Main Menu

Social Media Strikes Again

Here is another tale of social media posts and “likes” getting an employee into hot water.  Again, the culprit is Facebook.  In Grutzmacher, et al. v. Howard County, et al., No. 15-2066, (4th Cir. March 20, 2017), the plaintiffs were a former Howard County, Maryland, Battalion Chief with the Maryland Department of Fire and Rescue […]

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Again

Readers of this blog are probably familiar with how the appellate court system works.  A party appeals a judge’s factual ruling to an appellate court, which then reviews the lower court’s decision.  Appeals from federal trial courts and federal regulatory boards are usually heard by that circuit’s court of appeal (i.e. the United States Court […]

Maryland Legislative Update

There is a little over a month left before the Maryland General Assembly adjourns its 2017 legislative session.  Below is a list of some of the employment-related bills that thelegislature is considering or has considered. House Bill 1, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, was summarized in a previous blog post.  HB 1 has passed […]

Employer’s Inconsistent Explanations Permits Claim To Survive Summary Judgment

A recent decision out of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Caldwell v. KHOU-TV, No. 16-20408 (5th Cir. March 6, 2017), offers an obvious, but important, reminder for employers — provide consistent reasons for why you make employment decisions.  Be honest.  Be consistent.  Don’t make stuff up.  Otherwise, plaintiff-employees may be able to assail your […]

Virginia Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Bowman Claim Based on Protective Order Statutes

On February 23, 2017, the Virginia Supreme Court sustained a demurrer to a complaint alleging a Bowman claim of wrongful termination.  Francis v. National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences, Inc. No. 160267.  The Court rejected an employee’s claims that the public policy embodied in Virginia Code §§ 19.2-152.7:1 through 19.2-152.10 (the Protective Order […]

Virginia Court Strikes Down Homebuilder’s Non-Compete Agreement

On February 14, 2017, a federal judge denied a home builders’ motion for a preliminary injunction to stop a former employee covered by a non-compete agreement from working for a competing builder.  Applying Virginia law, Judge Liam O’Grady of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, ruled that the […]

Split Developing On ADEA Disparate Impact Claims

A federal judge in California recently ruled that PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC (“PwC”) must defend against a class action claim of unintentional age discrimination.  Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 16-cv-02276-JST (N.D. Cal. Feb. 17, 2017). On April 17, 2016, Steve Rabin, on behalf of himself and other similarly situated unsuccessful job applicants, filed a putative class action […]

Non-Renewal of Contract or Termination?

Employers often think that not renewing an employee’s contract is somehow qualitatively different from a termination of employment.  In some cases, and in certain limited circumstances, that may be true.  It is not true, however, with regard to statutory retaliation claims (e.g., my contract was not renewed because I engaged in activity protected by Title […]

Trump Nominates Acosta to Head Department of Labor

As readers of this blog may be aware, in yesterday’s post, I called attention to the fact that there was no replacement pick lined up for the Secretary of Labor.  Less than twenty-four hours after Andrew Puzder’s decision to withdraw his nomination, President Trump selected R. Alexander “Alex” Acosta to head the DOL.  If confirmed, Acosta […]

Puzder Withdraws From Consideration For Secretary Of Labor

Two months ago, nearly to the day, I wrote about Andrew Puzder’s nomination as Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration.  After having his confirmation hearings before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee pushed back four times, and with hearings finally set for today, Puzder withdrew from consideration yesterday afternoon. While supporters […]