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Though Destruction of Evidence was Egregious, Lesser Sanctions Ordered (New York)

Hawley v. Mphasis Corp., 2014 WL 3610946 (S.D.N.Y. July 22, 2014). In this employment discrimination case, the plaintiff moved for sanctions due to defendant’s alleged discovery violations. The plaintiff claimed that...more

IRCA Does Not Preempt FEHA, But Limits Available Remedies

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”) preempts the application of the antidiscrimination provisions of...more

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal on Enforceability of FLSA Collective Action Waivers

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied a request to review the issue of whether the Fair Labor Standards Act grants employees a non-waivable right to bring a collective action and thus, renders arbitration agreements with...more

Developments in Tennessee, Alabama, and Federal Employment Law

Effective July 1, 2014, a new law (T.C.A. § 29-39-104) changes the exposure for Tennessee employers subject to the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) and the Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”). The law limits...more

SEC's Enforcement Action Against Hedge Fund Adviser for Retaliation Against a Whistleblower Highlights Challenges Employers Face

After repeated warnings over the last few years that it had both the authority and willingness to do so, on June 16, 2014, the SEC brought its first enforcement action for retaliation against a whistleblower under the...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - June 2014

No Liability for Off-the-Clock Work Absent Employer Knowledge - A California appeals court refused to hold Kaiser Foundation Health Plan liable for alleged off-the-clock overtime about which it lacked knowledge. In...more

Sanity Prevails: The Tale of a 90% Reduction to a Punitive Damages Award

In the May 2014 Ontario Court of Appeal decision in the case of Boucher v. Wal-Mart, the $1,150,000 in punitive damages previously awarded to Boucher by a jury was reduced to $110,000. The decision represents a good monetary...more

Settlement Agreements: Forgetting Costs May Cost You in California

DeSaulles v. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, No. H038184 (May 2, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently considered the issue of whether one of the parties in a litigation can be considered to be...more

Federal Court Turns Away School District’s Attorney-Fee Claim

The United States District Court for the Western District of Texas has rejected a claim for attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b), which authorizes courts to award reasonable fees in actions to enforce civil rights statutes...more

New Tennessee Law Limits Scope of Employment Discrimination

Tennessee has drastically changed the legal landscape of employment discrimination litigation under state law. For claims arising after July 1, 2014, plaintiffs will no longer have the ability to seek unlimited compensatory...more

Judge Rules to Limit Mandatory Detention of Immigrants in California

On Thursday May 15, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted a motion for a preliminary injunction and motion for class certification in Preap v. Holder, a...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2014

Editor's Overview - This month our authors explore two important areas of ERISA's fiduciary duties applicable to single employer and multiemployer plans. First, Neal Schelberg and Aaron Feuer comment on a growing trend...more

California Employment Law Notes - May 2014

Male Employee's Sexual Harassment Claims Should Not Have Been Dismissed - Lewis v. City of Benecia, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1519 (2014). Brian Lewis, a heterosexual man, sued his former employer (the City of Benecia)...more

Should Employers Sue to Recover Attorney’s Fees After Winning a Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, the usual answer is no. After being sued by an employee for discrimination without a scintilla of evidence to support the claim, clients often ask “Can we countersue the employee for attorney’s fees?”...more

Whistleblower retaliation exposes Playboy to $6 million liability

A federal jury recently ordered Playboy Enterprises to pay $6 million to a former accounting executive who was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for blowing the whistle internally on what she perceived was improper...more

Daughter’s Facebook Post Leads to Costly Breach by Father of a Confidentiality Clause in His Settlement Agreement With Former...

A recent decision by a Florida appeals court, Gulliver Schools, Inc. v. Snay, stands as a stark reminder of the perils of trying to maintain confidentiality in the age of social media where news can travel faster than the...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Sanctions Against the EEOC In Action Fraught with Delays

Many employers who have dealt with the EEOC in large cases suffer frustration over inexplicable delays combined with at times unreasonable requests for information and/or relief. In a recent case from the Fourth Circuit, that...more

Civil Rights Attorney's Fees - Qualifying as a Prevailing Party Offers No Guarantees

With the enactment of the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Awards Act of 1976, a court may allow a prevailing party in a section 1983 civil rights lawsuit to recover reasonable attorney's fees as part of the award. One of the...more

(Not) April Fools Day – Changes To The Canada Labour Federal Code Effective April 1, 2014

For those federally regulated employers that are governed by the Canada Labour Federal Code (the “Federal Code”), there are some substantive changes coming of which you should take note....more

California Court of Appeal Holds Employer Cannot Shorten Statute of Limitation on California Discrimination and Retaliation Claims

Can employers enter into binding agreements with employees to shorten the statute of limitations on discrimination and other employment claims? A California Court of Appeal decision answered that question with a resounding...more

New ‘Digest of EEO Law’ Issued by EEOC

Quarterly Edition Includes Variety of Key Federal Sector Decisions - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the latest edition of its federal sector Digest of Equal...more

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was harassed by his supervisors who called him “queer,” “fagot [sic],” “homo,” and “gay porn star” and was subjected to other humiliating and harassing...more

California Employment Law Notes - March 2014

$150,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And $680,000 Fee Award Affirmed - Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2014) Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was...more

Employer's quick action bars racial harassment claim

Recently, a federal circuit court of appeals overturned a six-figure jury award in a case alleging racial harassment that involved talk of lynching and thinly veiled references to the Ku Klux Klan. Here’s another example of...more

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