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EEOC Ordered to Pay Company’s Legal Fees

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes courts find that the EEOC has overreached so greatly in its prosecution of a claim that a win for the employer is not enough – the EEOC is required to pay the company’s legal fees too.  This just happened in EEOC v. TriCore Reference Labs., No. 09-CV-956 (D. […]

No FMLA Claim for “Exacerbation” of Condition

Last month the Seventh Circuit – the most active appellate court interpreting the FMLA – dismissed a claim by an employee who claimed that his supervisor’s conduct exacerbated his pre-existing serious health condition.  Breneisen v. Motorola Inc., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 18301 (7th Cir. Sept. 2, 2011).  This was a case of first impression for […]

Fourth Circuit Holds Gang Members = Employees

In United States v. Weaver, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 21485 (4th Cir. Oct. 24 2011), the Fourth Circuit held that the Federal law prohibiting a person “employed for” a convicted felon from carrying a firearm applies to gang members.  Floyd Moore was the national vice president of the Pagans Motorcycle Club (PMC) and a convicted felon.  […]

Supreme Court to Decide If Civil Service Reform Act Is Exclusive Remedy for Federal Employees’ Constitutional Claims

On October 17, 2011, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether the Civil Service Reform Act (“CSRA”) is the exclusive remedy for a former federal employee contending that his constitutionally rights were violated.  (Elgin v. Dep’t of the Treasury, U.S., No. 11-45, cert. granted 10/17/11).  Four former federal employees, who were employed […]

Maryland Court of Appeals Continues to Limit Wrongful Discharge Cases

The common law doctrine of “employment at will” permits either an employer or employee to terminate the employment relationship at any time or for any reason.   Maryland courts are reluctant to diminish employers’ decision-making discretion, but the a tort claim of “wrongful discharge” has been recognized in limited circumstances.  The seminal case in Maryland is […]

We Need “Young Creative People” Not Proof of Age Discrimination

A federal court in New York has found that pro-youth remarks are not enough to establish that an older worker was the victim of age discrimination.   Mickelsen v. Bertelsmann Inc., No. 08-cv-10138 (S.D.N.Y., September 19, 2011). Apparently, someone had commented that startup companies did well because they are “full of young creative people who are […]

Employees Allowed To Work For Former Client But Not Allowed To Compete

Courts are reluctant to enforce non-competition agreements because they are restraints on trade and one’s ability to earn a living.  To be enforceable, a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement must be reasonable in geographic scope, time, and reasonably tailored to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests.  A federal court in Nevada recently ruled that Accelerated Care […]

Restaurants Pay For Misclassifying Kitchen Workers As Exempt

In two cases recently instituted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), two restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida agreed on August 5, 2011, to pay more than $930,000 in back pay and liquidated damages to 30 employees for violations of the FLSA.  The DOL’s investigation revealed that the restaurants failed to pay overtime wages as a […]

Burlington Definition of Retaliation Appropriate Under the FMLA

The Second Circuit has joined five other Circuits in holding that the correct definition of a “materially adverse employment action” in FMLA retaliation cases is the one used by Supreme Court in its 2006 decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White.  The Burlington definition includes employer actions that are likely to […]