Medieval Times Files Trademark Lawsuit Against Newly-Formed Union

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
10/20/2022
In a fascinating intersection of labor relations and trademark law, Medieval Times has sued a newly-formed union for improperly adopting and using its MEDIEVAL TIMES® trademark.   The case, filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on October 13, 2022, seeks an injunction against the Union—Medieval Times Performers United—for unauthorized misappropriation of the MEDIEVAL TIMES mark.  Medieval Times (the...
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DOL Unveils Revamped Independent Contractor Test

The United States Department of Labor has issued a proposed rule that will significantly impact worker classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The proposal, released Tuesday, October 11, 2022, is a departure from the standard adopted during the Trump administration. The FLSA generally requires covered employers to pay nonexempt employees at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and at least one and one-half times an...
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Documented Reorganization Aids Virginia Company’s Win In Pay Discrimination Case

Documentation of and communicating about employment-related decisions, including those pertaining to employee job duties, compensation, and changes in the workplace are important for several reasons.  Among those reasons are keeping employees informed of developments in the workplace and being positioned to explain to a court or administrative agency why things happened the way they did.  In the case of job duties, documentation is only part of...
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Employee's Own Testimony About Their Medical Condition May Be Sufficient Evidence To Establish The Disability.

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
10/07/2022
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held a plaintiff's own testimony about his medical condition and the restrictions/limitations he experienced was sufficient on its own for a jury to be able to decide if the individual was disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  In Sugg v. City of Sunrise, Mr. Sugg was the Chief Electrical Inspector for the City.  Shortly into his employment, he suffered a heart attack.  After just...
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EEOC's LGBT Bathroom/Dress Code/Locker Room Guidance Gets Nixed By Another Federal Court Judge

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
10/05/2022
A Texas federal court judge just ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) June 2021 Guidance that permits exceptions for LGBT employees from certain policies on bathrooms, dress codes and locker rooms was unlawful.   In Texas v. EEOC, et al., 2:21-CV-194-Z (N.D. Tex. Oct. 1, 2022), District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, found that the EEOC's Guidance had improperly interpreted the scope of the Supreme...
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Employer’s Independent Review Sinks FMLA Retaliation Claim

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/29/2022
Employers are sometimes skittish about taking an adverse employment action for legitimate reasons against an employee who has exercised their protected rights, fearing the almost inevitable claim of retaliation.  Indeed, it seems nearly every EEOC charge I get alleges retaliation even when the facts demonstrate it wasn’t remotely possible.  That, of course, is not the way things are supposed to work.  An employee does not insulate themselves...
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An EEOC Reminder: Discrimination by Third Parties is also Illegal

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/28/2022
  Let’s start today’s blog with a  brief visit to Employment Discrimination Law 101.  An employer cannot discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, etc., etc., etc.  Discrimination includes harassment – name calling, epithets, and such stuff – that creates a hostile work environment.   And (yes, I know you know this) an employer is responsible for the actions of all of its employees, not just its supervisors or managers (e.g.,...
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Marijuana Discrimination Protections: The New Frontier

Jordan Dunham
Jordan Dunham
09/02/2022
As our Randi Hyatt recently blogged about, the District of Columbia passed legislation which, once approved by Congress, will prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees who choose to use cannabis while off-duty.  Not to be outdone, on August 30, 2022, California’s state legislature passed Assembly Bill 2188 which will protect workers who use cannabis off the clock.  California’s bill is now headed to Governor Newsom’s...
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NLRB Overturns Precedent and Holds Tesla’s Dress Code Policy Violated NLRA

Jordan Dunham
Jordan Dunham
08/31/2022
On Monday, August 29, 2022, a five member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) reversed course on prior precedent and held that Tesla, Inc. (“Tesla”) violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by maintaining a “team-wear” policy that, under the Board’s opinion, was unjustified under Supreme Court precedent.  The opinion, Tesla, Inc., 370 NLRB No. 88 (2021) reversed course on a...
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Fourth Circuit: ADA Protection for Gender Dysphoria

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
08/25/2022
The issue of federal protection for gender identity was, it seemed, resolved with the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 U.S. ___, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020), which held that Title VII’s definition of sex includes a prohibition of discrimination against gay and transgender individuals.  The LGBTQ community (along with many others) applauded this decision.  And it is settled law. But are other protections available to the...
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