Summary Judgment Hiring & Firing

News & Analysis as of

Consistent Enforcement of Drug Policies Key to Avoiding Disparate Treatment Claims

Following termination stemming from a positive drug test for marijuana, a Native American female, appearing pro se, filed a federal lawsuit against her former employer, Mohave County’s Public Works Department. She alleged...more

Double Check those Bonus Plans!

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Paquette v. TeraGo Networks Inc. should have all employers running to double-check and possibly amend their bonus plans.  A further case released on the same day by the...more

Does New Jersey's Conscientious "Everyone" Protection Act Trump the NLRB's Exclusive Jurisdiction? State Supreme Court says "Yes"...

Executive Summary: Just when employers thought New Jersey's Supreme Court could not expand the state's whistleblower law further (as we reported last summer), the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) once again has...more

First Circuit Limits Inference of Pretext for FCA Retaliation Claims

On February 22, 2016, the First Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment for pharmaceutical maker GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) on a False Claims Act retaliation claim by a former employee. In United States ex rel. Hamrick v....more

JSH Attorneys Conquer Employment Discrimination Case Against A Local County

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli attorneys Michele Molinario, Justin Ackerman, and Amelia Esber prevailed by summary judgment in an employment discrimination case against a local County, and various County employees. The case...more

California Federal Court Reminds Employers That They Must Carefully Navigate Disability Accommodation Process

The obligation to accommodate a disabled employee is an ongoing one; a doctor’s note may not be a prerequisite to engage in the interactive process – those are two important lessons that employers should take away from a...more

Cooperate or Terminate: Second Circuit Protects Companies that Terminate Employees for Failure to Cooperate with Investigations

On June 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the right of a company to terminate for cause executives who refuse to cooperate with an internal investigation and remain “silent” even with the specter of...more

Employer Policy Failure Precludes Summary Judgment on Discrimination Claim

Seyfarth Synopsis: California Court of Appeal reverses a summary judgment for an employer that failed to follow its own policy regarding layoffs. Moore v. Regents of the University of California serves as a reminder to...more

Nurse’s Age Discrimination Case May Proceed

A California federal court has rejected a hospital’s motion for summary judgment in a case brought by a former nurse who claims she was fired for being too old. Seventy-year-old Lavon Ramsey had worked at Fairchild...more

Lesson On EEOC Language Litigation: Employer Denied Summary Judgment After Terminating Non-English Speaking Employees

Seyfarth Synopsis: Court denied employer’s motion for summary judgment in EEOC race and/or national origin discrimination case involving the termination of non-English speaking employees. In EEOC v. Wisconsin Plastics,...more

Is Obesity a Disability Under the ADA Not Without Physical Impairment Eighth Circuit Rules

Obesity does not meet the definition of a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for either the discrimination or “regarded as” provisions of the statute, a panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Dollar General’s Firing of Employee on Leave Did Not Violate the ADA or FMLA

A recent Eleventh Circuit case under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) approved Dollar General’s termination of an employee on leave. The timing of Dollar General’s decision...more

Massachusetts SJC Lightens Plaintiffs’ Summary Judgment Burden in Employment Discrimination Cases

Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a seminal ruling in Bulwer v. Mt. Auburn, which clarified the type of evidence an employment discrimination plaintiff needs to defeat a summary judgment motion. In...more

SJC Rules in Employment Discrimination Cases a Plaintiff Need Only Show the Reason for Discharge was Untrue to Survive Summary...

On February 29, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), in Bulwer v. Mount Auburn Hospital, articulated the type of evidence required for a plaintiff to survive summary judgment and have his claims heard by a...more

Terminating for Financial Reasons? Don’t Expect the Courts to Help You Out

Employers who undertake reductions in force due to financial difficulties should not count on employee notice periods being reduced as a result of the financial troubles.  This point was recently emphasized by the Ontario...more

BREAKING: Transgender Claim Will Go To Jury

Last year, Tommy Eden had a post about a gender identity lawsuit in which an employer in Georgia actually won summary judgment. A reader alerted me last night that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit...more

Safety First? When Safety and Employment Laws Collide

In keeping with the old adage "Safety first!" employers in certain industries are quick to put safety concerns and compliance with those laws and regulations governing safety above a conservative compliance with employment...more

Dodd-Frank News: November 2015: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Update

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted as a measure to promote financial stability and protection for consumers through increased regulation of nearly every aspect of the consumer finance...more

Employment Law - October 2015 #2

Take the Cure: New California Law Permits Corrections of Wage Statement Violations - Why it matters: Employers may want to review their wage statements after Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that permits them...more

Amazon’s motion for summary judgment denied in FCRA class action suit

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman denied Amazon, Inc.’s (Amazon) motion for summary judgment on October 7, 2015, in Illinois federal court, in a class action case over alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act...more

Court Allows EEOC’s Discrimination Suit Over Religious Garb To Proceed To Jury

In an order recently issued in EEOC v Jetstream Ground Services, Inc., Case No. 13-CV-02340 (D. Colo. Sept. 29, 2015), Judge Christine Arguello of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled that the EEOC had...more

HR FUN PUZZLE: Find What The AARP Did Right With This Underperforming Employee

Who, indeed. The organization recently won a nice summary judgment victory in an age discrimination suit brought in federal court in New York by a former employee. The plaintiff was 50 when she was hired by her 56-year-old...more

Southern District of New York Opinion Provides Guidance on Satisfying Scienter Requirement Under False Claims Act

Not every mistake or negligent act gives rise to liability under the False Claims Act. That principle has long been central to the FCA. But the dividing line– between making a mistake, on the one hand, and “knowingly” or...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

New Jersey Appellate Division Rules that Nurse’s Termination Based On Her Physical Limitations Could Violate The NJLAD

On August 28, 2015, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division in Grande v. Saint Clare’s Health System, reversed the decision of the trial court granting summary judgment to the defendant finding that plaintiff’s...more

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