Employer Liability Issues Appeals

News & Analysis as of

California Court of Appeal Rules in Favor of Nurse in Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

In Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, a recent California Court of Appeal decision, Plaintiff Karen Nosal-Tabor, a registered nurse and former employee of defendant Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center (Sharp), sued...more

Employee on Extended Medical Leave Cannot Claim ADA Violation for Reduced Discretionary Bonus

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against protected individuals with respect to terms and conditions of employment, including compensation. Employers frequently ask whether these...more

Employee Does Not Have to Seek Raise to Maintain Pay Discrimination Action

Title VII and related federal anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from discriminating against persons based on their membership in a protected category. These discrimination prohibitions include pay disparities. What...more

California Court Upholds a Reduction of Attorneys’ Fees but Reverses a Reduction of Costs

In a recent, unpublished opinion Myres v. San Francisco Housing Authority, a California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court’s order reducing the amount of costs a plaintiff had claimed as a result of limited success at...more

Second Circuit Affirms NLRB View That Facebook "Likes" Are Protected Concerted Activity

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals backed the National Labor Relations Board’s position that employee social media postings are protected concerted activity under federal law, even if they use obscenities that...more

“Contractor?” I Do Not Think That Employers’ Liability Exclusion Means What You Think It Means

Over the summer, this blog reported on how the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania managed to parse an employer’s liability exclusion to find that it did not exclude claims by employees of additional insureds. As the leaves started...more

Liquidated Damages Clause in Employment Contract Backfires on Quebec Employer

Under article 2091 of the Civil Code of Quebec (the “C.C.Q.”), employers can terminate employment contracts of indeterminate length so long as the employee is given reasonable notice or an indemnity in lieu of reasonable...more

Reducing Discretionary Bonus May Constitute Adverse Employment Action

According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, a District Court erred when it held that reducing an employee’s discretionary bonus cannot constitute an “adverse employment action” – a necessary element of a...more

Can a Prevailing Plaintiff Recover Expert Fees? The Second Circuit Says “No”

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that expert witness fees are not recoverable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Gortat v. Capala Brothers, Inc., No. 14-3304-cv (July 29, 2015), the Second Circuit...more

Sales Tax Complexities of Customer Loyalty Programs

These days almost every business has some type of loyalty or reward program. At the heart of these programs, a business is trying to reward or incentivize its customers for certain consumer behavior. Not surprisingly, the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Employers Must Periodically Review Investment Options In 401(k) Plans And Remove Imprudent Funds

An employer has fiduciary duties with respect to the 401(k) plan it provides its employees. Those duties include the obligation to choose prudent investment options and to consider the fees associated with service providers...more

Eighth Circuit Rejects OSHA’s Attempt to Expand the Scope of its Machine Guarding Standard

In a review of an Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (OSHRC) decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled this week to vacate a $490,000 penalty for failure to employ machine guards to prevent...more

Global Private Equity Newsletter - Fall 2015 Edition: Buyer Beware – Court Lowers Hurdle to Make Claim for Withdrawal Liability...

In Tsareff v. ManWeb Services, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an asset purchaser’s pre-closing knowledge of a seller’s potential multiemployer plan withdrawal liability could be sufficient...more

Employee's Change in Racial Self-Identification Cannot Support Discrimination Claim if Employer Unaware of Change

In recent years, more Americans have begun identifying themselves as biracial or of mixed racial heritage. This shift has resulted in changes to census and other forms where people are asked to self-identify by race. In...more

Eleventh Circuit adopts and clarifies "primary beneficiary" test for unpaid interns under the FLSA

On September 11, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit handed down a landmark decision clarifying the circumstances under which unpaid interns are entitled to receive compensation under the Fair Labor...more

South Carolina Supreme Court Finds Employee Cannot Sue for Breach of Contract and Wrongful Discharge

As with most states, South Carolina recognizes an exception to its general employment at-will doctrine. Employers may terminate employees with or without cause, but not for any reason that violates the state’s public policy....more

DOL Gets Reined In - Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals says the agency pushed too far in worker misclassification case

As most employers know, the United States Department of Labor (DOL), along with many other federal and state agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has focused on pursuing employers for misclassifying...more

Workers' Compensation Update Impairment Rating Evaluations

Last Friday, September 18, the Commonwealth Court issued an interesting decision invalidating Section 306 (a.2) of the PA Workers' Compensation Act dealing with Impairment Rating Evaluations (IREs), as an unconstitutional...more

Changes to Pay Structure in Lieu of Requested Accommodations May Violate ADA and FMLA

Employers that receive requests for accommodation made by a disabled employee must remain careful about making significant changes to that employee’s terms and conditions of employment prior to concluding review and...more

Second Circuit Decision May Have Significant Implications for Whistleblowers and Their Employers

On September 10, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision with significant implications for purported whistleblowers and their employers—Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, WPP Group USA, Inc., No. 14-4626...more

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Creates Circuit Split on Controversial Dodd-Frank Act Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Provision

On Thursday, September 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC. The plaintiff-appellant, Daniel Berman, had been the finance...more

More Ways to be Hit With Withdrawal Liability

I have blogged in the past about situations where employers unexpectedly found themselves liable for withdrawal liability imposed by a multiemployer plan. We can add a recent case from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to...more

Despite Abercrombie, Fifth Circuit Again Rejects Claim From Employee Fired for Refusing to Read Rosary

Earlier this year in its Abercrombie decision, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that an employee suing for religious discrimination did not have to demonstrate actual knowledge of an employee’s religious practices to trigger...more

Terminating Employee on Day After Return From FMLA Leave Not Good Idea

In some situations, employees taking Family and Medical Leave were on shaky grounds with regard to their continuing employment prior to the absence. The employer then moves to terminate the employee either while he remains on...more

Outside Counsel Should Handle Healthcare.gov Subsidy Appeals

Here’s the coming dilemma: let IRS assess employer mandate taxes based on errant Healthcare.gov subsidy certifications or appeal those errors to prevent those assessments.  “Where’s the dilemma?” you say.  Here:  once you...more

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