Fifth Mini-Dukes Class Action Brought Against Wal-Mart

By Andy Volin A fifth regional class action gender discrimination case has been filed against Wal-Mart. This latest case, brought in Wisconsin, claims Wal-Mart discriminates against women in pay and promotions at the store level in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It joins regional cases already pending in California, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. Wal-Mart has […]

It’s All Uphill With DOL Whistleblower Claims

By Matt Morrison Several of the whistleblower statutes enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) prescribe a burden shifting scheme unfamiliar from Title VII and other discrimination claims. Last week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals showed the difference this makes. Araujo v. New Jersey Transit Rail Operations, Inc., No. 12-2148 (3rd Cir. February […]

Click For Protected Activity

By Ted Olsen Title VII protects employees from retaliation for “opposing” an employer’s alleged discrimination, and opposition includes participating in an employer’s investigation. But according to one recent court decision, just forwarding an e-mail to higher management without comment is protected activity, if the forwarded message is a subordinate’s complaint about a fellow worker’s sex-related […]

Second Mini-Dukes Class Action Is Untimely

By Andy Volin Although the Supreme Court rejected a nationwide sex discrimination class action in 2011, the female employees (and their lawyers) did not end their long war with against Wal-Mart. The plaintiffs narrowed the geographic scope of the original case to California and filed three new regional class actions around the country. Wal-Mart has […]

Court Hangs Up on Labor Dispute

By Tom Kennedy The Sixth Circuit recently held that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) does not apply to an automated “robo-call” campaign by the Service Employees International Union (“Union”). The Union, in the midst of a labor dispute with Ashland Hospital Corporation, tried to pressure Ashland by contacting private residents in their home with […]

Benefits Goofs: Employers Pay for Mistakes

By Brooke Colaizzi In a recent ERISA case, the employer mistakenly believed a former employee had three more years of service than he actually did at retirement. (The employer thought the former employee was still on long term disability). Consequently, the employer told the former employee he could retire with full medical benefits for life. […]

Employer Subject To Limited Injunction To “Obey the Law”

By Mike Grubbs In EEOC v. AutoZone, Inc., No. 07-CV-1154 (7th Cir. Feb. 15, 2013), the EEOC got the court to affirm an injunction against an employer to “obey the law.” In the case, a jury found the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to accommodate an employee’s disability. (The direct […]

I’m Quitting, Where’s My Severance?

By Bill Wright An employer and its Severance Plan just defended the discretion and authority under the Plan to distinguish quitting from getting fired. Reddinger et al. v. SENA Severance Plan et al., Nos. 10-2361 & 2362 (7th Cir. February 19, 2013). A paper mill planned to close in May. Eligible employees were told they […]