The New Jersey State Assembly has amended the New Jersey Equal Pay Act to require employers with 50 or more employees to “conspicuously post” a notice of employees’ rights to be free from gender discrimination with respect to wages, compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. The new posting requirement is scheduled to take effect November 21, 2012. The New Jersey Department of Labor, however, still needs to...read more
Randi Klein Hyatt
In Tasciyan v. Medical Numerics, No. 8:11-cv-01467 (D. Md. Oct. 9, 2012), the federal trial court permitted Talin Tasciyan’s Title VII retaliation claim to proceed to a jury trial, finding that a jury must decide if her comment on a self-evaluation form, that she believed she had not been promoted because of her gender, was the reason for her termination. The court noted that sufficient evidence of a causal connection existed because only three...read more
September 28, 2012 was a busy day at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Not only did the Board issue its first Facebook ruling (Karl Knauz Motors, Inc.), it also decided it latest case invalidating an employer rule limiting employee access. In Marriott International, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 8 (2012), the Board ruled that a hotel rule barring off duty employees from returning to the hotel interior or using its facilities without...read more
Readers of this blog are well aware of the increased role that social media tools are playing in workplace lawsuits. While many of our recent posts have focused on NLRB decisions limiting employer social media policies, a recent federal court decision out of Pennsylvania emphasizes the importance of having a social media policy in place. In Eagle v. Morgan, No. 2:11-cv-04303-RB (E.D. Pa. 10/4/12), the former president of a financial services...read more
The NLRB keeps at it and tells us, once again, that social media policies are almost never going to pass any smell test. An administrative law judge for the Board issued another decision that seemingly binds the hands of employers who seek to keep their employee productive and focused on work during work time. In ECHOSTAR, Inc., No. 27-CA-066726 (ALJ Anderson, Sept. 20, 2012), the ALJ ruled that EchoStar Technologies’ social media policy...read more
On September 28, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued the latest decision in its determined effort to define the permissible scope of social media rules in the workplace. In Karl Knauz Motors, Inc., 358 NLRB No. 164 (2012), the Board ruled that a BMW dealership did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when it fired a car salesman for photos and comments posted on his Facebook page. However, the Board...read more
On September 19, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) continued its assault on an employer’s right to set and enforce reasonable workplace rules. This time, the target was a mean-spirited employer who had to gall to fire an employee who scrawled profanities on newsletters left in a break room and then lied to an investigator when asked if he had done it. Because the conduct occurred in the context of a union decertification...read more
Buttocks Slap Not Harassment; Complaint Not Protected Activity; Termination Not Retaliation. Really.
It is football season, so apparently it is time to revisit the issue of the workplace buttocks slap. Justice Scalia noted in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, 523 U.S. 75 (1998), when discussing whether an employee might find certain workplace behavior “objectionably offensive,” that a professional football player would not be embarrassed or harassed if his coach smacks him on the buttocks as he heads out onto the field. This same...read more
It’s pretty well recognized that a plaintiff needs to file a lawsuit within 90 days of her receipt of a notice of right to sue from the EEOC. The timing requirement applies even if the recipient was not the plaintiff, but the plaintiff’s lawyer, according to the First Circuit. Affirming summary judgment to Fondo del Seguro del Estado, Puerto Rico’s State Insurance Fund, the court held that Advilda Loubriel did not present sufficient...read more
In order for a plaintiff in a sex harassment case to prevail on a claim of hostile work environment sex harassment, the employee must show that the offensive behavior was unwelcome. On September 17, 2012, a federal court in Illinois relied upon this principle of law to reject a harassment claim brought by a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee. Jacober v. Dept. of Agriculture, No. 3:10-cv-00422 (S.D. Ill. 2012). In Jacober, an employee...read more
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