, seeking medical attention, or...more

8/12/2015 - Executive Orders Federal Contractors Obama Administration PTO Sick Leave Subcontractors Wage and Hour

Wal-Mart Accused of Gender-Discrimination Because of Anti-Gay Insurance Policies

In Cote v. Wal-Mart Stores, Wal-Mart is facing the possibility of a class action suit from a former employee who claims that the company’s denial of healthcare benefits to her same-sex spouse amounts to sex discrimination....more

8/4/2015 - Civil Rights Act Class Action Discrimination EEOC Employee Benefits Employment Discrimination Gender Discrimination Health Insurance Same-Sex Marriage Sexual Orientation Discrimination Spouses Title VII Wal-Mart

Second Circuit Rejects Ledbetter Application to Job Bias Cases

In a recent case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) narrowed the scope of extended time limits offered by the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Fairness Act of 2009 (the “Ledbetter Act”). By way of...more

8/4/2015 - ADA Demotions Disability Disability Discrimination Discrimination EEOC Employment Discrimination Lilly Ledbetter Statute of Limitations Trains Wage and Hour

Employee versus Independent Contractor? New DOL Guidance Suggests that Most Workers are Employees

In the wake of recent lawsuits and administrative proceedings against Lyft, Uber and other similar companies for misclassifying employees as independent contractors, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has provided new...more

8/4/2015 - DOL FLSA Independent Contractors Lyft Misclassification Popular Uber Wage and Hour

The Sixth Circuit Finds Complaints to Harassing Supervisor Constitute Protected Activity Under Title VII

A recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (“Sixth Circuit”) decision could have major implications for employers within its jurisdiction. In EEOC v. New Breed Logistics, No. 13-6250, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6650, the...more

8/4/2015 - Compensatory Damages EEOC Employment Discrimination En Banc Review Harassment Hiring & Firing Popular Protected Activity Punitive Damages Retaliation Sexual Harassment Title VII Wrongful Termination

Obergefell Decision Opens The Door For Anti-Discrimination Litigation

On June 26, 2015, on the second anniversary of United States v. Windsor, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, held that under the Fourteenth Amendment no state could deny same-sex couples the right to marry or...more

7/9/2015 - Anti-Discrimination Policies Benefit Plan Sponsors DOMA Equal Protection ERISA Fourteenth Amendment Marriage Marriage Equality Obergefell v. Hodges Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Spouses US v Windsor

Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie & Fitch in Religious Discrimination Case

In a previous blog post we discussed the facts, and potential consequences of a pro-plaintiff holding in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Store, Inc. As a brief recap, in 2008, Samantha Elauf, a...more

7/9/2015 - Abercrombie & Fitch Disparate Impact Disparate Treatment EEOC EEOC v Abercrombie Hiring & Firing Reasonable Accommodation Religious Discrimination SCOTUS Title VII

Former Harvard Professor Files Title IX Lawsuit After Being Denied Tenure

Over the past year, an exceptional number of colleges and universities have been accused by both complainants and accused students of mishandling complaints of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX. Now, in a somewhat...more

4/16/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Colleges Former Employee Harvard University Professors Retaliation Sex Discrimination Sexual Assault Tenure Title IX Universities

Federal Court Dismisses Accused Student’s Title IX Lawsuit Against Vassar College

Last week, a federal judge in New York (Abrams, J.) dismissed an accused student’s lawsuit against Vassar College alleging that the institution discriminated against him by failing to conduct an equitable investigation into a...more

4/10/2015 - Discrimination Dismissals Educational Institutions Gender Discrimination Informed Consent Sexual Abuse Sexual Conduct Title IX

Federal Judge Finds Michigan School District Liable for Failure to Train Staff on Title IX

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney held that the Forest Hills School District, located near Grand Rapids, Michigan, can and will be held liable for its failure to provide Title IX training to staff on proper...more

4/3/2015 - Public Schools School Districts Sexual Assault Title IX Training

Federal and State Governments Respond to Recent Data Breaches and Propose New Cybersecurity Laws

Over the past few months, major retailers and Internet content providers, like Target and Sony, have been victims of massive cyber-attacks resulting in the release of customer credit card data, private corporate e-mails, and...more

3/19/2015 - Cybersecurity Data Breach Legislative Agendas Popular Proposed Legislation

New FMLA Regulations Expand the Definition of Spouse to Include Same-Sex Marriages

Rules governing family medical leave for gay couples will soon reflect the rapid changes sweeping the nation. Since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013) courts across the nation...more

3/11/2015 - DOJ DOMA Employee Rights Final Rules FMLA Same-Sex Marriage Spouses US v Windsor

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument This Week in Abercrombie Discrimination Case

Another year has begun and it seems like the debate over Abercrombie and Fitch’s employee dress code policy shows no indication of stopping. Only this time – the U.S. Supreme Court is getting involved....more

2/25/2015 - Dress Codes EEOC v Abercrombie Hiring & Firing Oral Argument Religious Clothing SCOTUS Title VII

Rumors Of Joint Employer Liability For Frachisors Are Greatly Exagerated

Despite the hand wringing and pontifications that franchisors will now be deemed employers or joint employers of the employees of their franchisees, that is simply not the case. The long held protections enjoyed by...more

2/4/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Franchise Agreements Franchisee Franchises Franchisors Joint Employers McDonalds NLRB

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow: What Employers Should Remember When Bad Weather Hits

In addition to bringing nearly two-feet of snow, Winter Storm Juno has also brought a gust of wage and hour issues for employers. Unfortunately, it is likely not the last time this winter that employers will have to consider...more

2/2/2015 - Best Management Practices Exempt-Employees FLSA Non-Exempt Employees Severe Weather Wage and Hour

U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Disparate Impact Liability Under the Fair Housing Act

On January 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Docket No. 13-1371, a case that focuses on whether claims based on...more

1/29/2015 - ADEA Age Discrimination Commercial Property Owners Commercial Real Estate Market DHCA v Inclusive Communities Project Discrimination Disparate Impact Oral Argument Race Discrimination Residential Property Owners Residential Real Estate Market SCOTUS Title VII

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