Total Articles: 14
Goldberg Segalla LLP • August 12, 2019
When facing a wrongful termination/retaliation claim, the organization and detail of an employer’s files will be put to the test. In a recent decision, an employer maintained well-documented, detailed files which helped to prove that a termination was not retaliatory. In Lacey v. Norac, Inc., the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment to an employer in a retaliation claim under Title VII based on allegations that the employee was terminated for refusing to sign an affidavit on the employer’s behalf.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • September 24, 2018
Advancements in technology and software can help employers track employee productivity. But what happens when an employee’s medical condition influences her ability to use an employer’s technology?
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 10, 2017
An employer that refused to hire an applicant based on a positive pre-employment drug test was entitled to summary judgment on the applicant’s race discrimination and civil conspiracy claims despite the applicant’s argument that the company safety officer cancelled his split specimen drug test due to discriminatory animus, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Turner v. Hirschbach Motor Lines, Case No. 15-3263 (7th Cir. Apr. 24, 2017).
Goldberg Segalla LLP • October 07, 2016
The Second Circuit has expanded a theory of liability that can be asserted against employers. Previously, the Second Circuit had not ruled on whether an employer can be held liable for the actions of a lower-level employee with a discriminatory motive who manipulates an unwitting manager or employer into engaging in an adverse employment action. In Vazquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Ms. Vazquez accused a co-worker of sexual harassment and outlined in detail obscene and blatant actions taken by the co-worker that constituted sexual harassment.
Ogletree Deakins • September 13, 2016
In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc., No. 15-3239-cv (August 29, 2016), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals set new precedent when it held that an employer may be held liable for the retaliatory intent of a nonsupervisory employee under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Ogletree Deakins • September 06, 2016
Rarely has the maxim “hard cases make bad law” found greater application than in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision to expand the “cat’s paw” doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2011. Under the cat’s paw doctrine, an employer may be liable for discrimination or retaliation if it is unwittingly manipulated into taking an adverse employment action against an employee by a coworker with a discriminatory or retaliatory motive.
Fisher Phillips • August 30, 2016
False Sexting Claims Prove Employer’s Downfall
Ogletree Deakins • October 08, 2014
What do these famous words from Romeo and Juliet, downplaying the importance of names, have to do with discrimination litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Despite Juliet’s musings, names play an important role for an employee who, in filing a charge of discrimination, must satisfy Title VII’s naming requirement. This is because an employee who fails to properly name defendants in a charge of discrimination provides the employer a defense to later litigation.
Fisher Phillips • June 12, 2013
In a case that could impact employers everywhere, Vance v. Ball State University, Docket No. 11-556, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering who qualifies as a supervisor pursuant to Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998), and Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998). Or maybe not.
Ogletree Deakins • May 22, 2013
Although as an object fact we know that it is important when the Supreme Court issues a decision, see my discussion just above about the importance of a SOX case that will be decided next term, but it never hurts to be reminded.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • December 13, 2012
The United States Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in the matter of Vance v. Ball State University (Docket No. 11-556) on November 26, 2012, a case which is poised to resolve an important split among federal circuits and could reshape the scope of supervisor liability in sexual harassment and discrimination cases.
Franczek Radelet P.C • August 09, 2012
In March 2011, we discussed the Supreme Court’s expansion of the “cat’s paw” discrimination theory in Staub v. Proctor Hospital. The Court held that Title VII could impose liability on employers for discrimination if the decision maker acts as the “cat’s paw” and relies on input from lower-level supervisors who have discriminatory intent, even if the decision maker did not share those discriminatory motives. This summer, the Sixth Circuit and various district courts have started to better define, and even suggest expansions to, the cat’s paw theory.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 08, 2012
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded, in an issue of first impression, that an employee who does not directly make the decision to terminate another employee, but who influences that decision on the basis of an impermissible bias, may be held individually liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 in a subsequent lawsuit.
Ogletree Deakins • August 01, 2008
Under anti-discrimination statutes, an employee can bring a retaliation claim under a theory of liability referred to as a “subordinate bias” theory – also referred to as the “cat’s paw” theory” - in which the employee can claim that an adverse action ostensibly brought by a high-level company decision-maker was, in actuality, based upon the biased recommendation of a lower level manager or supervisor. The Supreme Court implicitly approved this rationale in Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products in 2000, a case in which a company president followed a recommendation of the director of manufacturing (who, coincidentally, was also her husband) to discharge an employee for falsifying company payroll records. Because evidence existed to show that the director of manufacturing had generated misleading data to justify the termination, and that he was the “actual” decision-maker, the company was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law against the employee.