Civil Procedure Labor & Employment Civil Rights

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Unpaid Volunteers Are Not “Employees”, Says Court

The CHRO is no stranger to taking aggressive positions in the court system. So, it can really be no surprise that the agency wanted to expand who is covered by the state’s anti-discrimination laws....more

Changes to North Carolina's HB2 Restore Employee Right File a Discrimination Suit in State Court

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law House Bill 169 on July 18, 2016. The new law restores a North Carolina employee’s right to file a wrongful termination claim in North Carolina state court based on certain...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Broadly Defines “Marital Status” Discrimination

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently interpreted the state’s antidiscrimination law in an expansive manner, concluding that a broad spectrum of individuals can file suit and claim that their employers unfairly discriminated...more

When is Aberrant Workplace Behavior Sufficient to Justify Termination?

Aberrant workplace behavior caused by stress or a psychological condition is not uncommon. However, such behavior can also cause employers to become anxious regarding how to lawfully deal with the disruption and its effect on...more

California Federal Court Reminds Employers That They Must Carefully Navigate Disability Accommodation Process

The obligation to accommodate a disabled employee is an ongoing one; a doctor’s note may not be a prerequisite to engage in the interactive process – those are two important lessons that employers should take away from a...more

Employment Law - July 2016

Patchwork Expands as More Cities Adopt Paid Sick Leave - Why it matters - Following the recent example of Los Angeles and adding to the current patchwork of jurisdictions providing paid sick leave across the...more

ADA Allows Employer to Reduce Employee to Part-Time Status After Return From Medical Leave

Here is a common human resource scenario: An employee goes out of work on medical leave. While she is away from work, the managers or co-workers who cover her duties discover that the work can be readily accomplished without...more

Quirky Question #284: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, can you still unlawfully retaliate against it?

Question: One of our male supervisors wants to fire a female employee who complained that he was sexually harassing her. The harassment allegations appear to have some substance: he asked her for pictures of herself in a...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2016

Employer Is Entitled To Recover $4 Million In Attorney's Fees From EEOC - CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, 578 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1642 (2016) - The EEOC filed suit against CRST (a trucking company) alleging...more

Fifth Circuit Says Texas May Challenge EEOC Criminal Background Check Guidance

In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an Enforcement Guidance stating when employers’ use of criminal background checks to exclude applicants from jobs violates Title VII. The Guidance states the EEOC’s...more

The First Appellate District Confirms that the Attorney-Client Privilege and the Attorney Work Product Doctrine Apply to...

In City of Petaluma, the former employee filed a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging sexual harassment and retaliation during her employment with the City of Petaluma (“City”). The...more

HospitalityStaff Sued by EEOC for Religious Discrimination

Orlando Staffing Company Fired Rastafarian Employee Because of His Dreadlocks, Federal Agency Charges - ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando staffing company dedicated to Central Florida's massive hospitality industry violated...more

OSHA Hits Employer with Hefty Fine for Failing to Protect Employee from Assault by Client

A national home health care provider, doing business in York Pennsylvania as Epic Health Services, was recently issued a citation and significant fine by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in connection...more

Personnel Investigation By Outside Attorney Protected From Disclosure In Discovery

Seyfarth Synopsis: California Court of Appeal holds that (1) an outside attorney’s investigation can be privileged even though the attorney simply investigated facts, and (2) the employer does not waive the privilege simply...more

Employment Law Letter - Summer 2016

Last year the General Assembly enacted legislation prohibiting all public and private sector employers from disciplining an employee for “discussing the amount of his or her wages [or] inquiring about the wages of another...more

No Texas Hold ‘Em: Fifth Circuit Allows Texas to Challenge the EEOC Enforcement Guidance

A somewhat surprising decision in favor of the State of Texas was handed down from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 27, 2016, which held that (i) Texas had standing to challenge the Equal Employment Opportunity...more

California Court of Appeal Finds Fact Investigation by Outside Counsel is Privileged

In City of Petaluma v. Superior Court (Andrea Waters), the California Court of Appeal recently held that outside counsel's fact investigation of an employee's harassment and discrimination claims conducted prior to litigation...more

Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report — July 2016

Littler's Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report details key labor, employment, and benefits news and events at the federal, state, local, and global levels. The July edition of the Insider Report includes a discussion of...more

Supreme Court Upholds University Affirmative Action Admissions Policy

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court held for the second time that race may be taken into account when public universities and colleges admit students. In a 4-3 decision (Justice Kagan recused herself based on her prior...more

Can Employers Discipline Employees for “Self-Help Discovery”? Massachusetts Decision Raises More Questions Than Answers

Employers know all too well that employees sometimes help themselves to documents the employer would like to keep confidential. This is precisely why many employers require employees to sign confidentiality agreements and...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations describing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness...more

NJ Supreme Court Finds For Employees In Two Recent Cases

Seyfarth Synopsis: In two recent cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously expanded state law to protect individuals going through a divorce from discrimination, and remanded another case to the trial court with...more

Massachusetts High Court Paves Way for Employees to Engage in ‘Self-Help’ Discovery

The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that, in certain instances, an employee can access and obtain an employer’s records in order to support a claim of employment discrimination. Verdrager v. Mintz Levin, No....more

Revisiting the direct threat defense under the ADA

One of the defenses available to an employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the idea that an accommodation of a qualified individual with a disability cannot be made when the employee poses a “direct...more

Employer Policy Failure Precludes Summary Judgment on Discrimination Claim

Seyfarth Synopsis: California Court of Appeal reverses a summary judgment for an employer that failed to follow its own policy regarding layoffs. Moore v. Regents of the University of California serves as a reminder to...more

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