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April 2015 Newsletter

A CNN op-ed piece caught my eye recently as it discussed some of the difficulties the so-called millennial generation is having in Silicon Valley and elsewhere when it comes to finding gainful employment. It paints a very grim picture about “sharing economy” jobs like Uber, Lyft, or Instacart. The writer opines that “[t]he sharing-economy jobs are even worse than minimum wage jobs because they offer no stability or protections for workers....
As was discussed on Fox Business News’s Willis Report, Friday’s jury’s verdict in California rejecting Ellen Pao’s claims of gender discrimination and retaliation was undoubtedly a huge victory for the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.  However, before employers start popping champagne corks, all companies should consider the lessons learned from this case. A brief background: Ellen Pao, a junior partner at Kleiner, claimed that she had...
Does an employer have to offer a pregnant employee exactly the same physical accommodations as it does to “other” employees?  Which “other” employees? And how many “other” employees? In a case involving the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision today in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 12–1226, 575 U. S. ___ (2015) raises these questions without really answering them – leaving a lot of work for the...
A recent lawsuit out of Ohio brings a local flare to what has otherwise become a relatively common story. We’ve all heard of teachers being disciplined or dismissed for posting something thoughtless online that led to community uproar. But did you ever think it would happen with a post about … milk? My Twitter followers may have seen my retweet of the NSBA Legal Clips story about this case last week. The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU in Ohio,...
Ferguson, Missouri remains in the news, with the arrest on Sunday of a suspect in the shooting of two police officers. The shooting came on the heels of a report released by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) that concluded that the Ferguson Police Department routinely violated the civil rights of black residents. While many of us, thankfully, do not work in an environment like Ferguson – the recent reports contain important reminders as to the...
The Administrative Office of the US Courts just reported a 26.3% jump in Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) lawsuits in 2014.  These numbers are a bit startling.  In 2012, there were 291 FMLA lawsuits. In 2013, there were 877 FMLA lawsuits. In 2014, there were 1108 FMLA lawsuits. It is not just the number of lawsuits. In my practice many clients are experiencing an epidemic of FMLA claims, especially claims by employees that they need...
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