Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: sixth

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

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. First, in considering an automatic pay deduction policy for unpaid meal breaks in a collective action for the first time, the Court held that such a policy does not automatically, or per se, violate the FLSA. Second, a class representative plaintiff must formally opt-in to their own case to "commence" suit and stop the running of the statute of limitations.

1.  The Sixth Circuit Holds that Automatic Pay

Sixth Circuit Orders Reinstatement and Overturns $4.4 Million Front Pay Award In Vet’s Disability Discrimination Case

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.

James McKelvey, an Army veteran who lost his right hand and suffered other serious injuries while trying to defuse a roadside bomb in Iraq in February 2004, returned to work at the Detroit Arsenal where he claimed his supervisors and co-workers at the armory constantly harassed him by calling him "cripple," and "worthless," and not assigning him an equal workload. McKelvey …

Lessons Learned for Performance Appraisals and RIFs from the Sixth Circuit in Cutcher v. Kmart

Even in the face of an undisputed national workforce reduction, in a recent decision (Cutcher v. Kmart), the Sixth Circuit found an issue of disputed fact existed as to whether Kmart’s termination of an hourly associate as part of a reduction in force interfered with and was in retaliation for that associate’s recent exercise of her FMLA rights.

Cutcher had been employed by Kmart for about 20 years. In the four years she had been evaluated by her then current supervisor, Cutcher had received either the highest or second-highest rating in Kmart’s appraisal system. While her supervisor did comment in certain …

Sixth Circuit Applies Balancing Test In Retaliation Case Involving an Employee’s Disclosure of Confidential Documents

A recent Sixth Circuit decision addressed the issue of whether the disclosure of confidential, proprietary documents by an employee to her attorneys constitutes a protected activity for which the employee cannot be terminated or otherwise disciplined. In 2000, numerous individuals filed a class action against the Cincinnati Insurance Company (CIC), alleging that CIC had discriminated against women in violation of the Equal Pay Act (EPA). Kathy Niswander, a claims manager at CIC, was one of the plaintiffs in the class action. 

In order to respond to CIC’s discovery requests, the plaintiffs’ attorneys asked each of the plaintiffs, including Ms. Niswander, to send …

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