A Court Abandons Horton

By Bill Wright In February 2013, we reported on a federal court in Idaho that followed the NLRB’s D.R. Horton decision and ruled that agreements to arbitrate all claims solely on an individual basis were unenforceable. (Click here to read the post.) Here’s the rest of the story. After failing to compel arbitration, the employer […]

Exempt or Not? Service Advisors

By Andy Volin The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires payment of a minimum hourly wage and overtime, unless an employee fits within one of many exemptions. In some parts of the United States, courts had ruled that automobile service advisors – the people at the dealership who you speak with about your car’s repair […]

Pregnancy Not So Favored

By Bryan Stillwagon Are pregnant employees entitled to workplace accommodations under Title VII? Does it matter whether you offer light duty work to employees injured on the job? The Supreme Court has ruled on Young v. UPS and we still don’t know. Young v. UPS, Inc., No. 12-1226 (Mar. 25, 2015). In this case, the […]

Perceived Threat

By Andy Volin The Americans With Disabilities Act permits an employer to deny employment to a person who would create a “direct threat” to the safety of himself or others in the workplace. A company with a warehouse operation refused to place a blind employee into its warehouse, asserting this defense, and the EEOC persuaded […]

General Contractor, Not Employer

By Emily Keimig JP Cullen was the general contractor on a public renovation project. A subcontractor, EMI, hired its own subcontractors, including UCI. JP Cullen gave UCI work orders, and UCI passed those orders on to its employee, Walter Love. Love had a fight with another subcontractor’s employee. Both participants are African-American. JP Cullen’s superintendent […]

Stating the Obvious

By Erica Gutherz An employee who is legally restricted from driving because of seizures is not “qualified” for a job that requires the employee to spend fifty percent of working hours on the road. In Minnihan v. Mediacom Communications Corp., No. 14-1109 (8th Cir. March 9, 2015), the employee wanted his employer to reallocate his […]

Do You Have to Guess?

By Erica Gutherz Employers don’t have to guess an employee’s disability and force an accommodation under the ADA. In Walz v. Ameriprise Financial, Inc., No. 14-2495 (8th Cir. March 9, 2015), an employer fired its employee for repeated erratic, aggressive, and rude behavior toward coworkers and disrespectful and insubordinate behavior toward her supervisor. The employee […]

Repaid Deduction Saves Day

By Andy Volin The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employees to be paid on a salary basis, not hourly, to be exempt under the so-called white collar exemptions, e.g.  for executive or administrative employees.  A practice of improper salary deductions jeopardizes the exemption, according to the DOL regulations.  The Tenth Circuit recently explained how to […]

Tactics Kill Arb Agreement

By Lori Phillips In Roe v. SFBSC Management, LLC, No. 14-cv-03616 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2015), a federal district court in California rejected a night club’s attempt to compel arbitration by a class of performers who claimed they were misclassified as independent contractors. The court rejected the terms of the arbitration agreement as “substantively unconscionable” […]

The Dangers of Consent

By Bill Wright Once an employer agrees to a Consent Decree with the EEOC (and a court enters the decree), that EEOC dispute is over, right?  Oh no.  The Consent Decree gives the EEOC a new enforcement tool; with any new act of discrimination that also violates the decree, the EEOC may go directly to […]