Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Litigation and Arbitration

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Employers To Face More Concurrent EEOC and Tort Suits after Second Circuit Decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has joined the Seventh and Ninth Circuits in holding that an EEOC charge will not toll the statute of limitations on a state-law tort claim. This decision likely will lead to an increase in concurrent filings of state-law tort claims and Title VII federal administrative proceedings … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Extends SOX’s Whistleblower Protection To Employees of Publicly Traded Company’s Contractors

The U.S. Supreme Court held that Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company’s contractors and subcontractors in its March 14, 2014 decision in the case of Lawson v. FMR LLC. This alert provides background and analysis of this first case decided by the Supreme Court under Section 806 of SOX. … Continue Reading

Social Media Watch: Illinois Federal Court Lowers Bar for SCA Claims

Social media privacy cases continue to grow under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) (see our prior alert on the Ehling decision).  The SCA provides a private right of action for unauthorized, intentional access of another’s communications held in electronic storage, allowing the plaintiff to recover actual damages, plus any profits made by the violator, in … Continue Reading

A Woolley Situation: District of New Jersey Refuses to Enforce Arbitration Clause in Employee Handbook

New Jersey employers should consider the risks of including an arbitration agreement in a standard employment handbook in light of a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Raymours Furniture Co., Inc. v. Rossi, No. 13-4440, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1006 (D.N.J. Jan. 2, 2014). The court refused … Continue Reading

No Longer a “Motivating Factor”: E.D.N.Y. Rules New “But-For” Causation Standard for Retaliation Retroactive

Employers who have recently suffered defeats on Title VII retaliation claims now have reason to ask for reconsideration under applicable rules.  The Eastern District of New York, in Sass v. MTA Bus Co.,   ruled that existing cases should no longer be subject to a “motivating factor” analysis, but rather, are retroactively subject to the “but-for” … Continue Reading

Okay to Terminate Employee for Violating No-Alcohol Provision of Return to Work Agreement, Says Third Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed that an employer may discharge a driver sales representative who suffers from alcoholism for violating a return to work agreement (RWA) that prohibits the use of drugs or alcohol in Ostrowski v. Con-way Freight, Inc., No. 12-3800, 2013 WL 5814131 (3d Cir. Oct. 30, 2013). … Continue Reading

AAA Adopts Optional Appellate Arbitration Process

Parties now have an opportunity to seek review of unfavorable arbitration awards before an appellate arbitral panel, pursuant to the Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules (Rules), recently released by the American Arbitration Association, effective November 1, 2013. This alert takes a look at the new rules, which describe the process and requirements for parties wishing to … Continue Reading

The Florida Civil Rights Act Amendment

The Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”) prohibits discrimination in employment based on many protected categories but pregnancy is not expressly listed as one of them.  There has been a split in the Florida District Courts of Appeal as to whether pregnancy is covered under the FCRA.  To resolve the split, the Florida Supreme Court heard … Continue Reading

Employer Must Prove Indefinite Leave Is Undue Hardship Under NYCHRL, Says New York’s Highest Court

The New York State Court of Appeals’ recent holding in Romanello v. Intesa Sanpaolo, 2013 N.Y. LEXIS 2755; 2013 Slip Op 6600 (N.Y. Oct. 10, 2013), now makes it more difficult for employers covered by the New York City Human Rights Law (Administrative Code of City of NY § 8-107[1][a]) (“NYCHRL”) to terminate employees who … Continue Reading

DOMA Overruled: Milestone for Applicants of Immigration Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional, allowing for the recognition of same-sex marriages and making way for same-sex married couples to receive benefits under federal law. This alert looks at the immigration law implications of … Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Approves Warrantless GPS Tracking of Government Employees

On June 27, 2013, a divided New York Court of Appeals held in Cunningham v. New York State Dept. of Labor, that the state can use GPS tracking to monitor its employees during working hours without a warrant. Read this alert for an analysis of this important decision for employers. Read the full text of … Continue Reading

Special Alert for Employers and Other Benefit Plan Sponsors: How Will the Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision Impact Your Employee Benefit Plans?

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, holding that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, will affect virtually all employers across the country. While the Court’s decision means that the federal government will generally recognize same-sex spouses as married for purposes of federal laws, protections and … Continue Reading

Illinois Restrictive Covenants Harder to Enforce Post-Fifield and Montel

Illinois employers are still reeling from the Illinois Supreme Court’s refusal to review the decision in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc., No. 1-12-0327 (Ill. App. Ct., 1st Dist. June 24, 2013).  In Fifield, the First District Appellate Court ruled that employee non-competition and non-solicitation agreements supported by consideration consisting of less than two years … Continue Reading
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