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Pregnancy discrimination continues to be a problem in Texas. Last week, Dallas-based Greenhouse Outpatient Center and its parent company, American Addiction Centers, agreed to pay over $146,000 and provide other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought against the company. The Dallas rehabilitation center had granted the pregnant employee, a behavioral health technician, a 30-day leave of absence for childbirth. After the employee delivered the baby by caesarean section, which requires abdominal surgery, the employee’s doctor indicated she needed eight weeks to recover before returning to work. Human Resources, however, told the employee her position could not be held…
A former cashier for a Florida Burger King has been awarded over $2 million by a jury on her claims of disability discrimination against the restaurant franchisee. The employee was employed by the corporate franchisee, called Magic Burger, as a cashier. She had a trachea tube because of a car accident that occurred one year before she started working for the company. The general manager of the store that hired her was informed of the trachea tube and saw it during the job interview. However, when an executive came to visit the store, the executive told the employee she couldn’t…
Two days before its effective date, the U.S. Department of Labor has withdrawn a rule that was set to implement a so-called “economic reality” test to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. The DOL had already delayed the rule, which was originally set to take effect in March. DOL said it withdrew the rule because it was inconsistent with the text and purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act and would have had “a confusing and disruptive effect on workers and businesses alike due to its departure from long standing judicial precedent.” DOL said the rule…
Paul Tobias I am saddened by the passing of Paul Tobias. Paul was the founder and first Executive Director of the National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”), the country’s largest organization of lawyers dedicated to the protection of employment rights for employees. From NELA’s announcement: “Today we lost a giant, not just in plaintiffs’ employment law, but in the profession as a whole. Paul was a visionary with tremendous compassion for working people, and he, along with a few of his colleagues, conceptualized a nationwide network to support attorneys who advocate for workers. With a handshake and an encouraging word for…
If an employer requires that its employees receive the coronavirus vaccine, then the time spent by employees obtaining the vaccine is most likely compensable under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a recent decision of the Illinois Department of Labor. The agency also said in its guidance that employers should allow employees to use sick leave to take a qualifying family member to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Most employment attorneys are of the opinion that the federal FLSA statute also likely requires employers to pay workers for time spent receiving the vaccine, if…
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) plans to rescind a Trump-era regulation on joint employment and stop an impending regulation on independent contractor use. The joint employment rule took effect in March 2020 and limited employers’ liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A federal district court, however, vacated large portions of the rule later that year. The independent contractor rule, scheduled to take effect this coming May, sought to implement a very broad “economic reality” test for independent contractor status. The joint employment rule involves a test to determine whether two employers should be held jointly responsible for FLSA…
Many employees are not aware that before you can you file a lawsuit in court regarding an employment discrimination or employment retaliation case, you generally need to go through an administrative agency first. Typically that is the EEOC. Today, we are going to discuss the who, what, where, when, and why of filing an EEOC Charge of Discrimination. WHO AND WHERE do you file and EEOC Charge? The EEOC stands for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That’s the federal agency that investigates claims of discrimination based on EEO categories, age, gender, race, national origin, religion, and disability, as well as…
There is an ongoing argument in courts, legislatures and companies across the country about whether it is appropriate to base hiring decisions on criminal background checks. The HR community in the U.S. appears to be slowing moving to remove the barriers standing in the way of job seekers with criminal histories. But the courts, as is typical for the judicial system, are a lagging indicator of this move. Late last month the 2nd Circuit Court of appeals refused to reconsider en banc its prior panel decision dismissing a case that argued an IT services provider’s policy not to hire applicants…
An IT worker for Johnson & Johnson has filed a lawsuit alleging J&J fired him immediately after he returned from medical leave. The case pleads claims based on the plaintiff’s disability and age. You can download a copy of the Complaint here: Pultorak v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, No. 3:21-cv-01947 (D.N.J., Feb. 5, 2021) The lawsuit claims the plaintiff was let go about four weeks after he after he returned from medical leave for throat and lung cancer and lumbar spinal fusion therapy. According to his complaint, his job was given to a younger, less…
USERRA Military Leave In a decision issued earlier this month by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the court ruled that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) requires employers to provide short-term paid leave to military reservists to the same extent they provide paid leave for other absences such as jury duty. The case is White v. United Airlines, Inc. and United Continental Holdings, Inc., No. 19-2546 (7th Cir., Feb. 3, 2021). This is, to my knowledge, the first Court of Appeals to address the question of whether Section 4316(b) of USERRA provides a right to…