Summary Judgment Termination

News & Analysis as of

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

Whistleblowers: No Reasonable Belief of Violation, No Protection

The SEC has been touting the large cash awards it has been handing out to whistleblowers. The agency views whistleblowers as a key source of potential information about wrong-doing which can give them tips and facilitate...more

Eighth Circuit Deals Significant Blow To SOX And Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

On June 6, 2016, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Minnesota District Court’s grant of summary judgment on SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claims based on the plaintiff’s failure to establish a reasonable belief...more

Court Declines to Decide Whether ERISA Protects Employee From Reprisal For Informal Complaint

A federal court in Missouri was asked to determine whether a former employee proved a viable claim for retaliation under ERISA Section 510 by virtue of being terminated after she sent emails disparaging the company’s owner...more

Fourth Circuit Finds Rebellious Behavior by Subordinates Insufficient to Constitute Hostile Work Environment

Most hostile environment harassment claims brought under Title VII involve allegations of offensive conduct by the plaintiff’s supervisors or co-workers. In a few situations, the employee alleges that his or her subordinates...more

8th Cir. Rejects Dr.’s Grab-Bag Retaliation Suit

Dr. Alaa Elkharwily lost his job at Albert Lea Clinic, but he didn’t go quietly. He sued the clinic and eight related organizations and individuals alleging just about everything a terminated doctor can allege in Minnesota:...more

3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal in Long-Running Weist SOX Whistleblower Case

On February 2, 2016, the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the SOX whistleblower retaliation claim in the closely watched case of Weist v. Tyco Electronics Corp., No. 15-2034. We have posted on key events during the...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

Managing FMLA Fraud: Using Your Policy To Your Advantage

This post is the first in a three-part series of posts on managing FMLA fraud with tips from recent cases. In Alexander v. Bd. of Educ. of City Sch. Dist., No. 14 Civ. 8553, 2015 WL 2330126 (S.D.N.Y. May 14, 2015), for...more

The Cat Fights Back: 7th Circuit Discusses Cat's Paw Theory Post-Staub

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court made the"cat's paw" theory of liability significantly easier for employees to prove. An employee can establish a cat's paw theory of liability in an employment discrimination suit when...more

Frivolous Whistleblower Claim Yields Stiff Sanctions

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently upheld sanctions of more than $191,000 to Sunhillo Corporation (Company) in connection with its defense of claims under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, Fulton...more

Disability Discrimination Claims Were Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Tony Nealy worked as a solid waste equipment operator for the City of Santa Monica before injuring his knee in July 2003 while moving a large bin full of food waste. Nealy was temporarily totally disabled due to the injury...more

Worker’s Failure to Perform His Job Duties Satisfactorily Dooms FEHA Retaliation Claim

Manner v. Intevac, Inc., No. H038979 (January 2, 2015): The California Court of Appeal recently upheld a trial court’s granting of summary judgment of a former employee’s claims of retaliation in violation of the Fair...more

In The Eleventh Circut, Employers Can Terminate “Protected” Employees For Poor Performance And Violation Of Company Policy

On December 4, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld summary judgment in favor of an employer against a pregnant employee who had requested FMLA, who was told by her direct supervisor “that [her]...more

Appellate Court Notes - Week of February 17

AC35201, AC35270 - Henderson v. Lagoudis - The “law of the case” doctrine does not preclude a trial court from re-considering subject matter jurisdiction (standing of the plaintiff in this case), even if the plaintiff...more

Second Circuit Emphasizes That Inconsistent Reasons For Employee Termination Can Be Sufficient To Overcome Summary Judgment

Kwan v. The Andalex Group LLC, No. 12-2493 (2d Cir. Dec. 16, 2013): A recent decision by the Second Circuit not only revived a former employee’s retaliation claims but further highlighted the litigation risk when an...more

Proskauer Wins Summary Judgment On Behalf Of Paramount Pictures

On December 16, we obtained summary judgment on behalf of our client, Paramount Pictures Corporation, in a case brought by a former paralegal in the studio’s Business Affairs Administration department. The plaintiff claimed...more

N.D. Ill. Denies Employer Summary Judgment On Retaliation Claim, Stressing Shifting Explanation For Discharge

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that a retaliation claim survived summary judgment because of the “convincing mosaic” of evidence of retaliation the Plaintiff presented,...more

Another Pro-Employee Fifth Circuit Decision: Employee’s FMLA Claim Survives Summary Judgment

In another pro-employee decision, like its ruling in the Feist case that I analyzed last week, the Fifth Circuit overturned another district court’s grant of summary judgment that dismissed the plaintiff-employee’s FMLA...more

Employer's Use of Spreadsheet Categorizing Employees by Race Supports Plaintiff's Discrimination Claim

An employer's use of a spreadsheet categorizing employees in part by race doomed its attempt to obtain summary judgment on a former employee's race discrimination claims in the case of Fuller v. Edward B. Stimpson Co., Inc.,...more

Primer on West Virginia State Law Labor and Employment Claims

On January 4, 2013, Judge Irene M. Keeley of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order that partially granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment...more

Assignment to a Lesser Position Upon Return From Leave May Support FMLA Interference Claim

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of an employer, holding that a plaintiff’s testimony and evidence related to her transfer to a position of less responsibility upon return from leave...more

Employee’s Signs of Severe Emotional Distress and Anxiety May Constitute a “Report” of the Need for FMLA Leave

To state a claim of interference under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employee must show that his or her employer denied benefits to which the employee was entitled under the FMLA. For example, an employee might...more

Court Of Appeal Relies On “Motivating Factor” As Standard Of Causation In FEHA Case

Alamo v. Practice Management Information Corp., No. B230909 (Cal. App. 2d, Sept. 24, 2012): In Alamo, a former employee who was fired upon her return from maternity leave brought a lawsuit for pregnancy discrimination in...more

Summary Judgment Lives For Employers Seeking Dismissal Of New York City Human Rights Law Claims

Melman v. Montefiore Medical Center, 946 N.Y.S.2d 27 (1st Dep’t May 29, 2012): The New York Appellate Division, First Department recently held that plaintiffs bringing discrimination claims under the New York City Human...more

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