Tag: court

EEOC’s Tough Stance on Employee Separation Agreements

Employers like separation agreements.  Separation agreements, of course, are contracts that employees sign when their employment is terminated that allows them to be paid severance and in exchange they usually give up the right to sue their employer.  Separation agreements provide finality to employment terminations by offering employers protection from claims and potential claims.  The … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Nixes Board Notice Posting Rule In National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB

Once again, federal courts have halted efforts by the current National Labor Relations Board ("the Board") to expand its regulatory reach. Earlier this week, in National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the Board’s controversial attempt to require virtually all employers to post a notice … Continue Reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Enforceability of Employer Arbitration Agreement

In the recent case Hatkoff v. Portland Adventist Medical Center, the Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed enforcement of a company arbitration provision in an employee handbook requiring that a former employee bring his employment discrimination claims in binding arbitration. The Court’s opinion offers a straight-forward application of the law regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements, and … Continue Reading

Senators Propose Amendments To ADEA

On March 12, several senators introduced Senate Bill 2189, known as the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, which would overturn a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court case, Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc, that had made it more difficult for older workers to prove claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA").  Under the … Continue Reading

California Overtime Rules Apply To Work Performed In California By Out-Of-State Employees

The California Supreme Court has ruled that California’s daily overtime requirements apply to work performed in California by non-residents.  In Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., three employees of Oracle who were not residents of California worked as “instructors” and trained Oracle’s customers in the use of the company’s products.  Required by Oracle to travel, the plaintiffs … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds Title VII Can Cover Third Party Retaliation Claims

The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion today in Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP., 562 U.S. ___ (2011), that confirms the expansive scope of persons protected by Title VII. The Court held that it is unlawful for an employer to intentionally harm one employee in order to retaliate against another employee who engaged in … Continue Reading

Supreme Court issues Favorable Ruling for Employers in Texting/Privacy Case

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court issued a long-anticipated decision in City of Ontario v. Quon, unanimously ruling that a search of sexually explicit personal text messages sent by a police officer using his department pager was reasonable and did not violate the individual officer’s privacy rights. At issue was the right of a government employer … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Invalidates Nearly 600 Decisions Made by Two-Member NLRB

This morning the United States Supreme Court issued a highly-anticipated decision in New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board, ruling 5-4 to effectively invalidate almost 600 decisions made by the NLRB during the time it only had two members.  Normally, the NLRB is comprised of five members, but typically delegates its powers to decide most cases … Continue Reading

Supreme Court To Decide Scope of Cat’s Paw in Employment Cases

  Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Staub v. Proctor Hospital to address the question of when an employer may be held liable in “cat’s paw” situations, where an employee with unlawful intent influences a decisionmaker but is not involved in making the ultimate employment decision. In this case the employee, Vincent Staub, was … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Lets Stand Ruling Allowing EEOC to Issue Subpoenas After Right-To-Sue

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that allows the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to continue investigating allegations of employment discrimination, and even to issue subpoenas to employers, after issuing a right-to-sue letter to the employee who filed the initial complaint.  Click here to read the Ninth Circuit decision in … Continue Reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Claim of Negligent Failure to Investigate

In Steele v. Mayoral et al., the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a plaintiff could take to the jury her claim that her employer had failed to prevent sexual harassment by her supervisor by not investigating earlier incidents about the supervisor’s relationships with other employees. The plaintiff, a high school guidance counselor, was dating … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Rule on Authority of Two-Member NLRB

This week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in New Process Steel v. NLRB and determine whether the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or "the Board") has the authority to decide cases with only two sitting members.  The NLRB is the independent federal agency that administers the National Labor Relations Act, the … Continue Reading

The First Monday in October: Supreme Court Roundup

The first Monday in October traditionally marks the beginning of the United States Supreme Court’s yearly term – and it provides an excellent opportunity to look at the cases the Court will be hearing this year.  In an earlier post, the World of Work brought you detailed discussion of the Court’s only Title VII case this term:  Lewis v. City of Chicago.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case About Meddling International Union

The US Supreme Court just agreed to hear a case asking just how much international unions will be allowed to meddle in the affairs of their local affiliates.  In Granite Rock v. Teamsters, the employer sued the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in federal court claiming that the International interfered with the relationship between the employer and the Local Teamsters … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Tightens Standards for Age Discrimination Plaintiffs

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that trial courts may not use a "mixed motive" framework in federal age discrimination cases.  Rather, plaintiffs in age discrimination cases must prove that "but for" their age, they would not have been discriminated against.  Click here to read the Court’s decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services.  Under a 1991 … Continue Reading

Judge Sotomayor’s Record Shows Even-Handed Approach to Employment Law

President Obama recently nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace outgoing Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court.  If you’re like us, you’re wondering what her nomination might mean for employment law.  While it’s never easy to predict how a nominee will rule once on the Supreme Court (just ask George H.W. Bush), early … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clears Pension Plan That Differentiated Pregnancy Leave Prior to the PDA

Today the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employer does not violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) if it pays pension benefits based in part on pre-PDA calculations that gave employees less retirement credit for pregnancy leave than for other types of medical leave.  Click here to read the Court’s decision in AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen.  The … Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Arbitration Provisions in Collective Bargaining Agreements Enforceable on Statutory Claims

Today the United States Supreme Court issued a decision of paramount importance to union employers, holding that arbitration clauses in collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) are enforceable as to statutory claims.  Click here to read the decision in 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett.  In Penn Plaza, several union members asserted claims against their employer under the Age Discrimination … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Idaho Law on Union Speech 6-3

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that an Idaho law banning local government employers from allowing payroll deductions for political activities does not violate unions’ First Amendment free speech rights.  You can download the opinion here:  Ysursa v. Pocatello Ed. Ass’n, U.S., No. 07-869, 2/24/09). The Idaho Voluntary Contributions Act, enacted in 2003, prohibited … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Broadens Scope of Title VII’s Anti-Retaliation Protections

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision yesterday, clarifying that employees who report discrimination in response to an employer’s internal investigation are protected by the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII.  Click here to download the case:  Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville.  In Crawford, the plaintiff was interviewed as part of her employer’s investigation into another … Continue Reading

Time Out for E-Verify: Mandatory Use Rule Suspended Until February 20

Federal contractors take note:  the rule requring mandatory use of the E-Verify system has been suspended until at least February 20, 2009.   As previously reported in the Stoel Rives World of Employment, President Bush’s executive order would make using E-Verify mandatory starting January 15, 2009 for federal contractors with projects exceeding $100,000 and for sub-contractors with projects … Continue Reading

Starbucks Wins Round in Class Action over Applications’ Marijuana Questions

Earlier this month, Starbucks scored an important procedural victory from the California Court of Appeals, which ruled that a class of employees lacked standing to sue over questions the coffee chain asked on its employment applications about prior marijuana convictions.  Click here to read the opinion in Starbucks v. Superior Court.  Despite the apparent victory, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Hear Mixed-Motive Age Discrimination Case

Last week, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., a case involving whether a plaintiff alleging a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act must present "direct evidence" of discrimination to be entitled to a mixed-motive jury instruction.  A mixed-motive case in one where the evidence shows that … Continue Reading
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