In one of the most anticipated decisions of the term, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, dodged the key constitutional questions in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, issuing a narrow opinion finding that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission displayed “impermissible hostility” toward a baker’s sincerely held religious beliefs.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules for Baker in Same-Sex Marriage Wedding Cake Case

In a major win for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held that arbitration agreements with class action waivers do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  The Court’s narrow 5-4 decision paves the way for employers to include such waivers in arbitration agreements to avoid class and collective actions.

Continue Reading SCOTUS Holds Class Action Waivers Do Not Violate the NLRA

The U.S. Supreme Court voted to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Varela v. Lamps Plus, Inc.  The Court is expected to decide whether workers can pursue their claims through class-wide arbitration when the underlying arbitration agreement is silent on the issue.  The case could have wide-reaching consequences for employers who use arbitration agreements.

Continue Reading SCOTUS to Review Right to Class Arbitration in Silent Agreements

A single paragraph in an otherwise routine opinion could have reverberations in FLSA exemption cases for years to come.

Earlier this week, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held in Encino Motorcars LLC v. Navarro et al. that auto service advisors are exempt under the FLSA’s overtime pay requirement.  While the case resolved a circuit split for a discrete exemption, the Court’s decision has broad implications for all employers.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Rejects Notion That FLSA Exemptions Should Be “Narrowly Construed”

Last week, the United States Supreme Court released its decision in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers, where the Court unanimously adopted a narrow reading of the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation “whistleblower” provision.  The Court held that the provision applies only to individuals who report securities violations directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The case involved Paul Somers, a former employee of Digital Realty Trust, who alleged that the company terminated him after he internally reported suspected violations of securities law by the company.  Somers, however, never reported any of the suspected securities violations to the SEC.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets Dodd-Frank’s Definition of Whistleblower

A New York Appellate decision issued last week—finding that firing an employee for being sexually attractive states a claim for gender discrimination—exemplifies the broad interpretation of discrimination laws in recent years.

Plaintiff Dilek Edwards worked as a yoga instructor and massage therapist for a Manhattan-based chiropractor and wellness center owned and operated by a married couple.  Edwards maintains that she was regularly praised for her performance and maintained a “purely professional” relationship with the husband-owner.

Continue Reading Employee Fired For Being “Too Cute” States A Claim For Gender Discrimination

If the Supreme Court of Virginia were looking for an opportunity to expand its Bowman doctrine—the narrow public policy exception to Virginia’s at-will employment rule—it had the perfect chance to do so.  But, in a recent decision, Francis v. NACCAS, Inc., the Court reiterated the narrow and restrictive application of the Bowman exception.

Continue Reading Supreme Court of Virginia Rejects Expansion of Bowman Claim

When is “A Day Without A Woman”? 

Tomorrow, March 8, 2017.

What is the goal of “A Day Without A Woman”?

According to organizers, “[t]he goal is to highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the US and global economies, while calling attention to the economic injustices women and gender nonconforming people continue to face.”

Organizers are looking to end workplace discrimination and urge employers to adopt benefits such as paid family leave, sick days, adequate healthcare, fair pay, vacation time, and healthy work environments.

Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know About “A Day Without A Woman”

Employers increasingly feel that they are forced to bend, or sometimes even break, company rules to reasonably accommodate disabled workers under federal and state law. In a victory for employers, the Eleventh Circuit bucked this trend, holding that when mandatory overtime is established as an “essential function” of the job, a disabled employee who cannot work overtime is not a “qualified individual” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and, thus, need not be accommodated.

Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Nixes Disability Discrimination Claim Due to Employee’s Inability to Work Overtime

This week, the EEOC announced that an Illinois-based packing company, Pactiv LLC, agreed to pay $1.7 million to resolve a charge alleging that the company discriminated against employees who needed time off from work for medical reasons.

According to the EEOC, the company maintained a nationwide policy that assessed “attendance points” to employees who needed time off for medical reasons. The company also allegedly failed to provide employees with intermittent and extended leave as a “reasonable accommodation” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Continue Reading 1.7 Million Reasons to Review Your Company’s Attendance and Leave Policies