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Woman Offended by Gross Female Employee Can Sue for Harassment

A federal court in Kentucky will permit a female employee to proceed with her hostile environment sexual harassment claim based on gross, sexual conduct by another female coworker.  Bradford v. Dep’t of Community Based Services, No. 09-206 (E.D. Ky., February 2, 2012).  In the overwhelming majority of hostile environment cases, male employees are accused by […]

DOL Proposes Rulemaking on Servicemember FMLA and More

On January 31, 2012, the Department of Labor (DOL) released proposed changes to the agency’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations, which were published in the Federal Register on February 15.  This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), a necessary precursor to any regulatory change, seeks comments from interested parties by April 16.  Comments may […]

Mood Disorder Or Misconduct?

In 2005, James Hazen was a partner in a New York law firm.  One of the perks of being a partner was a corporate credit card, which Hazen could use for personal reasons, so long as he paid for the charges.  In December 2005, the firm’s accounting department reported that Hazen failed to submit any […]

Social Media Remains A Big Ticket Item for the #NLRB

In August 2011, the National Labor Relations Board’s Acting General Counsel had issued a report on employee use of social media and online communications, and under what circumstances such behavior can be protected concerted activity under the NLRA.  That report also set forth the NLRB’s position on permissive and over-reaching language in employer social media […]

Cat’s Paw Theory Did Not Help Depressed Employee

A heating and air technician, who suffered from depression, advised one of the company owners of this fact in conjunction with a discussion regarding a customer complaint filed against the  tech.  The owner never made any comments to anyone regarding the depression or discussed it as an issue.  Shortly after the conversation, the owner did […]

Sometimes a Headache is Just a Headache

Hopefully serving as a sign that courts will not regard the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) as license to find every complaint or condition a “disability” under the ADAAA, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently held that a plaintiff who was diagnosed with migraine headaches was […]

Does The FMLA Protect An Employee’s Pre-Eligibility Request For Post-Eligibility Leave? The Eleventh Circuit Says “Yes””

The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or placement of a child or for a serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s spouse, child, or parent.  “Eligible employees” are those who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 twelve months […]

Supreme Court Holds “Ministerial Exception” Stops Discrimination Claims

In a decision that many are calling a resounding victory for religious organizations, the Supreme Court has unanimously decided that the First Amendment’s establishment and free exercise clauses create a “ministerial exception” that bars an ADA lawsuit (and by extension all discrimination cases) brought against a religious organization by a former elementary school teacher who […]