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Kollman & Saucier Names Two New Partners

Kollman & Saucier is pleased to announce that Bernadette Hunton and Garrett Wozniak have been named Partners in the Firm, effective January 1, 2020. Bernadette  joined the firm in 2011, and is relied upon by in-house counsel, HR professionals, and business leaders in both the public and private sector for counsel on a broad array […]

Virginia Employer Dodges FMLA Bullet

A recent FMLA case out of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia brings to mind the expression “its better to be lucky than good.”  In the case of Trail v. Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company, No. 1:18CV00037 (W.D. Va. 1/8/20),  a Southwest Virginia manufacturer succeeded in getting a former employee’s FMLA  […]

Employer’s Swift and Harsh Actions Defeat Harassment Claim

It is unfortunately no surprise that people do stupid things.  Some people do inexcusable things.  And sometimes those things amount to racial discrimination and harassment.  A recent decision from a federal court in Texas demonstrates the importance for employers to take prompt action to address discriminatory behavior in the workplace.  Such responses are the right […]

NLRB Ordered To Consider NLRA’s Conflict With Anti-Discrimination Laws

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”  Section 8(a)(1) of the Act protects […]

Department of Labor Clarifies “Regular Rate”

Most employers are familiar with the terms “minimum wage” and “hourly rate,” but many are not familiar with the term “regular rate.”  Because overtime compensation must be paid at one and a half times an employee’s “regular rate,” not “hourly rate,” you should.  Let’s start with an example of the difference. Assume an employee’s hourly […]

NLRB Reverses Course on Legality of Investigation Gag Orders

Employers have a legitimate interest in investigating allegations of employee misconduct.  It seems obvious that a certain amount of confidentiality is required to maintain the integrity of those workplace investigations.  Otherwise, investigations may be hindered.  Parties may be coached or discuss ahead of time what they will say, accusers may openly discuss complaints and try […]

Supervisor’s Hugs & Kisses Were Assault & Battery, Were Not Harassment Under Title VII

A federal court in Virginia recently found that a former employee of the Department of Veterans Services (DVS) presented enough evidence that her supervisor’s hugs and kisses comprised an assault and battery against her, but not enough to establish sexual harassment or hostile work environment under Title VII.  Back v. Commonwealth of Virginia, et al., […]

Employer’s Sloppy Investigation Leads to Trial on Discrimination Claim

A federal court in Pennsylvania recently ruled that an African American mine worker who faced several instances of racist epithets and imagery at the work site produced sufficient evidence to overcome the mining company’s motion for summary judgment.  Robinson v. Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company, LLC, No. 2:18-cv-00555-NR (W.D. Penn. 11/27/19) Robinson worked for Consol Pennsylvania […]