Increasingly, Plaintiff attorneys are tacking on defamation and privacy claims to the discrimination lawsuits they file on behalf of their clients. On Wednesday, April 23, at 8:30 am, in a seminar/webinar, led by Doug Currier, we will explore the theories behind these claims and how Plaintiffs’ counsel exploit these theories to gain leverage in a lawsuit. We will also discuss what employers can do to mitigate the risks associated with these claims which arise out all aspects of the employment relationship including hiring practices, workplace investigations, termination decisions and reference policies.
Football players respond that Northwestern University’s position against the players’ union organization is a “castle built on sand.” More on the documents filed in response to the University’s appeal to the NLRB is available here.
An Eastern District of New York judge recently determined that a flight attendant who was accused of bringing her pet rats on board international flights failed to properly allege state or federal bias and harassment claims based on perceived mental disability.
While not an employment law case in the truest sense, this recent case sums up some of the issues employers could run into if they conduct credit checks of applicants and current employees; especially, apparently, if the applicant’s first name is God. Read more here.
This year is shaping up to be a difficult one for federal contractors, as more and more compliance obligations continue to pile on. March 24, 2014, marked the effective date for new rules affecting the implementation of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act. Earlier this year, President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring federal contractors pay certain employees a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour. Yesterday, President Obama took action to regulate to issues related to employee compensation. President Obama’s first action was to issue an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees for discussing compensation (the “Non-Retaliation Order”). His second action was to sign a Presidential Memorandum directing Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to issue rules requiring federal contractors to submit compensation data to the Department of Labor.
A Southern District of Alabama court recently granted the motion to dismiss in EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, finding that a company policy that prohibited dreadlocks did not violate Title VII. Specifically, the court stated, “Title VII does not protect against discrimination based on traits, even a trait that has sociocultural racial significance.” Read the opinion here.
California Nordstrom, Inc. cosmetic counter employees have filed an action in federal court alleging that the company failed to provide them with “suitable seats” in violation of Section 14 of California’s Industrial Welfare Commission’s wage orders (which require employers to provide “suitable seats” if “the nature of the work reasonably permits”). On April 2, 2014, the court granted a stay in the action pending a decision by the California Supreme Court in a separate case that will consider questions surrounding Section 14. The order staying the matter, Tseng v. Nordstrom, Inc., is available here.
On March 27, 2014, Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut signed legislation, S.B. 32, that will increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017—making it the highest of any state. On March 26, the measure was approved by the House (87-54) and the Senate (21-14). Connecticut’s minimum wage is currently $8.70 an hour, but will increase to $9.15 on January 1, 2015, to $9.60 of January 1, 2016, and to $10.10 on January 1, 2017. This legislation is estimated to directly affect approximately 90,000 low-wage employees. This legislation makes Connecticut the first state to respond to President Obama’s recent request that the nation increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from its current national rate of $7.25.