Does Granting Leave Violate FMLA?

By Vance Knapp In James v. Hyatt Regency, Case No. 12-1511 (7th Cir. Feb. 13, 2013), the plaintiff argued that his current employer violated the FMLA because it did not promptly reinstate him to return to work. The plaintiff submitted five doctor’s notes to Hyatt, which he characterized as “physician releases.” However, only one of […]

Nurse Argues NLRB Lacks Quorum

By Patrick Scully A nurse on the losing end of one of the NLRB’s most controversial recent decisions has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. to stop the NLRB from proceeding until the NLRB has a proper quorum. In December, an NLRB panel (including recess appointees Griffin and Block) found that the United […]

Liquidated Damages Discretionary In FLSA Retaliation Case

By Emily Keimig In Moore v. Appliance Direct, Inc. and Pak, No. 11-15227 (11th Cir. February 13, 2013), the plaintiffs brought retaliation claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). At trial, the plaintiffs won and the court awarded them $30,000.00 each. The plaintiffs then asked that the trial court add liquidated damages to their […]

CEO Individually Liable Under FLSA

By Emily Keimig In a recent Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) case, the court has sent a reminder about individual liability to owners and executives. In this case, the plaintiffs sued a CEO for retaliation under the FLSA – allegedly the CEO had personally prevented the plaintiffs from getting outside jobs as independent contractors. The […]

No Habla Arbitration

By John Alan Doran A Texas appellate court recently provided a valuable lesson in the very basics of arbitration agreements.  In Delfingen US-Texas, LP v Valenzuela, the court struck down an otherwise excellent arbitration agreement because the employer failed to take one very basic step to ensure enforcement. The plaintiff in this case was hired […]

Subjectivity and Process

By Bill Wright The Tenth Circuit has reviewed several of the most common attacks on hiring and promotion decisions and provides words of comfort to employers. Conroy v. Vilsack, No. 11-4091 (10th Cir. Feb. 11, 2013). Here, both a female candidate and a male candidate were qualified for a promotion to a manager position. Giving […]

Corporations Can’t Be Harassed

By Bill Wright The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has identified one way in which corporations aren’t people: corporations can’t suffer a hostile work-environment. Allstate Sweeping, L.L.C. v. Black, No. 12-1027 (10th Cir. February 7, 2013). In this case, a woman-owned power-washing company alleged (among other claims) that an African American municipal employee created a […]

FMLA Leave for Military Reasons Subject of DOL Final Rule

By Andy Volin The U.S. Department of Labor released its final rule concerning the meaning of statutory amendments to the FMLA in 2008 and 2010. The amendments primarily concern military leave, and also address technical changes dealing with FMLA eligibility for members of airline flight crews. The final rule becomes effective March 8, 2013. With […]

Court May Decertify a Class If Trial Is Not Feasible

By Bill Wright The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is teaching wage and hour plaintiffs’ lawyers to be reasonable. Espensheid v. DirectSat USA, LLC, No. 12-1943 (7th Cir. February 4, 2013) (Posner, J). In this case, plaintiffs’ lawyers brought a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and class actions under state law. (For […]