EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS IS SATIRE
To: Management Team
From: Legal Department
Date: December 15, 2016
Re: Company Holiday Event Post-Mortem
Three years ago, the Company Christmas Party resulted in various criminal charges, allegations of sexual harassment, compensation of the entire Accounting Department for an all-night game of Truth-Or-Dare, a workers compensation claim for dance fighting, and the consummation of a little boy named Wendell, Jr. The Legal Department took inventory of these events in a memorandum that provided advice for future parties. (more…)
It’s the most common employment law claim . . . retaliation. In 2015, 44.5% of the total EEOC charges were based on retaliation, which exceeded even race-based charges of discrimination. So it is not surprising that the EEOC decided to weigh in. On August 29, 2016, the EEOC issued its final 76-page Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, the first retaliation guidance provided by the EEOC since 1998.
In a recent decision that could have implications in many states, a federal appeals ruled that an employee could state a claim for wrongful termination under state law after being discharged for storing a gun in his car on company property.
This year, there are several notable revisions to TN law regarding workers’ compensation. First, reasonable attorney fees and costs can be awarded to the employee and his/her counsel when the employer fails to initiate appropriate medical treatment pursuant to a settlement, expedited order, or judgment and when the employer wrongfully denies a claim and fails to promptly initiate temporary benefits. Therefore, this may greatly limit our ability to deny claims that we had previously denied. As you are aware, very few attorneys wanted to take on cases for employees and this is meant to encourage more attorneys to take claims for employees. (more…)
Good faith. It is a term that is mercilessly bandied about in the law. And, its ambiguity can cause confusion . . . and a plea to the state’s highest court for clarification. (more…)
The prevalence of employees identifying themselves as “whistleblowers” has expanded in recent years due to expansion of federal and state whistleblower rights. Recently, a recently enacted federal law, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), created a new class of whistleblower protection rights. The DTSA creates a federal private civil action for the misappropriation of trade secrets. Included in this Act, however, is a provision for immunity from both civil and criminal allegations, under state and federal law, for employees and independent contractors who are whistleblowers. (more…)
May 16th may be a significant day for employers across the country. After more than two years of debate, analysis and overall panic from employers across the country, this is the deadline that was widely reported when the final overtime rule would be published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Don’t panic. As of the time of this posting the final overtime regulations HAVE NOT been published but if it is not today, it is definitely soon. The regulation change will impact the exempt status of employees in virtually every industry and has created one of the most significant challenges to face employers in the last decade. It is high alert time.
Did we hear that correctly? Employees need to follow Company policies? In a victory for employers, a federal court said that an employer had the right to terminate an employee who failed to follow the Company’s leave policy while taking intermittent FMLA leave. (more…)
Last week, a federal jury (after only 3 hours of deliberation) awarded a Walmart female pharmacist . . . wait for it . . . $31 MILLION! Maureen McPadden, a 13-year Wal-Mart pharmacist, brought an action alleging retaliatory termination, disability discrimination, and sex discrimination. McPadden called the verdict, “a message that the little guy has a voice, that Wal-Mart did something wrong.” (more…)
President Obama may soon issue an executive order mandating that employers who contract with the Federal government, and their subcontractors, provide paid sick leave to employees. A report in The New York Times released a draft of the executive order, which was marked “confidential” as well as “pre-decisional and determinative;” therefore, the specifics of the executive order are subject to change. (more…)