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
Look out—possibly more hostile work environment claims ahead
Following the recent ruling of the Fourth Circuit after an en banc rehearing, employers may face more claims for hostile work environment. In Boyer-Liberto v. Fountainebleau Corp., No. 13-1473 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015), the Fourth Circuit overturned a prior decision by its own panel and the district court and found that an extremely serious instance of harassment, even if it is isolated, can support a claim for hostile work environment and also provide a basis for a claim of retaliation if the isolated incident is physically threatening or humiliating.…READ MORE
Instagram intel—can an employer use it?
Let’s say one of your employees has a tendency to call in sick on Fridays when it just so happens to be 72 degrees and sunny out. Another employee reports to you that last Friday, that same worker posted a picture of herself on Instagram at a nearby water park, despite the fact that she had claimed to have had a stomach bug. Can you act on this report?…READ MORE
Walmart Sanctioned For Destroying Evidence in Title VII Retaliation Case
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 reason for the termination of the plaintiff was pretextual and that retaliation was the but-for cause of the termination. Abdulahi v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., Case No. 1:12cv4330 (N. D. Ga. December 18, 2014).…READ MORE
FMLA Interference v. Retaliation—No Interference Claim Where No Denial of FMLA Benefits
In the case of Downs v. Winchester Medical Center, et al., No. 5:13cv00083, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia addressed the question of what constitutes a claim for interference in violation of the FMLA. The plaintiff in this case asserted claims of both interference and retaliation in violation of the FMLA. However, the only allegations supporting the interference claims were the allegations of harassment, negative reviews, discipline and termination that also supported her FMLA retaliation claim. The court agreed that while the plaintiff had properly stated a claim for retaliation in violation of the FMLA based upon these allegations, they did not support a claim for FMLA interference.…READ MORE
Fourth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Third Party Harassment Claim
In a recent decision, the Fourth Circuit has joined other circuits in holding that a negligence standard applies to third party harassment claims under Title VII, an issue the United States Supreme Court has yet to reach. In Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., et al., No. 131481 (4th Cir. April 29, 2014), the Fourth Circuit concluded that a black female former employee had triable racial and sexual harassment claims under Title VII based on evidence that her employer failed to respond adequately to harassment from a customer.…READ MORE