New EEOC Guidance on Retaliation Charge

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, to replace its 1998 Compliance Manual section on retaliation. The guidance also addresses the separate "interference" provision under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits coercion, threats, or other acts that interfere with the exercise of ADA rights.  Link to guidance below. https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/retaliation-guidance.cfm   … [Read more...]

New DOL Rule Significantly Changes Overtime Rules

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Key Provisions of the Final Rule Per new overtime rules set out by the Department of Labor, a new Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule: Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year … [Read more...]

Jimmy Johns Franchisee violates National Labor Relations Act as it Unlawfully Disciplined Employees Participating in Union ‘Sandwhich’ Poster Campaign

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Employees of a Jimmy Johns  franchisee were not afforded the opportunity to have paid sick leave.  A number of these employees coordinated with a local union attempting to recruit employees in a marketing campaign protesting lack of such benefits.  The campaign included the staple of Jimmy Johns being a sandwhich on a poster to illustrate the theme of their protest.   The eighth district federal court ruled that franchisee owner unlawfully solicited the removal of protected material from public … [Read more...]

How to Calculate Overtime Pay and Proper Pay Period and When Employers Must Pay

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The federal overtime provisions are prescribed in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless you are exempt, you are covered by the Act and must receive overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours in a workweek.   The hourly rate must not be less than 1.5 times their regular rates of pay. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek. The Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of … [Read more...]

Whistleblower: Tennessee Public Protection Act or Common Law Retaliatory Discharge Claim?

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Whistleblowers refusing to remain silent or participate in illegal activities on the part of the employers often question whether they should proceed with a Tennessee Public Protection Act (TPPA) under T. C. A. § 50-1-304 or common law retaliatory discharge claim.  The answer is it depends.  If you are a government employee of a governmental entity or subdivision thereof as defined in the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act (T. C. A. § 29-20-201) then you are limited to prosecuting a cause … [Read more...]

EEOC Litigates LGBT Discrimintion

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Recent EEOC Litigation Regarding Title VII & LGBT-Related Discrimination (Last Updated by EEOC 3-01-16) Overview The Commission adopted its current Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) in December of 2012. The SEP includes "coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII's sex discrimination provisions, as they may apply" as a top Commission enforcement priority. Consistent with this priority, the Commission's General Counsel formed an LGBT working group … [Read more...]

Protect Yourself if You Are in an Office Romance with a Co-Worker

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According to CareerBuilder's annual office romance survey, 38 percent of respondents have dated a co-worker at least once in their career, and one-third of them ended up married.  In this time of Valentine’s Day gifts and sweet nothings being whispered about in the office, one must be apprised of the risks and listen to their head rather than their heart.  If the relationship sours, then hell may in fact have no fury like a woman’s scorn.  The employer may not be in a position to adjudicate the … [Read more...]

Surrogate Mother May Proceed on Discrimination Claim against Marriot

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A motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed in a California District Court by Marriott was denied.  A surrogate mother may proceed in her cause of action alleging Title VII discrimination against the hotel chain claiming she was discriminated against by not being permitted to express breast milk after giving birth. U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow said Plaintiff Mary Gonzales has shown enough to proceed with claims that the hotel violated federal and California law. Mary Gonzales gave birth to … [Read more...]

Same Sex Sexual Harassment Claims

Sex discrimination consisting of same-sex sexual harassment is actionable under Title VII. Title VII's prohibition of discrimination “because of ... sex” protects men as well as women, Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. v. EEOC, 462 U.S. 669, 682, 103 S.Ct. 2622, 2630, 77 L.Ed.2d 89, and in the related context of racial discrimination in the workplace this Court has rejected any conclusive presumption that an employer will not discriminate against members of his own race,Castaneda v. … [Read more...]

Vicarious Liability to Employer if Discrimination is Intentional

An employer may be held vicariously liable for punitive damages under Title VII for the intentionally discriminatory conduct of its employee who has discriminated in the face of a known risk that his conduct will violate federal law, where the employee served the employer in a managerial capacity and committed the intentional discrimination at issue while acting in the scope of employment, and the employer did not engage in good-faith efforts to comply with Title VII. Civil Rights Act of 1964, § … [Read more...]

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