Posts from January 2015.

Venus Fly Trap
"It seemed like a good idea at the time . . ."

I was disappointed earlier this week to see a consultant quoted in an otherwise good article in the Wall Street Journal -- "Employee Theft Often Leads Small Firms to Make Bad Choices" -- as advising the "bogus RIF" strategy with employees who are suspected of theft.

Talk about bad choices!

What's the "bogus RIF" strategy? That's when you're ...

As expected, Law360 reports this morning that Plaintiff Alexandra Marchuk has asked Judge Alvin Hellerstein to reconsider his ruling that Nadeem Faruqi and Lubna Faruqi, co-founders of the New York law firm Faruqi & Faruqi, be dismissed from her lawsuit as individual defendants. She also requested reconsideration of the court's decision granting judgment to the defendants on her ...

The defense completed its case yesterday at the trial of Alexandra Marchuk's sexual harassment claims against the New York City law firm of Faruqi & Faruqi and partner Juan Monteverde. Prior coverage of the trial is available here, here, here, and here.

Yesterday, Mr. Monteverde testified more about the blood-stained carpet, saying he had not noticed the stains until Ms. Marchuk told ...

January 27 at the Marchuk v. Faruqi sexual harassment trial: Judge Alvin Hellerstein has denied Alexandra Marchuk's request for an adverse inference instruction based on Faruqi's destruction of the alleged blood-stained carpet in Juan Monteverde's office. Judge Hellerstein noted that Ms. Marchuk admitted in her trial testimony that she asked Mr. Monteverde to hide the stains ...

NOTE: Thanks to an attorney reader, who suggested last week that I put my Faruqi trial updates in separate posts to make it easier for people to find them on Google and other search engines. I thought that was a good idea, so I'll do that with my remaining posts. (Testimony is supposed to wrap up this week, and possibly today.) Prior coverage is available here and here.

Shocked Girl w TabloidPARENTAL ADVISORY: This ...

Last October, I posted about a consent decree entered into between Wal-Mart and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in which Wal-Mart agreed to pay $72,500 to candidate for a store job in Maryland whose offer was withdrawn because she couldn’t undergo a urine test for drugs.

The candidate had end-stage renal disease.Kidney

Now, Kmart has been hit, too, in a case involving almost ...

As an employer, what can you do to protect yourself when one employee claims severe sexual harassment and the other party denies it or claims it was all consensual?

The Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi trial (daily updates here) is far from over, but that case, as well as one involving CRST Van Expedited in California, provide some valuable opportunities for us to learn from other employers' mistakes.

Mistakes Demotivational Poster.flickr.DuncanHullCC
(Click to enlarge) Don't be a cautionary tale for others!

THE CASES IN A NUTSHELL

First, a quick recap of what each of these cases is about:

"I Have a Dream," in its entirety. This is about 17 minutes long, but it's well worth the time if you haven't heard it in a while, or if you have never heard it as it was actually delivered in 1963.

http://youtu.be/1UV1fs8lAbg

Thank you, Dr. King. May you rest in peace.

The Supreme Court decided today to review the right of states to ban same-sex marriage. The Court granted certiorari in four cases, all from the Sixth Circuit (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee), whose U.S. Court of Appeals had upheld state bans. Here are the issues on which the Court will hear argument:

1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between ...

Guess what? You know those SEC disclosures about pending litigation that publicly held companies are required by law to make? Well, if an employer says too much, it may be "retaliating" against the litigants.

GaryColemanShavarRoss.flickr.ShavarRossCC
"What you talkin' 'bout?"

I am not making this up. International Monetary Systems, Ltd., is facing a jury trial on a retaliation claim made by a former employee. The company is going ...

SCOTUSblog has the transcript of yesterday's oral argument in Mach Mining v. EEOC.

NOTE TO READERS: I am updating this post daily with the previous day's trial testimony. As of January 21, I have also decided to reorganize the post to include the most recent testimony before the jump. Prior days' testimony will be below the jump, as well as my "two cents," which I posted last week as the trial began.

I hope that everyone is following the Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi sexual ...

Do nice guys really finish first?

Yesterday morning, I tweeted a thought-provoking article by Travis Bradberry in Forbes on "Why Your Boss Lacks Emotional Intelligence." According to the article (and no big surprise), a study found that people in higher management and executive level positions have less emotional intelligence than lower-level managers because in those ...

By David Phippen of our Metro D.C. Office.

While the year is still young, here are 15 New Year's resolutions that employers may want to make:

1. Make sure your "independent contractors" are really independent contractors. "Independent contractors" are under scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, state and local agencies, plaintiffs' lawyers, and union organizers. A misclassification can cost you back taxes, back pay (including overtime), and back benefits, as well as penalties and interest. 

2. Review your email policies. The NLRB recently found that employees generally have a right to use employer email systems during non-working time in support of union organizing and concerted activity. The Board's decision means that many employer email use policies, as currently drafted, would probably be found to violate the National Labor Relations Act if an unfair labor practice charge were filed or a union tried to organize employees and argued that the employer's email policy interfered with the organizing efforts. In light of the new "quickie election" rule that the NLRB issued last month, both union and non-union employers would be well advised to review their email policies and revise as needed. (The "quickie election" rule is scheduled to take effect on April 14, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other employer groups, including the Society for Human Resources Management, filed suit on Monday seeking to block the rule.)

It's not too late to register for our webinar on the NLRB's new rules on "quickie elections" and employee email use. The webinar, featuring labor attorneys Tim Davis, Jonathan Martin, and Dan Murphy, is from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern tomorrow (January 8). Be there, or be square! 

NOTE: On January 15, this post was updated and one correction made (see "Nipped in the bud" and "Jury clobbers Catholic diocese," below). 

Happy New Year, everyone! While I've been out for the holidays, the courts and government agencies have stayed busy with employment law matters. Here are the developments that I thought were especially noteworthy:

Messy Desk
We have some catching up to do!

WAGE ...

Robin Shea has more than 20 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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