A federal lawsuit alleging discrimination under Title VII must be filed within ninety days after the EEOC has completed its handling of the related discrimination charge and issued its Notice of Right To Sue. Some employers attempt to shorten the time for filing discrimination charges by getting employee or applicants to sign agreements to that

Employers facing workplace discrimination claims in the 6th Circuit should find some comfort in the court’s recent decision in DeBra v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., which endorses a heightened standard for plaintiffs to demonstrate that they were treated less favorably than similarly situated employees outside their protected class.

The plaintiff worked as a bank teller for Chase until she was terminated for on-the-job errors, such as overpaying customers, leaving bank funds unsecured on counters and accidentally failing to return bank cards to several customers. She alleged, however, that the bank’s reliance on these errors for her termination was really a pretext for age discrimination because other, younger tellers committed the same errors yet were retained.


Continue Reading Sixth Circuit decision shows similarly situated employees must truly be similarly situated in discrimination cases

Many people exercise daily, and for Shannan McDonald, her exercise was prescribed by her physician for her genetic disorder.  McDonald, employed as a receptionist for UAW-GM Center for Human Resources (CHR), regularly exercised in her employer’s on-site gym during her lunch break.  Per the collective bargaining agreement that covered her employment, each year CHR permitted employees to elect annually whether to take a 60 minute lunch break or a 30 minute lunch break with two other 15 minute breaks. The election remained in place for the entire year following election. McDonald chose the 30 minute lunch break.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit holds that employer was not required to extend lunch breaks for exercise as reasonable accommodation

Kenneth Savage was terminated by FedEx about a month after a military leave and after complaining about the calculation of his pension benefits due to his military service. That proximity was not enough to establish a discrimination or retaliation claim under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Savage’s case was remanded because FedEx may have miscalculated his pension benefits by failing to account for potential overtime hours he might have worked during periods of military service.

Background

Kenneth Savage was employed by FedEx for eleven years as an aviation mechanic. During that same time, he served as an officer in the Navy Reserve. Throughout his employment, FedEx allowed Savage leave for military duties and permitted him to complete military computer training while at work. In 2012, Savage began complaining about the calculation of his pension benefits as it related to breaks in service for military leave.


Continue Reading FedEx employee terminated for using discount to sell on eBay loses USERRA termination challenge but can seek higher pension benefits

Charlotte Beck had been employed with Buckeye Pipeline Services Company (“Buckeye”) for over 16 years as a 12-hour operator. In 2009, however, Buckeye underwent a company-wide reduction in force. Buckeye created a “design team” to reform the organizational structure of the Company and implement a team-based leadership model that would be used going forward.
Continue Reading Does the Use of Subjective Criteria in a RIF Show Discrimination? The Sixth Circuit Says Not Necessarily

In Frye v. Baptist Memorial Hospital, Inc., the United States District Court for the Sixth Circuit handed down not one, but two favorable rulings for employers in an FLSA collective action.
Continue Reading The Sixth Circuit Gives Employers a “Twofer”: An Employer’s Automatic Pay Deduction Policy Does Not Automatically Violate the FLSA and a Class Plaintiff Must “Commence” Suit

Even though the FMLA has been around since 1993, the Sixth Circuit did not get around to designating the appropriate framework for reviewing FMLA interference claims until January 17, 2012.
Continue Reading The Sixth Circuit Settles It: FMLA Interference Claims Should Be Evaluated Under the McDonnell Douglas Framework

The recent Sixth Circuit case of McKelvey v. Secretary of United States Army highlights the plight of many disabled veterans returning to the civilian work force and presents a lesson for employers on how not to address those issues.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Orders Reinstatement and Overturns $4.4 Million Front Pay Award In Vet’s Disability Discrimination Case

More and more these days it seems like the obligations of being a lawyer, husband, father, son, sports fan, etc, get in the way of blogging. As a result, I end up accumulating a number of worthwhile topics for blog posts that end up in the discard pile. Twitter helps keep the backlog to a minimum, but I really don’t know how many of you actually follow me @briandhallesq (hint, hint). So, while I am by no means committing to make this a regular feature of Employer Law Report, I will now clear – in no particular order — my backlog for the month:

According to a Wall Street Journal article, a recent lawsuit seeks a declaration from the New York Department of Labor that putting a GPS tracker on an employee’s family car to uncover time sheet violations was a violation of the state constitution’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. According to the lawsuit, the monitoring continued during evenings, weekends and a family vacation. This won’t turn out well for the employer.

An Ohio appellate court has upheld a physician’s non-compete agreement that prohibited him from engaging in a hematology or oncology practice in his former employer’s "primary service area." This decision continues the Ohio trend of upholding physician non-competes and Ohio courts have repeatedly rejected the argument that covenants are not enforceable against physicians solely because they impair patients’ choice.


Continue Reading Clearing the Backlog – September