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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 […]

Undocumented Workers Not Eligible for Back Pay Under NLRA

In Mezonos Maven Bakery Inc., 357 N.L.R.B. No 47 (Aug. 9, 2011), a unanimous three-member panel held that the National Labor Relations Act and Supreme Court precedent in Hoffman Plastic Compounds Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002) “forecloses us from awarding back pay to undocumented workers” even where the employer was violating the Immigration […]

It’s Ok to Threaten Your Supervisor

This week, a construction industry employer learned that it was illegal for it to fire two union-represented employees who had told a supervisor “it’s going to get ugly” and that the supervisor “better bring [his] boxing gloves” after the supervisor disciplined a group of employees for exceeding a 15-minute break limit.  The employer terminated the […]

Playing “Race Card” Wins Jury Trial on Retaliation Claim

An African-American factory employee won the right to take his Title VII retaliation claim to a jury because his manager had accused him of “playing the race card.”  The employee “almost habitually” complained about poor treatment from a white co-worker, as well of racial discrimination in training and promotion decisions that he was denied.  In […]

Age Discrimination Or Technological Advancement?

Plaintiffs suing for age discrimination must prove, as part of their prima facie case, that they were replaced by an individual outside of their protected class – that is, that they were replaced by someone younger.  What happens, though, if the employee is replaced by a computer program?  Can the employee establish a case of […]

Workers’ Comp Remedy For Mad-Cow Disease

by Kelly C. Lovett Workers’ compensation provides a valuable benefit to employers as the sole remedy for employees injured on the job.  As a result, employee lawsuits against employers for job-related injuries or illnesses usually are dismissed as soon as they are filed.  Occasionally, an employee will sue under a narrow exception to the workers’ […]

Sixth Circuit Addresses Associational Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits associational discrimination.  In other words, an employer cannot discriminate against an applicant or employee who has a relationship or association with an individual with a known disability.  42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(4).  The EEOC explains that the ADA prohibits conduct such as: An employer is interviewing applicants for a […]

How to Stay on the EEOC’s Good Side

I wrote about this last year, because in 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received nearly 100,000 new charges of workplace discrimination, the highest figure ever.  In the Baltimore Region, there were approximately 3,300 pending charges and about 13 investigators to handle them.   Well, 2011 was another banner year for charges being filed, and particularly […]