Fourth Circuit Limits Scope of EEOC Charge

Under Title VII, an employee suing for discrimination or retaliation must first file an administrative charge of discrimination with the EEOC or a state or local fair employment practices agency.  The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the employer is put on notice of the allegations, and that the administrative agency is given a chance to investigate, before an employee pursues the case in court.  Because of this requirement, one issue...
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New Federal Guidelines for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors in Considering Criminal Records

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
03/13/2013
On January 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) issued Directive 306, “Complying with Nondiscrimination Provisions: Criminal Record Restrictions and Discrimination Based on Race and National Origin.”  Effective upon its issuance, Directive 306 applies to all covered federal contractors and subcontractors, and requires contractors to carefully tailor the use of an applicant’s...
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Former Virginia Tech Employees’ Title VII and Equal Pay Act Claims Remain Viable

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
03/06/2013
The Fourth Circuit recently issued an opinion addressing employment discrimination allegations raised by three former female employees of Virginia Tech University.  In Maron v. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, No. 12-1146 (4th Cir. Jan. 31, 2013) (unpublished), the plaintiffs claimed that Virginia Tech violated the Equal Pay Act (EPA) when the University paid female employees less than males employees performing the same work. ...
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Court Grants Conditional Class Certification For Police Officers’ Overtime Claim Based On After Hours Blackberry Use

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
02/27/2013
On January 14, 2013, a federal district court approved a Chicago police sergeant’s request for conditional certification of an FLSA collective action for unpaid overtime wages.  Allen v. Chicago, No. 10-03183 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 14, 2013). The lawsuit alleges that the Chicago Police Department failed to pay police officers overtime pay for time spent working on their city-issued BlackBerry devices after regular work hours.  According to the...
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No FMLA Claim For Employee Who Posted Vacation Photos On Facebook During Leave

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
02/26/2013
A federal court in Michigan recently dismissed the FMLA claims of an employee fired for misuse of FMLA leave and dishonesty after posting photographs of her vacation on Facebook while on medical leave.  Lineberry v. Richards, No. 2: 11-13752 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 5, 2013).   Carol Lineberry worked as a registered nurse for Detroit Medical Center (DMC).  In January 2011, Lineberry complained of excruciating pain in her back and legs after moving...
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Employee Not Entitled To FMLA After Failing To Produce Health Care Provider Certification

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
02/21/2013
Most employers and human resource professionals know that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits certain employees of covered employers to take unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons.  The FMLA, through its implementing regulations, requires that an employee claiming FMLA provide his or her employer within fifteen days (or longer if the employer so allows) a certificate of health care provider confirming the employee’s...
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International USW Ousts Local 9477’s Officials and Seizes Assets

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
02/19/2013
In a decidedly un-brotherly move, the President of the United Steelworkers International has placed Local 9477, the local union hall representing the steelworkers in Sparrows Point and the surrounding businesses, under an “administratorship,” Baltimore Brew reported yesterday.  According to the report, Local 9477’s officers have resigned or been suspended and last Thursday, Joe Rosel, Jr., president of Local 9477 was escorted from the premises...
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No Preferential Treatment for Pregnant Employees: Fourth Circuit Holds for Employer in Disability and Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
02/18/2013
The Fourth Circuit confirmed a delivery driver barred from working due to a pregnancy-related lifting restriction lost her claims under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) against UPS.  Young v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., No. 11-2078, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 530 (Jan. 9, 2013). In 2006, UPS employee Peggy Young became pregnant while on leave and was given a twenty-pound lifting restriction.  The ability to...
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Liquidated Damages In FLSA Retaliation Claims Are Not Mandatory

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
02/18/2013
Is it a requirement to award liquidated damages in a wage and hour retaliation case?  The question has been raised before and rejected.  It has now been rejected again.  This time, in Moore v. Appliance Direct, Inc., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3047 (11th Cir. Feb. 13, 2013), the Eleventh Circuit held that the plain language of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) makes the award of liquidated damages discretionary and agreed with the Sixth and Eighth...
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Employers Reminded to Avoid Unilateral Changes and Surveillance of Union Activity

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
02/15/2013
The Fourth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, recently enforced a National Labor Relations Board decision, which concluded that a Maryland employer committed numerous unfair labor practices when it engaged in surveillance of union activities, unilaterally modified the terms and conditions of employment, and unlawfully terminated an employee.  The case, Pessoa Construction Company v. NLRB, Nos. 11-1688, 11-1776 (4th Cir. Jan. 25, 2013)...
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