Transgender Employee Fired for Clear Policy Violation—Is Employer Still At Risk For Title VII Claim?
The Situation: An employee informs you that she is going through a gender transition and then a few months later you catch her sleeping on the clock. After you terminate her (just like you have terminated others who engaged in similar conduct), she claims that you discriminated against her based upon her sex in violation of Title VII when you terminated her based on her transgender status. Are you protected from this type of claim based on the clear policy violation supporting the termination?…READ MORE
Exotic Dancers—Independent Contractors or Employees?
The Situation: A private club enters into independent contractor agreements with a number of exotic dancers which state that they can choose the days they work, along with their dance routines and songs. The agreements also provide that the dancers keep all the tips they earn while performing and half of each “couch dance” fee collected. The dancers agree to pay the club certain fees for the ATM and jukebox. Are these dancers actually employees?…READ MORE
Millions in Damages for Unpaid Bathroom Breaks?
The Situation: Your policy requires that each employee log in and out of his computer whenever taking any sort of break. Employees are then paid just for the time they are logged into their computers. Is this okay?…READ MORE
Can a Temp From a Staffing Company Bring a Title VII Claim Against You?
The Situation: You engage a temporary staffing company to provide you with some temporary laborers to help during a particularly busy time period. Under the arrangement with the staffing company, you pay the staffing company only and they pay the temps. You are not responsible for setting the pay rate, paying the taxes, or getting the I-9s from these workers. One of them says they were subjected to unlawful harassment. Could you face a Title VII claim even though these temps are employees of the staffing company?…READ MORE
Your Employees Agreed to Comply with the Employee Handbook—So Can’t You Hold Them to it?
The Situation: Your employee handbook requires that employees submit all employment issues to an internal dispute resolution process and then arbitration and provides that employees waive all rights to bring a lawsuit and to a jury trial. You provide a copy of the employee handbook to all employees and require that they sign a statement explicitly acknowledging receipt of the handbook and agreeing to comply with its terms. Can an employee then get around the arbitration provision and file a lawsuit?…READ MORE
Applicants with more than five years of experience need not apply. Could this be a problem?
The Situation: You have a job vacancy—and it is one that you think best suits an applicant without a ton of experience. In an effort to narrow the field to just those candidates who fit the bill in terms of experience, you post the vacancy online and include as one of the qualifications that the applicant should have no more than a specified number of years of experience. Could this lead to a claim of age discrimination?…READ MORE
Assumptions About Applicant’s Medical Condition Can Lead to ADA Claim
The Situation: After receiving a job offer, an applicant reveals that he takes medication for anxiety and high blood pressure. In light of the type of the position he would hold, you have some concerns that his medical condition could affect his ability to do his job and so you end up rescinding the job offer. Could your perception about his medical condition get you in trouble?…READ MORE
Pregnant Employee? Reassignment of Duties Could Land You in Hot Water
The Situation: A female employee whose job involves some potentially dangerous activities announces she is pregnant. Thinking you are doing her and her unborn child a favor, you reassign some of her more unsafe duties to other employees. Could you end up facing a discrimination claim?…READ MORE
Unpaid Bonus Could Mean Wrongful Discharge Claim
The Situation: Following a mostly positive performance review, you tell an employee that he has earned a $10,000 bonus. The employee later seeks payment for the bonus. Ultimately, the employee is terminated before he is ever paid the bonus. Does he have a claim for wrongful discharge under Virginia law?…READ MORE
Your Customer List May not be as Protected as You Think
The Situation: A sales rep quits and goes to work for a competitor. Naturally, you had him sign both a noncompete and a confidentiality agreement when he first came to work for you. So can’t you stop him from using any customer and pricing information?…READ MORE