Virginia Employer Law

Customer’s Sexual Harassment of Employee—Could You be Liable?

Posted on January 4, 2017 by Elaine I. Hogan

The Situation: A female employee complains about a particular customer’s conduct—specifically complaining about some unwelcome touching, some sexually inappropriate statements, and stalking-type behavior.  What are you obligated to do?  If you don’t take sufficient action, can that employee bring a claim against you under Title VII?…


Emotional Distress Damages Allowed in FLSA Retaliation Claim?

Posted on December 28, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

The Situation: An employee claims that not only was he not properly paid overtime owed to him, but that when he complained about it, his employer retaliated against him—can he really claim damages based on pain and suffering?…


Depression and the ADA According to the EEOC

Posted on December 22, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

The Situation: Mental health conditions, including depression and PTSD, can trigger protection under the ADA. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based upon these conditions and also must provide reasonable accommodations to employees as necessary. But what does this mean in reality?…


Jimmy John’s Settles Case Involving Overzealous Non-competes

Posted on December 14, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

The Situation: In June, the Attorney General for the state of Illinois filed a lawsuit against Jimmy John’s, alleging that its non-compete agreement was illegal and unenforceable under Illinois law.  The non-compete applied to all employees, including sandwich makers and delivery drivers, and prohibited them from working in any other business that earns more than 10% of its revenue from selling submarine, hero-type, deli-style, pita and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches within 3 miles of any Jimmy John’s for two years after their employment with Jimmy John’s ended.…


What Exactly is National Origin Discrimination?

Posted on November 30, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

The Situation: National origin discrimination can be a bit tricky for employers-what exactly does it mean?  Does it just have to do with the country in which one was born?  What about people that share a language or culture, but not necessarily a country of origin?  And how does race come into play?…


Federal Court Blocks Overtime Changes

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

The Situation: Back in September, 21 states filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texas challenging the constitutionality of the rule changes scheduled to go into effect on December 1.  State of Nevada v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, Case No. 4:16cv00731 (E.D. Tex.).  The states (and many other business groups that ended up joining the states) claimed that DOL had exceeded its authority in making these changes and that these changes are in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.  The states sought a preliminary injunction preventing the implementation of the new overtime rules.…


Federal Court Allows EEOC’s Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim to Go Forward

Posted on November 16, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

The Situation: The EEOC has definitively targeted harassment and discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, taking the position that sexual orientation is covered by Title VII.  And back in March, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against an employer in Pennsylvania in one of the first lawsuits brought by the EEOC alleging sexual orientation as a form of sex discrimination in violation of Title VII (EEOC v. Scott Medical Center, P.C., Case No. 2:16cv00225 (W.D. Pa.).  So what has the court decided about the claim asserted by the EEOC?…


Can Racial Statements of a Non-Decisionmaker Support a Discrimination Claim?

Posted on November 9, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…


Can A Volunteer Make a Claim for Unpaid Wages?

Posted on November 2, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…


Overtime Rule Changes—Have You Considered All Your Options?

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Elaine I. Hogan

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?…

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