Total Articles: 15
Brody and Associates, LLC • October 10, 2018
Changing reasons for termination can be a real problem for employers. This is often a lesson management side labor and employment lawyers spout to their clients over and over again. One employer in Kansas unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 01, 2016
Most employees who file employment discrimination claims hope for one of two things – a really sympathetic jury or an employer that is willing to generously settle the lawsuit to avoid the risks and uncertainties of trial. Before either is a possibility in federal (and many state) courts, the employee must first clear the hurdle of surviving summary judgment. That is, when the employer files its motion for summary judgment requesting that the court dismiss the employee’s discrimination claims on the merits, the employee must instead prove to the court that the employee has enough evidence from which a jury could render a verdict in his or her favor. The Seventh Circuit in Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc.1 may have simplified – but not eased – the determination of whether employees satisfy their burden of proof at the summary judgment stage.
Ogletree Deakins • August 31, 2016
In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a case involving the discharge of a union employee following his alleged whistleblowing on his union’s former president. The court found that Stanford adequately proffered legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the plaintiff’s discharge, including his long history of inappropriate and harassing comments such as racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks about his colleagues. Gazzano v. Stanford University, No. 14-15577, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (May 12, 2016).
Ogletree Deakins • August 08, 2016
In an unpublished decision, one federal appellate court has penned an opinion that goes to the heart of how discrimination cases are analyzed under Title VII by re-interpreting the prima facie case requirements set by the U.S. Supreme Court in the McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green case in 1973.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 07, 2016
An employer’s reliance on a positive alcohol test was held to be a legitimate and non-discriminatory basis for termination, despite the terminated employee’s argument that the test result was inaccurate. Clark v. Boyd Tunica, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35223 (N.D. Miss. March 1, 2016).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 01, 2016
Where a former female employee showed a hospital imposed lesser disciplinary action upon male employees for infractions similar to the one that led to her discharge, her sex discrimination claims can proceed, a federal appeals court has ruled, reversing summary judgment for the hospital. Jackson v. VHS Detroit Receiving Hospital, Inc., No. 15-1802 (6th Cir. Feb. 23, 2016).
Fisher Phillips • February 29, 2016
It’s an expression you hear often among police officers and other sworn employees: “You Lie, You Die.” That is, if you are caught being deceptive about any work-related subject, you will be terminated and your career will be over. This concept was endorsed in a recent appeals court case that can teach lessons to all employers about the importance of honesty in the workplace.
Fisher Phillips • March 04, 2014
On January 21, a federal appeals court addressed whether an employee terminated by group decision (six managers) can be considered “similarly situated” to employees who were disciplined less severely by a different decisional group, consisting of some but not all of the same managers. Reversing the summary judgment decision of a Wyoming trial court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit stated:
Ogletree Deakins • December 10, 2013
On November 4, 2013, in Akerson v. Pritzker, No. 12-10240-PBS, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts rejected the race discrimination and Equal Pay Act claims brought by a former employee of the U.S. Census Bureau’s, but allowed her Rehabilitation Act claims to proceed to trial. The plaintiff in the case, Bonnie Akerson, had been employed as a “partnership specialist” for the U.S. Census Bureau where she educated organizations about the 2010 census and encouraged them to enter into partnership agreements with the Census Bureau. Applicants for the position could apply for one or more of four salary grade levels: GS-7, GS-9, GS-11, and GS-12. Akerson applied for the position at the GS-9 pay grade and was paid accordingly. Her male colleague applied for the position at the GS-11 pay grade and was paid at a higher level although both levels involved substantially the same job responsibilities.
Ogletree Deakins • August 12, 2013
The 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld lower court’s summary judgment decision, finding that an individual who refused to complete an application without some guarantee that a particular individual would not participate in the hiring process could not support a claim of race discrimination. Murray v. Beverage Distribution Center, 3d Cir., No. 11-1938, unpublished, July 29, 2013.
Ogletree Deakins • July 23, 2012
More than two years ago, I expressed my hopes that the 5th Circuit would undertake an en banc review of the panel decision in Smith v. Xerox, a decision that answered whether a mixed motive was available in a retaliation claim after the Supreme Court's Gross decision. See 5th Circuit En Banc Request on Smith v. Xerox, Please! Alas, it was not to be as the case settled before there was any further review.
Fisher Phillips • July 02, 2012
The EEOC is currently investigating Marylou's Coffee, a chain of Massachusetts coffee shops, for its practice for hiring young attractive women to serve coffee. The EEOC's investigation was not triggered from a complaint by a rejected applicant or fired employee. Rather, it is a "Commission-initiated investigation" conducted, according to the director of the EEOC's Boston office, because "it's possible that applicants or employees might not know that they have been discriminated against."
Ogletree Deakins • March 09, 2012
Human resource and legal professionals have long evaluated the potential of a discrimination claim using the following paradigm:
Ogletree Deakins • June 15, 2010
A federal appellate court recently found that an employee who was fired for insubordination was not meeting an employer's legitimate business expectations after she engaged in arguments with her co-workers, the general manager, and the owner of the business. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals further found that the insubordination was a non-discriminatory reason that overcame the employee's claim that her termination was a "pretext" for discrimination.
Ogletree Deakins • June 02, 2010
It is generally understood that employees can bring claims for hostile environment, wrongful termination, or even “constructive discharge” – where an employee claims that an employer made working conditions so intolerable that a reasonable employee would feel compelled to resign. What is less clearly understood is the extent of the economic damages for which a hospital or health care system may be liable in an employment-related lawsuit. Because a successful litigant in an employment case often is entitled to compensatory damages, lost wages and, in some instances, front pay, a lawsuit by a physician-employee can create the potential for large monetary damage awards. In a clear example of this fact, a Texas jury recently awarded more than $3.6 Million to an Egyptian-born physician who claimed that he was forced to resign after race-based comments from another employed physician