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Employment Flash - December 2014

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Rejects Security Screening Time Pay - NLRB Finalizes Union Election Rule - NLRB Reverses Employers’ Ability To Ban Employee Nonwork Email Use - EEOC Challenges Employer...more

The Next Frontier in ADA Litigation: Website and App Access for the Disabled

For the last several years, consumers have increasingly turned to online shopping as an alternative to traditional "brick and mortar" stores. Some reports showed that "Cyber Monday" sales figures beat out those for "Black...more

Watch Your Back: The Growing Threat of FCRA Background Check Class Actions

Class action suits against employers alleging a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act when using background checks performed by a credit reporting agency have more than tripled in 2014, with new cases continuing to be...more

Transgender Student Restroom Assignment Revisited

You may recall my colleague Zachary Schurin’s recent discussion of Doe V. Regional School Unit 26. In that matter, the Maine Supreme Court determined that the defendant school district’s requirement that a transgender...more

Cordia Senior Living to Pay $40,000 to Resolve EEOC Retaliation Lawsuit

Senior Living Center Fired Employee For Complaining of Sexual Harassment, Federal Agency Alleged - CHICAGO - Cordia Senior Living will pay $40,000 to a former employee to resolve a retaliation case brought by the U.S....more

Christmas Won’t Be Merry For These Employers!

Oh, you better watch out! A lot of employers have been naughty. I checked the court dockets, and would you believe all of these employment lawsuits filed in the week before Christmas! ...more

Obesity can be a disability, ECJ confirms

Ben Gorner, a Partner in our Birmingham office, comments: As we reported in Be Aware on 1 July and 18 July, the ECJ was recently asked in the case of Kaltoft v Kommunernes Landsforening to consider whether obesity should be...more

EuGH: Fettleibigkeit kann als Behinderung vor Kündigung schützen

Bei der Kündigung eines stark übergewichtigen Arbeitnehmers sollten Arbeitgeber in Zukunft besondere Vorsicht walten lassen. Denn der EuGH hat entschieden, dass krankhafte Fettleibigkeit („Adipositas“) als Behinderung gelten...more

Employees' Different Approaches Toward Salary Negotiations Does Not Justify Disparate Pay

Federal agencies and the media have paid a great deal of recent attention to the continuing disparities in salaries between male and female employees. Some experts have argued that part of this disparity is based on different...more

FMLA Leave for Headache Effectively Converts Full-Time Position into Part-Time Position; Employers' Shrieks Heard Across the...

This one is a real headache. Sam oversees a storage area for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and during certain times of the year, his position requires a fairly extensive amount of overtime. For...more

CJEU Gives Opinion On Whether Obesity Is A Disability

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has held, in Karsten Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund, that obesity can constitute a disability for the purposes of EU discrimination law, albeit only where the requirements...more

Changes Coming To Colorado Discrimination Claims

On January 1, 2015, changes to Colorado’s employment anti-discrimination statute will go into effect, drastically impacting employers facing employment discrimination claims. The changes will significantly expand the remedies...more

Minnesota Court Overturns 20 Years of Precedent to Extend Whistleblower Statute of Limitations to Six Years

On December 15, 2014, the Minnesota Court of Appeals extended the statute of limitations for Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA) claims from two to six years. In Ford v. Minneapolis Public Schools, the court overturned 20...more

Employment and Immigration Issues Facing Banks

EMPLOYMENT ISSUES - 1. No compensation for compensable work - Many banks—including large, sophisticated banks—are facing class action lawsuits for not compensating non-exempt employees for compensable work....more

Does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act Require Light Duty Assignments for Pregnant Workers?

The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Young v. UPS, a case that could drastically impact accommodation policies for pregnant employees. Up until now, courts widely held that employers could offer light-duty...more

EEOC’s Attempt to Limit Reach of Severance Agreements Hits Roadblock… Again

A federal judge in Colorado has once again stymied the EEOC’s efforts to successfully challenge an employer’s standard separation agreement as violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  The decision in Equal...more

NJ Supreme Court to Rule on SOL Waiver

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to address whether to uphold a provision in a job application that limited the time in which an employee could sue the company to no more than 6 months after an alleged adverse...more

Challenge to employment tribunal fees fails

Gurpreet Duhra, a Partner in our Sheffield office comments: The High Court has dismissed a second judicial review application by Unison challenging the introduction of employment tribunal fees. This means that, for now,...more

Autozone's Predicament: A $185 Million Punitive Damage Award

The record $185 million punitive damage award by a California jury in November 2014 against AutoZone has been widely reported. This huge verdict raises immediate questions: How did this happen? What circumstances led the jury...more

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Whistleblower Protection Is Not Available

The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §3729 et seq. (FCA), provides for triple damages and a penalty ranging from $5,500 to $11,000 per claim for anyone who knowingly submits or causes the submission of a false or fraudulent claim...more

Worker Failed to Show Pretext Following Contract Nonrenewal

The district court properly dismissed a former employee’s retaliation claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because she failed to prove that the employer’s performance-based reasons for her termination were a...more

Seventh Circuit Finds No ADA Liability for Employer Not Involved in Decisionmaking

Joyce Whitaker began working for Milwaukee County as a corrections officer in 2001. In 2005, she sustained a work-related back injury and subsequently was diagnosed with several related medical conditions. As a result, her...more

Illinois Appellate Court Finds Admitted Off-Duty Marijuana Use Does Not Bar Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Is an employee entitled to receive unemployment insurance benefits after being terminated for admittedly smoking marijuana while on vacation? According to a recent, and counter-intuitive, decision by the Illinois Appellate...more

Employment Client Alert: Punitive Damages Award in Title VII Sexual Harassment Case Does Not Violate Due Process

In State of Arizona v. ASARCO LLC, WL 6918577, published December 10, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an award of $300,000 in punitive damages did not violate due process even though no compensatory damages...more

Employment Law Advice You Should Never Follow

This is terrible advice on so many levels. First, an employee who doesn’t have even the relatively minimal income provided by unemployment is going to be that much more likely to sue you — as a matter of financial survival,...more

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