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Third Circuit Substitutes “Likely Reason” for “But For” at Summary Judgment Stage of Retaliation Case

In Carvalho-Grevious v. Delaware State University, No. 15-3521 (March 21, 2017), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals addressed an important evidentiary question: What evidence must a plaintiff adduce as part of a prima facie case of retaliation to survive a motion for summary judgment?

Trade Associations Ask OMB to Review EEO-1 Pay Data Report

Over the last couple of weeks, much of the media in Washington, D.C., has turned its attention to the new director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), former South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney. This is because Mulvaney is in charge of advancing the administration’s first federal budget proposal, as well as coordinating Republicans’ efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). What goes unnoticed, however, is that Mulvaney and his office will play a crucial role in the employer community’s efforts to ease the regulatory burdens that have piled up over the last several years. Here’s just one way how.

No Longer Giving Your Employee a “Warm Welcome” or saying “Good Morning”? Court Rules that Could be Evidence of Retaliation

A recent decision from a federal court in New York serves as a reminder to employers in South Carolina and North Carolina of just how difficult an employee’s allegations of retaliation can be to challenge, and how employers successfully can defend themselves against a discrimination claim—only to lose on the retaliation claim based on the same facts.

Dodging Disparate Impact Claims

There has been significant buzz lately regarding the risk of discrimination in the sharing economy. Not only has the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its intent to prioritize protections in the on-demand economy in its recently published Strategic Enforcement Plan, but sharing economy businesses have faced additional scrutiny surrounding response times to customers of different races.

An Employer’s Horror Story For Friday The 13th: Retaliation Claim Survives 13-Year Gap

January 2017 is one of those rare months including a Friday the 13th, which might bring to mind a horror movie where a seemingly vanquished killer somehow rises to his feet – once again! – to wreak havoc on his stunned victims. Just like an undead specter rising from the grave long after you think it’s been killed off, an employer recently faced a retaliation claim despite the fact that a 13-year gap existed between the alleged protected activity and the adverse action.

eLABORate: Fifth Circuit Points in Different Directions on Emotional Distress Damages

Two separate panels of the Fifth Circuit issued decisions this month within three days of one another, ruling on emotional distress damages in employment cases. The rulings were somewhat inconsistent – the first (Vaughan v. Anderson Regional Medical Center) holding that emotional distress damages are not recoverable under the ADEA, and the second (Pineda v. JTCH Apartments, LLC, et al) holding that emotional distress damages are recoverable in FLSA retaliation cases. The latter case does not cite to the first, and the two panels were made up of completely different judges. Both cases, however, cited to longstanding Fifth Circuit precedent Dean v. American Security Insurance Co, and rely on similar statutory language. While the two new opinions do not directly conflict with one another, they are somewhat in tension.

EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting – Will It Stay or Will It Go?

Predicting what any new presidential administration will or won’t do based on campaign statements is risky. Nonetheless, we may glean some insights. For instance, of the equal employment opportunity priorities mentioned during the campaign, the President-elect and his daughter, Ivanka, spent time talking about wage equality and childcare. For example, on the news program, 60 Minutes, Ms. Trump stated, “I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them… Wage equality, childcare. These are things that are very important for me… Really promoting more opportunities for women.”

Employers Be Careful Who You Believe When it is a Case of “He Said She Said”

In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc., the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals, held that an employee’s retaliatory intent may be imputed to an employer when the employer’s negligence gives effect to the employee’s retaliatory animus and adversely effects the victim. In essence, the Second Circuit extended the “cat’s paw theory” to cover discriminatory animus of a rank and file employee to the employer’s negligent actions.

Grooming Policies in the Workplace: 11th Circuit Upholds Employer’s Dreadlock Ban

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that an employer’s policy banning dreadlocks did not constitute racial discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In doing so, the court rejected the argument that hairstyle can be a determinant of racial identity for purposes of Title VII. The court reasoned that Title VII protection extends to immutable characteristics but not cultural practices and that hairstyles are not immutable characteristics.

HR Intel: Dark Joint Employer Clouds Forming for Franchises

A series of sexual harassment complaints against McDonald’s in the past month has laid the groundwork for a potential new joint employer battle for the purveyor of patties.