Employer Liability Issues Appeals

News & Analysis as of

Fourth Circuit Orders Class Certification for African-American Steelworkers—Again

For the second time, the Fourth Circuit has determined that African-American employees at a South Carolina steel plant are entitled to Rule 23 class certification. In Brown v. Nucor Corporation and Nucor Steel-Berkeley,...more

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Hostile Work Environment Can Be Created With A Single Racial Epithet

Despite consistent direction from the United States Supreme Court that courts should look at "all the circumstances" in determining whether a workplace environment is sufficiently hostile or abusive to give rise to an...more

Punitive Damages Not Authorized for State Employment Discrimination Claims, Says Court

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the case of Tomick v. UPS in looking at the prima facie case for disability discrimination. But the new Appellate Court case may be even more significant for its discussion of...more

California Court Ruling Pulls the Spurs Off PAGA Deputies' Boots

A new California appellate court decision provides much needed guidance regarding the proper scope of discovery in representative actions brought under the California Private Attorneys' General Act of 2004 (PAGA), Cal. Lab....more

Fourth Circuit Reverses Position on Single Racial Slur as Sufficient to Create Hostile Work Environment

For years, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North Carolina and South Carolina) set a high bar for plaintiffs suing for workplace harassment. The court rejected multiple claims involving obnoxious and crude...more

Delay in Calling 911 After Accident Results in Willful OSHA Violation

Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a willful OSHA citation against an employer that delayed calling for emergency services for 90 minutes after an employee became trapped in a permit-required confined...more

Fourth Circuit Lowers the Bar in Title VII Harassment and Retaliation Cases

On May 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (covering Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland) issued an opinion that potentially makes it easier for employees to survive...more

The Ever-Broadening Definition of “Disability” Under the ADA Remains a Source of Anxiety for Employers

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (the federal appeals court that covers Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina) reconfirms what many employers have long...more

California Court of Appeal Reminds Employers About the Importance of Thorough Harassment Investigations

Dawson v. Country Club of Rancho Bernardo, No. D064654 (March 23, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, a California Court of Appeal reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the employer, Country Club of Rancho...more

California Court Finds Arbitration Agreement Did Not Unlawfully Limit Judicial Review

Valdez v. Santa Lucia Preserve Co., No. H040685 (March 23, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District overturned a trial court’s ruling denying an employer’s motion to...more

Employers Beware in Race Discrimination Cases

Several recent cases highlight the fact that employers should think twice before failing to properly address a Title VII complaint. Failing to do so may result in their winding up in a jury trial. That fact is most recently...more

California Confectioner Defeats Worker’s Age Discrimination Claim

Armenta v. Morris National, Inc., No. B255575 (March 27, 2015): Discrimination claims often ensue after a reduction in force (RIF) because laid off employees second-guess management’s selection process. However, as seen in a...more

The InterConnect FLASH! - April 2015: Be On Guard: North Carolina Decision Continues Worrisome Trend

On March 17, 2015, in Atiapo v. Goree Logistics, Inc., the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed an Industrial Commission Opinion and Award holding that Owen Thomas, Inc. (“Owen Thomas”), a federally licensed...more

More for Employers to Be Anxious About Under the ADAAA

In 2008, Congress enacted the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), which expanded the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (“ADA”). Congress passed the ADAAA with the express intent of counteracting several Supreme Court...more

Second Circuit Synchs Up With its Sister Courts: Now Says Employees May Premise FLSA Retaliation Claim on Oral Complaints to...

This week, in Greathouse v. JHS Security, Inc., the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that employees may pursue a Fair Labor Standards Act retaliation claim premised upon an oral complaint to their employer – a clear...more

Second Circuit Expands The Scope Of FLSA Protected Activity To Include Oral Complaints To Employer

In a 2-1 decision issued on April 20, 2015, the Second Circuit expanded the scope of protected activity under the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) anti-retaliation provision. The FLSA prohibits retaliation against an employee...more

Appeals Court Affirms Jury Verdict of Over $1.5 Million in EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit Against New Breed...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A federal appeals court has upheld a jury verdict of over $1.5 million in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC's) lawsuit against a High Point, N.C.-based logistics services provider for...more

California Non-Compete Update: No Re-Hire Provisions May be in Jeopardy, Especially for Large Employers

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently sent a case back to a district court to revisit its enforcement of a settlement agreement that prohibited an employee from future employment with the employer and any company the...more

Second Circuit Holds that Internal Complaints Suffice Under the FLSA’s Anti-Retaliation Provision

In a unanimous decision, the Second Circuit ruled on April 20 that internal complaints to an employer are protected from retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers within the Second Circuit — New York,...more

First Circuit Reinstates Arbitral Award Despite Arbitration Panel’s Potentially Erroneous Conclusions

The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed the district court’s vacatur ruling and remanded the matter for entry of an order confirming an arbitration award. While the First Circuit found that several of the...more

9th Circuit Splits with 4th, 5th Circuits, Finds Auto Dealer Service Advisors Not Exempt Under FLSA

Reversing a district court decision, and declining to follow decisions from a number of other courts, including the Fourth and Fifth Circuits, the Ninth Circuit has deferred to the Department of Labor's (DOL) "flip-flopped"...more

Thanks, Ford! Hard-Fought Win Against EEOC In ADA-Telecommuting Case Is Welcome News For All Employers

Last Friday, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found in favor of Ford Motor Company in a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ...more

Sixth Circuit Decision Refusing to Enforce Collective Action Waiver Included in Separation Agreement Remains Intact; Supreme Court...

This week, the Supreme Court disappointed many employers by declining to determine whether the Fair Labor Standards Act does or does not provide employees with a non-waivable substantive right to bring a collective action. ...more

NC Court of Appeals Sets New Precedent for Employers

Yesterday, in a precedent setting opinion, Gonzalez v. Tidy Maids, Inc. et al., the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that when an employer has accepted a claim for benefits by filing a Form 63 and fails to contest the...more

Recent Illinois Federal Court Rulings Cloud Fifield’s Bright-Line Test

Two recent rulings in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division and the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division, have further blurred the “bright line” two-year consideration rule established by the Illinois...more

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