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DOL Amends Definition of Spouse in FMLA Regulations

Posted on February 27, 2015

The big news from the Department of Labor this week was the amendment of the definition of “spouse” in the regulations applying the FMLA. Of course, in 2013, the Supreme Court found that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013). Following this […]

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Watch Out for Age-based Commentary

Posted on February 20, 2015

Is calling an employee “old man” discriminatory? It could be–just yesterday, the EEOC announced that Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $150,000 and provide other relief to a resolve an age and disability lawsuit filed by the EEOC on behalf of an employee. The EEOC charged that Wal-Mart discriminated against the employee by subjecting him to […]

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The stats are in—retaliation continues to top the list of charges filed with the EEOC

Posted on February 13, 2015
Posted in Retaliation

On February 4, 2015, the EEOC released its data regarding 2014 charges. In fiscal year 2014, 88,778 charges of workplace discrimination were filed with the EEOC. Apparently, the number of charges filed was actually down a little from recent fiscal years, but the EEOC attributes this, at least in part, to the government shutdown during […]

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If an employee underreports his time—and his employer knows about it—can the employer use that conduct to get around liability for unpaid overtime under the FLSA?

Posted on February 6, 2015

What if an employee does not keep accurate time records in violation of company policy? Is an employer able to shift the blame onto the employee for any resulting unpaid overtime? In a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the court found that if the employer knows that the employee is underreporting […]

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What if an employee quits before hearing us out on our response to her reasonable accommodation request? Is my company liable?

Posted on January 30, 2015

No—according to a recent decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. EEOC v. Kohl’s Department Store, Inc., No. 14-1268 (1st Cir. Dec. 19, 2014). If an employee quits when she gets a negative response to her request for accommodation and fails to actually participate in the interactive process, the employer does not face liability. […]

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Punitive Damages Allowed in Title VII Case Even Where Only Nominal Damages Awarded

Posted on January 23, 2015
Posted in Title VII

Title VII allows both compensatory and punitive damages and there is a statutory cap that applies, depending upon the size of the employer ($300,000 in the case of employers with more than 500 employees). 42 U.S.C. § 1981a. In a sexual harassment case before the Ninth Circuit, the question was whether punitive damages are available […]

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Court Refuses to Approve Settlement of FLSA Collective Action

Posted on January 16, 2015

One of the unique features of a FLSA action is that any settlement must be approved by the court. At times, this can prove challenging for parties who must not only figure out how to satisfy one another, but how to make sure the court can also get on board with the settlement. In a […]

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Walmart Sanctioned For Destroying Evidence in Title VII Retaliation Case

Posted on January 9, 2015

What happens if a critical piece of evidence has been destroyed—even if allegedly unintentionally and in the course of regular business? In a recent decision out of the Northern District of Georgia in a Title VII and ADEA retaliation case, the court found that the destruction of the evidence created a presumption that the stated […]

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WDVA Rules No Right to Jury Trial in WARN Act Case

Posted on January 2, 2015
Posted in Other

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has not weighed in on whether there is a right to a jury trial under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”). In a recent case in the Western District of Virginia, Judge James P. Jones ruled that there is no such right either created by statute or […]

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Employer as to What is Compensable Time

Posted on December 19, 2014

In March, we reported that the United States Supreme Court had granted cert in a case involving the question of whether time spent by employees working for Amazon.com in security checks at the end of their shifts was compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). On December 9, the Supreme Court issued its ruling […]

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