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Ghomeshi-gate: A Harassment Policy May Not Be Enough

On October 26, 2014, Jian Ghomeshi was fired from his position as a radio host with the CBC. The CBC alleges that, based on available evidence, it determined that Mr. Ghomeshi's conduct was a fundamental breach of the CBC's...more

Texas Supreme Court to Weigh In on Shell Defamation Suit

The Texas Supreme Court recently agreed to hear Shell Oil Co.’s pending defamation case. Robert Writt, a former Shell employee, sued the company for defamation after Shell submitted a report to the Department of Justice about...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

Employment Reform Legislation Passes Tennessee Legislature

On April 16, 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly, at the urging of Baker Donelson, passed significant employment litigation reform that will benefit employers throughout Tennessee. The bill places caps on compensatory...more

Workplace Bullying and The Law

Could Jonathan Martin successfully sue the Miami Dolphins and Richie Incognito for workplace bullying? Probably not. - For one reason or another, the existing array of legal claims do not cover much of what would be...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

When Santa Is Naughty, Does He Give Himself a Lump of Coal?

If so, then Santa should be giving himself a nice chunk of West Virginia’s finest to burn in his stove this Christmas. According the Associated Press, recently, at a mall in Hingham, Massachusetts, Santa was barred from the...more

No Harassment, No Problem: Idaho Court Holds Harassing Comments May Still Support Liability for Negligent Infliction of Emotional...

A November 27, 2013 opinion from the Idaho Supreme Court reinstated a former Assistant Vice Principal’s claim seeking damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress. This decision highlights that allegedly harassing...more

Boys Will Be Boys? Dolphins Face the Tough Question of Where Locker Room Behavior Ends and Workplace Harassment Begins

There is no crying in football, but is there harassment? The Miami Dolphins, a National Football League (NFL) franchise, faces this question in the wake of a highly-publicized bullying scandal involving the Dolphins’...more

But it’s our locker room: What is acceptable behavior in the sports workplace?

The first week in November was a particularly interesting period in the National Football League, especially as it applies to what is acceptable behavior between football teammates and in a professional locker...more

California Employment Law Notes - November 2013

Employer Was Entitled To "Substantial Motivating Factor" Jury Instruction - Alamo v. Practice Mgmt. Info. Corp., 219 Cal. App. 4th 466 (2013) - In one of the first appellate opinions to consider the new jury...more

California Employment Law Notes - September 2013

Employer May Be Liable For Death Resulting From Drunk Employee's Automobile Accident - Purton v. Marriott Int'l, Inc., 218 Cal. App. 4th 499 (2013) - In December 2009, the Marriott Del Mar Hotel held its annual...more

Employment Law -- Aug 28, 2013

Employer Liable for Employee’s Drunken Car Accident – After He Got Home - According to a recent California appellate court decision, an employer can be liable for an employee who drank too much at a company party, made...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - August 2013

As this FEB went to publication, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 292, which clarifies that sexual harassment claims under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act do not require a showing of sexual desire. The...more

A Legal Guide To The Use Of Social Media In The Workplace

In This Issue: - Introduction - Social Media And The Employment Relationship - Wage And Hour Considerations - Discrimination Laws - Protected Activity Laws - Applicant Screening...more

Company Parties Or Legal Nightmares?

The summer provides a great opportunity for employers to host company parties for the whole office to enjoy....more

NJ Supreme Court Clarifies Employee “Protected Activity”

The ruling provides guidance as to what employee conduct is protected under the antiretaliation provisions of two key state laws. On July 17, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued a decision in Battaglia v. United...more

Retaliation Under Title VII Must Be Proven Under Traditional “But For” Causation Doctrine

Where a person seeks compensation for injury resulting from wrongful conduct, there must be a demonstrated connection between the wrong alleged and the injury — i.e., causation. The default rule, developed in connection with...more

New Texas Statute Limits Employer Liability for Negligent Hiring and Negligent Supervision…Or Does It?

When it comes to conducting criminal background checks, employers have long been faced with a double-edged sword. If an employer fails to use criminal background checks to screen job applicants, the employer could face a...more

New Texas Law Protects Employers from Negligent Hiring and Supervision Claims

On June 14, 2013, the governor of Texas signed HB 1188 to limit liability for negligent hiring and supervision of employees with criminal convictions....more

Retail Industry Update, No. 2, June 2013: Handling Misconduct By (Someone Else's) Employees

In “Legally Blonde,” Reese Witherspoon’s hairdresser catches the eye of her crush, the sexy delivery driver. In spite of starting with an awkward misfire with the hairdresser smacking the delivery driver in the nose, the...more

Recent Development on Corporate Liability in U.S. Courts for Conduct Outside the United States

This week the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., which addressed the question of whether a federal court may recognize a cause of action under the Alien Tort Statute...more

The Final Breaths of the Alien Tort Statute

On April 17, 2013, the Supreme Court decided Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. For all intents and purposes, the decision eliminates use of the federal Alien Tort Statute ("ATS") as an employment law weapon to be used against...more

Employee’s Wrongful Termination And Defamation Claims Were Properly Dismissed

John McGrory alleged his employment was terminated because he is male and because he participated in his employer’s internal investigation. He also alleged defamation associated with a statement the vice president of human...more

Sexual Assault Victim’s Motion To Strike Supervisor’s Defamation Claim Was Properly Granted

Lisa Aber sued her employer and two co-employees (Michael Comstock, Aber’s supervisor, and James Cioppa) for sexual harassment and sexual battery, among other things. Comstock filed a cross-complaint against Aber in which he...more

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