Supremes Turn To Recess (Appointments That Is)

By John Alan Doran Yesterday, the Supreme Court took a major step toward resolving one of the hottest issues in labor law today—the legality of the NLRB’s actions and decisions in light of certain questionable appointments to the NLRB by the Obama Administration in 2012.  The Supreme Court agreed to hear the Obama Administration’s appeal […]

But-For Retaliation

By Bill Wright The Supreme Court has addressed the standard courts should apply to determine whether an employer violates Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision. Because of a statutory amendment in 1991, courts apply a “motivating factor” test for Title VII discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. The anti-retaliation provision however is in […]


By  Bill Wright The Supreme Court has staked out a definition for “supervisor” in the context of Title VII.  Whether a person is a “supervisor” determines whether the employer can be held strictly liable for the person’s harassing conduct (because “supervisor” status aided in the accomplishment of the harassment), or whether the employer can only […]

Height Impaired

By Bill Wright A federal district court in Arizona was a little short with an employer seeking to dismiss a disability discrimination claim at the very beginning of a lawsuit. The former employee, who stands 4’ 10”, sued for discrimination and harassment based on various protected statuses. The only status to survive the employer’s motion […]

Form Or Substance

By Bill Wright In a much-anticipated case the U.S. Supreme Court today reached a decidedly unremarkable conclusion. The gist of the U.S. Supreme Court’s new decision on class action arbitration agreements is old hat—courts may overturn an arbitrator’s decision under the Federal Arbitration Act only if the arbitrator acts outside the authority granted in the […]

Unpaid Volunteers Not Title VII Employees

By Elizabeth Chilcoat Title VII defines “employee” as “an individual employed by an employer,” leaving the courts to square the circular definition. Some U.S. courts of appeals have adopted the common law/ economic realities test to determine whether a volunteer is really an “employee.” This test focuses on who controls the work and who has […]

Lactation Termination Unlawful

By Emily Keimig The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held recently that terminating an employee because she is lactating or expressing milk is unlawful under Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).  EEOC v. Houston Funding II, No. 12-20220 (5th Cir. May 30, 2013) In this case, an employee took leave of absence to […]

Offer Letter: Whole Show or Just a Preview?

By Ted Olsen Most of the time, employers don’t intend offer letters to cover all the material subjects about the employment relationship. After an offer has been accepted, new hires are asked (i.e., required) to sign lengthier and more formal documents. A recent case illustrated how an employer should clarify that an offer letter is […]