Can Racial Statements of a Non-Decisionmaker Support a Discrimination Claim?
The Situation: An employee is terminated after he gets into some verbal disputes with some other co-worker. He claims that the disputes all relate back to some inappropriate racial statements and discriminatory animus of a co-worker, who he alleges had an impact on the decision to terminate him, although clearly was not in charge of making the decision himself. Can he state a claim under Title VII for discrimination based on his termination without any proof of racial animus on the part of the decisionmaker?…READ MORE
Can A Volunteer Make a Claim for Unpaid Wages?
The Situation: A small business owner has his girlfriend help him with paperwork and advertising while he tries to grow his business. He does not pay the girlfriend any hourly wage or salary, the idea being that she is pitching in to make his business successful. A year and a half later, the couple breaks up. The girlfriend then claims that she is entitled to compensation under the FLSA. Can she succeed on such a claim?…READ MORE
Overtime Rule Changes—Have You Considered All Your Options?
The Situation: As most employers are well aware, as of December 1, 2016 (unless something changes before then), the salary minimum for many white collar exemptions under the FLSA will significantly increase from $23,600 to $47,746. If you have an employee who is making less than the new minimum salary, but also often works over 40 hours in a week, two options are clear--to either raise her salary to the new level to maintain her exemption status or to begin paying her time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a week. But are there any other options available?…READ MORE
Can You Claim Total Disability But Also Claim to be Qualified Under the ADA?
The Situation: An employee takes extended leave because of a medical condition. After exhausting her FMLA leave, the employee asks for additional leave as an accommodation. Because of the nature of her position and needs of the company, you cannot provide this accommodation and she is terminated. The next day she files her application for disability benefits, claiming that she is temporarily totally disabled. Can she claim to be a “qualified individual” under the ADA and bring a claim based on her termination?…READ MORE
Requiring Transgender Employee to Use Gender-Neutral Bathroom Found to Violate Title VII
The Situation: An employee informs you that he is transgender and is in the process of transitioning to a man. Based on concerns about other employees’ reactions, you inform him that he can no longer use the female restrooms, but also cannot use the male restrooms. Instead, he must only use the single occupancy gender-neutral restrooms. Is this Title VII discrimination?…READ MORE
Orioles Concession Stand Workers Exempt From Overtime
The Situation: Along with the more frequently discussed exemptions, the FLSA contains an exemption for employees of any amusement or recreational establishment, as long as the operations are seasonal. But what exactly is an amusement or recreational establishment?…READ MORE
21 States Challenge Changes to Overtime Rule
The Situation: As all employers are aware, in May 2016, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced the final rule related to overtime changes. From many employers’ perspective, the biggest and most significant change is the dramatic increase in the minimum salary necessary for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions—from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. Employers of varying sizes and types and in varying geographic regions have raised concerns about how this will affect their ongoing operations.…READ MORE
Non-compete Agreement Void Based on Misclassification as Independent Contractor
The Situation: You bring someone on as an independent contractor—and as part of the agreement, he agrees to a non-competition provision. If it is determined that you really should have classified the worker as an employee, could that jeopardize the enforceability of the non-compete?…READ MORE
Supervisor Faces Individual Liability Under the FMLA
The Situation: After an employee at a public agency takes a number of weeks of approved FMLA leave, a supervisor begins criticizing her performance harshly (and at times, unjustifiably). The supervisor ends up giving her a written warning for engaging in conduct that is not generally even disciplined. When the employee later makes another mistake and is terminated, she brings a number of claims, including a claim of FMLA interference and retaliation. Not only does she assert claims against the employer, but also against the supervisor. Can the supervisor be held individually liable?…READ MORE
Retaliation According to the EEOC
The Situation: Retaliation claims continue to be a favorite of employees and are the most frequently alleged bases for discrimination. Employers should be aware of the ever present risks of such claims. So what is the EEOC’s take on what constitutes retaliation?…READ MORE