Employer Liability Issues

News & Analysis as of

Fourth Circuit Says Verbal Conduct Can Rise to Level of Actionable Harassment

Not all offensive conduct in the workplace rises to the level of an actionable sexual harassment claim. Federal courts have repeatedly held that in order to cross the line into an offensive working environment, the conduct...more

School Teacher With Breast Cancer Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Lauralyn Swanson was a teacher for the Yucca Valley Elementary School who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. After the district’s board of education voted not to renew Swanson’s contract, Swanson...more

Examining Return-To-Work Issues Under The FMLA

I frequently receive calls from clients involving an employee who is about to use up all of his medical leave, but who has little chance of returning to work — either at the end of his 12-week Family and Medical Leave Act...more

Employment Law Alert: Parties Ordered to Arbitrate Despite Incomplete Arbitration Agreement

In Cruise v. Kroger Co., the Court of Appeal held a clear arbitration clause in an employment application, standing alone, was sufficient to establish the existence of an agreement between the employee and employer to...more

New Jersey Adopts Onerous Test That Presumes Workers Are Employees (and Not Independent Contractors) For State Wage Law Purposes

In Hargrove v. Sleepy’s, LLC, No. 2015 WL 214382 (January 14, 2015), the New Jersey Supreme Court answered a certified question from the Third Circuit by holding that the “ABC” test, derived from the New Jersey Unemployment...more

D.C. Court Strikes Down Two USDOL Regulations and Restores Full “Companionship Exemption” Under the FLSA

In a victory for Home Care employers, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued consecutive decisions which struck down two regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (“USDOL”) that would have...more

Two Big Sexual Harassment Cases: Where The Employers Went Wrong

The Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi trial (daily updates here) is far from over, but that case, as well as one involving CRST Van Expedited in California, provide some valuable opportunities for us to learn from other employers’...more

No Waiver Of PAGA Representative Claims (Yet)

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in connection with the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angleles, LLC. Had the Court heard the Iskanian case, it was expected to...more

2015 Trends: #8 Top Whistleblowing Priorities for Compliance Professionals

Last November, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. It is clear that the program is going strong. Following are five key ways compliance...more

Labor Issues Staying at the Forefront of Political, Legal Discussions with NLRB, DOL Activity

As we have discussed over the past few weeks, the NLRB was busy as 2014 drew to a close. On December 11, 2014, the Board overruled its Register Guard decision in Purple Communications, establishing a new standard that...more

Third Circuit Finds that the Federal Railroad Safety Act's Anti-Retaliation Provision Does Not Cover Employees Treated for...

In a case of first impression with far-reaching implications for the railroad industry, the Third Circuit has held that the provision of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) prohibiting discipline of employees for...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Companion Cases Addressing Evidence Required To Show That The Amount In Controversy Requirement Has Been Met...

Through a pair of opinions issued the same day, the Ninth Circuit attempted to clarify the evidence required for a defendant to meet its burden of showing that the amount in controversy exceeds CAFA’s $5 million threshold...more

California’s Inconsistent Treatment of Pre-Dispute Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Will Remain in Place

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant review in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, leaving in place a California Supreme Court holding that pre-dispute arbitration agreements cannot require...more

The Changing Landscape for Services Contractors

Two recent developments have the potential to change the landscape for contractors providing services to the Government. Government contractors and subcontractors are required to comply with a host of regulations governing...more

The National Labor Relations Board 2014 Year in Review - Overview of the Board's Significant Actions

Introduction - If the National Labor Relations Board seemed to be on the ropes in 2013, it certainly came out swinging in 2014. Last year, we reported that the Board faced a number of serious legal battles. Although...more

10-K Conundrum: 7th Circuit Holds Corporate Filings Can Lead To Employment Claims

A recent Seventh Circuit decision provides a cautionary tale for employers deciding what level of detail about litigated matters to include in publicly disclosed Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings. The court...more

Blog: The ABCs of PIIAAs: Protecting Employee-Generated IP

Companies seeking to avoid employment disputes and to secure intellectual property rights to their employees’ inventions should make sure that all employees have signed confidentiality and inventions assignment agreements. ...more

Enforcing a "Fair Day's Pay" - What Can You Do in the Face of This Initiative

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced in late 2012 it was launching a multi-year wage and hour enforcement initiative on Marcellus Shale contractors operating in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Following that...more

Employer Requires Employee to Work During FMLA Leave. Ummmm, Is This a Problem?

Sure, Joan, you can take a leave of absence, but you’re still going to work while you’re out, right? Is this problem?  I guess it depends on whether or not you’re Joan. Let me explain. ...more

Media Company Charged with Frat House Atmosphere in Sexual Harassment Suit

A nationwide media company is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit claiming the "adult frat house" culture of its southern California office contributed to multiple instances of sexual harassment by male employees against...more

Employees can have their transfer and sue you too!

A recent court decision allows employees who request a lateral transfer to later change their minds and sue for discrimination based on the very transfer they sought. So an employer’s claim that it merely gave the employee...more

Quirky Question #251, Naming Names in SEC Filings?

Question: Our publicly traded company must file a disclosure with the SEC, and we’re trying to determine what information to include regarding recent charges of discrimination that former employees have filed with the...more

NJ Supreme Court Clarifies Independent Contractor Standard under State Wage Laws

Last week, New Jersey’s highest court ruled in Hargrove v. Sleepy’s, LLC, No. A-70-12 (Jan. 14, 2015), that the so-called “ABC test” applies when determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the...more

Layoffs in the Energy Sector – Are Employers Prepared?

Over the past few weeks, the media has focused intently on the oil and gas industry’s extensive layoffs. Well known energy companies have made front-page news with their announcements of their significant layoffs that have...more

As the Late, Great Joan Rivers Would Say, "Can We Talk" (About Our Salaries)? The Answer May Soon Be "Yes"

Employees of federal contractors, who previously have dwelled silently – and often unknowingly – in the gender and race pay chasm, may soon have a new tool to help them build a bridge across the gap....more

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