Virginia Employer Law

Can a Temp From a Staffing Company Bring a Title VII Claim Against You?

Posted on December 30, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan
Posted in Title VII

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?…


Your Employees Agreed to Comply with the Employee Handbook—So Can’t You Hold Them to it?

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…


Applicants with more than five years of experience need not apply. Could this be a problem?

Posted on December 9, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…


Assumptions About Applicant’s Medical Condition Can Lead to ADA Claim

Posted on November 30, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…


Pregnant Employee? Reassignment of Duties Could Land You in Hot Water

Posted on November 18, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…


Unpaid Bonus Could Mean Wrongful Discharge Claim

Posted on November 11, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…


Your Customer List May not be as Protected as You Think

Posted on November 4, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…


Employee’s Facebook Rant Against Employer on Social Media Could be Protected

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan
Posted in Other, Social Media

The Situation: If an employee posts nasty complaints about my company or supervisors on Facebook or another social media site, can’t I fire him?…


Move to Smaller Office Could Support Discrimination Claim

Posted on October 16, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

In order to make a claim under Section 1981, an employee must be able to show that he or she suffered an adverse employment action—but there can be some dispute as to what constitutes an adverse employment action. In a recent case, a district court in New York found that a school district’s relocation of a school counselor to a different (and less desirable) office space could constitute a materially adverse action and support a claim for discrimination. Postell v. Rochester City School District, et al., Case No. 11-CV-6550L (W.D.N .Y. Oct. 8, 2015).…


Differing Discipline for Facebook Comments May be Discrimination

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

In today’s digital culture, employers are well advised to have social media policies which hopefully prevent employees from posting things that reflect poorly on the employer. But the question of how to apply some of these policies is unfamiliar territory. For example, how do you determine what kinds of comments warrant discipline? And how do you make sure you are imposing the same discipline for the same type of behavior? A TV station in Louisiana recently faced this very issue. A former reporter claimed that he was discriminated against when he was fired because of a comment he made on Facebook. He argued that other employees (of a different race and gender) were not fired even though they too had made some inappropriate comments. The district court recently denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment as to the discrimination claim, finding that the employee had presented enough evidence to go to trial on his race and gender discrimination claims. Redford v. KTBS, LLC, et al., Case No. 5:13cv3156 (September 28, 2015).…

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