News & Analysis as of

What Has Fahlen Wrought?

The California Supreme Court's decision in Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals has confirmed (not created) a sea change in the relations between hospitals and their medical staffs on the one hand, and physicians on such...more

“Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive.”

Employer avoids liability for harassing texts sent by rogue employee - In an interesting decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that an employer is not liable for discriminatory and harassing texts...more

Workers' Compensation Board Appellate Division Updates

Handicapped-accessible housing as a "physical aid" under 39-A M.R.S. § 206(8) - In Chapman v. VIP, Inc., Me. WCB App. Div. No. 14-9 (March 10, 2014), at issue was the payment of rent premium due to an asserted need for...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds that Terminated Employee Can Waive FMLA Claims Through the Date of a Release

In a victory for common sense, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that an employee could not pursue Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) interference and retaliation claims against her former employer...more

Breach of Confidentiality Clause Leads to Disgorgement of Settlement

In this employment termination case, plaintiff Snay (a school principal), and Defendant, Gulliver (the school), settled and agreed to keep the settlement confidential. Four days after the parties signed the settlement...more

California Employee Termination – Getting It Right

Letting an employee go is never easy. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, especially in California where employee terminations seem to frequently end in (or begin) claims or lawsuits alleging discrimination,...more

The Art Of Employee Termination And Severance Agreements

The process of employee termination is fraught with pitfalls for the unwary employer. Not only can emotions run high during this time, but failure to comply with all applicable state and federal laws can lead to legal...more

Making Your Termination Decision Count (Don’t Sleep on This One…)

The success or failure of an employer’s defenses in employment litigation often turns on what motivated a termination decision. My consistently subpar performance or my complaint about harassment? My taking of leave or...more

Evidence: Subjectivity By Itself Is Not Proof Of Unlawful Race Discrimination

The Bible contains the story of Gideon, who pared down an army of 32,000 to a meager 300 to defend his homeland. Gideon wasn’t looking for a large number of soldiers; rather, he was looking for a particular type of soldier....more

Support Persons: You Can Look but You Can't Touch

A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has handed down a decision in Victorian Association for the Teaching of English Inc (VATE) v Debra de Laps [2014] FWCFB 613 (19 February 2014) which clarifies the role of a support...more

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was harassed by his supervisors who called him “queer,” “fagot [sic],” “homo,” and “gay porn star” and was subjected to other humiliating and harassing...more

Is An Employee Who Is Six Days out of Rehab “Disabled” Under the TCHRA?

The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) provides that a “current condition of addiction” to alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances is not a covered “disability.” In Melendez v. Houston Independent School District...more

Recent Lawsuit Highlights the Importance of Fair Credit Reporting Act Compliance

As discussed in a previous blog post, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) expressly requires employers to provide applicants with a stand-alone disclosure and authorization form prior to obtaining a background check. This...more

To Reference or Not to Reference? - That is Almost Always the Question

The area of providing a reference for prior employees can be a mine field for employers. There is a wide array of conflicting requirements, thought processes and goals whenever we talk about references. Give a bad reference...more

Employment Law Reporter - March 2014: Constructive Voluntary Quitting?

Many employers are familiar with the concept of constructive wrongful termination, a legal theory invoked by plaintiffs who claim that they were forced to quit as a result of intolerable and illegal working conditions. But...more

Employment Law - Mar 05, 2014

Time To Review Severance Agreements - Why it matters: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint against CVS Pharmacy last week. The Illinois federal court suit claims the national chain violated...more

Tenth Circuit Rules On "Termination By Committee"

On January 21, a federal appeals court addressed whether an employee terminated by group decision (six managers) can be considered “similarly situated” to employees who were disciplined less severely by a different decisional...more

Social Media Job Updates: The “Footprints in the Snow” Showing Customer Solicitation?

In this era of hyper self-promotion and cyber networking, through the wonders of social media, former employees are commonly creating some of the most incriminating evidence establishing their violation of non-compete and...more

Age Discrimination Claim Survives Dismissal Where Questions Existed Regarding Adequacy Of Job Performance And Employee Presented...

Reversing a trial court’s decision in favor of the employer, a California Court of Appeals in Cheal v. El Camino Hospital held that a former employee may present her age discrimination claim to a jury because there were...more

New workers' comp law expands scope of potential retaliation claims

A little-noticed change to retaliation claims just went into effect. Beginning February 1, 2014, Oklahoma employers face greater exposure to claims of workers’ compensation retaliation....more

Classified Management Employee’s Misconduct Justified School District’s Termination of Employment, Despite Protected Speech

A school district classified management employee sought to overturn his dismissal from employment, which he alleged was in retaliation for engaging in protected speech. A California court of appeal held that, given the...more

District Court Holds That Pre-Employment Conduct Is Not Covered by Chapter 93A

What you need to know: The United States District Court of Massachusetts recently held that an executive could not pursue a claim against a former employer for alleged misrepresentations made during the course of his...more

"You Can't Fire Me For That – I Was Off Duty!"

Employers learned long ago that it’s wise to establish written policies which set forth the standards of conduct expected of their employees. These employers also know that the policies may not simply sit on a shelf (or on an...more

Trying to Reason with Blizzard Season: Employers, Employees, and Inclement Weather in the Southeast

In January, a “once-in-a-generation” winter storm hit the southeastern United States. The temperature dropped to record lows while snow and ice paralyzed our cities and towns. Schools across the region were closed, with...more

Don't let medical absences cloud your judgment

In late January, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Smothers v. Solvay Chemicals Inc. (No. 12-8013, 10th Cir. Jan. 22, 2014) that emphasized the importance of conducting a proper investigation and...more

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