Posts from May 2016.

In Flanders Fields

By John McCrae (1915)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Memorial Day.flickrCC.RickyNorris

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing ...

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, here's a summary of the rights of employees who take leaves of absence to serve our country, and their family members.

USERRA

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 protects employees who leave their jobs to serve in various military capacities.

Military1.flickrCC.DVIDSHUB

Five year (or more) rule. An employee's right of reemployment is good for at ...

Administrative partner Teresa Ryder Bult has a guest post this week: "Inverting Views on Networking: How Can You Influence Someone's Life Today?"

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Hint: Don't make it all about you.

(Teresa is the original founding chair of Constangy's Women's Network.)

One more thing: The FOCUS blog was having technical difficulties with email notifications to subscribers. The problem ...

Do you know the difference between an idle threat and a serious one?

Your kid plays a joke on you, and you respond, "I'm gonna kill you" while laughing at the joke. Idle threat, or serious?

Cleared for release by Joint Staff Public Affairs
"A good bully communicates threats in the sweetest way."

A co-worker tells you she will slash your tires if you vote against the union. Idle threat, or serious?

A co-worker tells you that she heard from ...

Marcia McShane
Marcia McShane

I admit it.  I have a crush on Justice Thomas.  Today’s unanimous Supreme Court opinion in CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC – holding that a merit-based dismissal is not necessary for a defendant to qualify as the “prevailing party” in a Title VII case – would make any employment defense lawyer’s heart skip a beat.

But the majority opinion is not what caused me to ...

A semi-recent article in the New York Post -- "The Corporate 'Cure' for Sexual Harassment Only Feeds the Disease" -- cited a couple of studies that allegedly proved that sexual harassment training is worse than doing nothing because it makes men resentful and more likely to tolerate harassment.

Bored Class.flickrCC.SethCapitulo
"Zzzzzzzzz . . ."

Wow. That's terrible!

Except that it's not precisely true. What ...

"Do this, don't do that, can't you read the rules . . ."*

Of course, the mega-topic this week was the U.S. Department of Labor's Final Rule on white-collar exemptions to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Ellen Kearns, co-chair of our Wage and Hour Practice Group, wrote a great Client Bulletin on the Rule, taking a complex subject and explaining it in a pithy and ...

BREAKING NEWS:  CALIFORNIA FALLS INTO THE SEA!

Well, not exactly.  But some natural phenomena occur only once or twice in a lifetime—like Halley’s Comet, or the turn of the Millennium, or the Mets winning the pennant.  Another one happened today:  the FLSA has become more protective or workers than California law, which is ordinarily the nation’s statistical outlier in the ...

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce the official release of the U.S. Department of Labor's new overtime rule this afternoon in an appearance at Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream in Columbus, Ohio. I'll post the rule, which will change the white-collar overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act, as soon as it's available. Meanwhile, the DOL has already released the ...

Starting in January, California has rolled out Equal Pay Legislation 2.0—the new generation in equal pay legislation. It has become the first jurisdiction to adopt a true "comparable worth" standard for pay equity.We Can Do It.flickrCC.SBT4NOW

Typically states follow the federal Equal Pay Act to require that employers pay men and woman alike for “equal work” which requires “equal skill, effort or ...

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came out this week with a fact sheet dealing with leaves of absence and the Americans with Disabilities Act. First, I say kudos to the EEOC for again providing good, readable, not-overly-technical "preventive" guidance for employers. Second, let's see what you know about the EEOC's position on leaves and the ADA. (Answers are at the ...

Heather Owen of our Jacksonville Office and FOCUS blog editor, has a nice meditation on Mother's Day and what it means for professional women.

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You won't want to miss "The 'Mores' of Professional Moms."

*President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act into law on Wednesday afternoon. Billy Hammel, Bill McMahon, and Anna Rothschild have provided outstanding analysis of the law and what it means for employers in this Client Bulletin.

*And, speaking of Billy Hammel, he had a great blog post this week on the White House Report on Non-Compete Agreements. (Preview: The White House isn't ...

Billy Hammel
Billy Hammel

Last Thursday, the White House issued a report titled “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses” and an accompanying blog post. Relying heavily on a report earlier this year from the U.S. Treasury, the White House report criticizes the perceived misuse of non-competes, highlights their negative impact on the ...

All these HB 2 lawsuits are making me dizzy.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 8.24.46 AM

Here is a copy of the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit filed yesterday afternoon against the State of North Carolina. The McCrory (North Carolina) v. USA lawsuit is pending in federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh). The DOJ lawsuit is pending in federal court in the Middle District of North Carolina ...

Law360 reported this morning that the State of North Carolina has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Justice in federal court in Raleigh. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment (official ruling from the court) that, by enforcing HB 2's provisions regarding "bathroom use and changing facility use by state employees," the state is not in violation of Title VII of the Civil ...

I won't make this too painful - after all, it's Friday, and on top of that, the Final Rule on white-collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act is due imminently. That will be painful enough.Paychex.flickrCC.MichaelMandiberg

This quiz concerns wage payment, which is normally governed by state law, not the FLSA. Wage payment laws generally require that employees receive "all wages when due," and the laws ...

Taren Greenidge of our New York City Office has a new post, "Some Advice From Behind the Desk of Successful Constangy Women."

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The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter yesterday to Gov. Pat McCrory, giving him until Monday, May 9, to "confirm" that he does not plan to enforce the "bathroom" provisions of HB 2 as they apply to public agencies. If he fails to confirm, the DOJ is putting him on notice that he and the State of North Carolina are engaged in a "pattern or practice" of discrimination against ...

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has published a new Fact Sheet on LGBT discrimination that employers will find helpful. As I've reported before here and here, the agency is taking an aggressive position regarding coverage of LGBT issues under Title VII's sex discrimination provisions. The EEOC's fact sheet, as well as other materials linked in it, should answer most ...

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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