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The Houston Methodist Hospital required all of its employees to get a vaccine against the COVID19 virus. Some 178 employees sued. They argued, among other things, that requiring employees to accept a vaccine not fully approved by the FDA amounted to Nazi science experiments in a concentration camp. Note to future advocates: avoid over-the top rhetoric. Judge Lynn Hughes, a federal judge, dismissed that sort of rhetoric. He noted correctly that no law prohibits an employer from requiring a vaccine for employment. He described the plaintiffs argument that the vaccine was “experimental and dangerous” as both false and irrelevant.  Texas…
In a small town police force, one officer is going through some serious emotional issues. His former girlfriend and mother of their child is seeing a senior officer on the same small police force. In March, 2018, the chief of the police force referred Office Michael Grelle to a clinical psychologist for an evaluation. The chief mentioned that Officer Grelle had said he could not control his emotions. The young officer had handled various calls in a haphazard way, said the chief. The officer had cried during a meeting with his supervisors. On March 21, 2018, the psychologist found that…
You served in Iraq twice. Both times, you served in a combat role, kicking in doors. You lost a few members of your Army family, but you accepted that. It is part of the deal you made with Uncle Sam. You were commissioned through ROTC at one of the Ivy league schools. You get out of the Army when your time expires and feel like you have earned a rest. After several months of looking for work, you get a job at a national bank on the East Coast.  Everything seems perfect. The civilian boss loves your work. Your co-workers…
The white SUV hurtled toward the Guardsmen. The young soldiers reacted. “Suicide bomber!” yelled one. Two others took up defensive positions as if they were armed. But, they had no weapons. They were simply cleaning up the gravel parking lot at their National Guard Armory. They saw two young boys doing doughnuts in the parking lot with their SUV and told them to stop. The boys reacted by racing the engine and hurrying toward the Guardsmen. The boys did not realize they picked a group of vets from Iraq and Afghanistan.  SGM Benavides was older. He was angry, too, but he…
Zoom hearings have become common place. Those court hearings also see appearances by lay persons. As with any busy court house pre-pandemic, some lay persons do not appreciate the serious ness of the courtroom. One recent non-lawyer appeared at a district court hearing in Centreville, Michigan. His screen name was “buttf—er 3000.” The judge was not amused. He immediately asked the man to identify himself, as soon as he logged in. The judge referred to the apparent party to a lawsuit as an “idiot.” His name was Nathaniel Saxon or Saxton, he said. The judge asked him why his screen…
The Fifth Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment in Lindsley v. TRT Holdings, Inc., No. 20-10263 (5th Cir. 1/7/2021). In an opinion written by Judge Ho, the court found that the plaintiff showed that she was paid much less than similarly situated male employees of Onmi hotels. The lower court had found that the same job title was not enough to show the jobs were the same. One would think that the same job title at the same hotel would suffice to show an issue of facts. But, the lower court did not agree. Fortunately for the employee, the…
He served as a mechanic, the chief mechanic for his battalion. He loved his job and was devoted to his unit. As they trained and prepared to deploy to Iraq, he promised them. He guaranteed no HMMWV would break down outside the wire. That is a big promise to make. He was an E7, a Sergeant First Class with over ten years in the Army. He knew the HMMWV’s in Iraq were hand-me-down’s from five previous rotations. They came with all sorts of mechanical issues. But, the SFC knew his skills and he knew the capabilities of the mechanics he…
All discrimination lawsuits start with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. By statute, all complaints of discrimination must be filed with the EEOC or a state equivalent agency. Since Texas has only one state equivalent agency in Austin, most folks have to start by filing a complaint with the EEOC. USA Today published an article discussing some problems at the EEOC in Dallas. That matters, because the Dallas office oversees the San Antonio and El Paso EEOC offices. Some EEOC workers have complained that the EEOC itself is discriminatory. The article also provides some revealing information. For the time period 2015-2019,…
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits public places of accommodation from erecting barriers to persons with disabilities. This portion of the ADA is known as Title III. This is the provision that requires, for example, entrance ramps at restaurants and stores. Does Title III also apply to websites? The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta says no. The court notes there is a split among the circuits. Not every court of appeals agrees with the Eleventh Circuit. The case was brought by Juan Carlos Gil, who tried to order prescription drugs online from Winn-Dixie. Mr. Gil is blind. He…
We all know that age discrimination is an issue when an older worker is replaced by a younger worker. But, can we still show age discrimination when an older worker is replaced by someone who is also older? The Firth Circuit says yes, sometimes. In the case of Alaniz v. U.S. Renal Care, Inc., No. 19040043, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 40266 (5yh Cir. 12.23.2020) (unpublished), Juan Alaniz was a Licensed Social Worker at a medical clinic. His supervisor, Rebecca Perez, who hired Mr. Alaniz, told him younger workers can work more quickly and more quickly be molded. Another time, she…