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September 2016 Newsletter

On August 8, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized a new public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine, allowing a former employee to sue his employer for terminating his employment for legally storing a gun in his car on company property in a publicly-accessible parking area.   In Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. (14-60779), plaintiff Robert Swindol parked his car in the Aurora Flight...
Doris worked for the Chipotle restaurant chain. And she was pregnant. After she announced her pregnancy to her supervisor, Doris claimed her boss began monitoring her bathroom breaks (then berated her for taking too long), required her to “announce” her bathroom breaks to others, prohibited her from taking shift breaks, denied access to water, and eventually terminated her employment in front of other employees because...
Remember EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes? This was the transgender discrimination case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a suburban Detroit funeral home chain for allegedly discriminating against an employee after she began presenting as a female. It’s one of the few cases where the employer actually fought back, with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund, a traditional-values public...
Well, Gretchen is out, Roger is out, and Megyn is in. Your Magic 8-Ball is here to answer the sexual harassment questions that employers are dying to ask. No. 1. I thought sexual harassment investigations were supposed to be confidential. Wasn’t it inappropriate for all of the Fox on-air talent to be expressing their opinions in public about whether Roger Ailes did it or not?  “Concentrate and ask again.” I...
Employers, when was the last time you had a real makeover? Let’s do one now! The new white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act will go into effect December 1, but it’s a good idea for employers to prepare now because there are a lot of changes that will have to be made, communicated, and taught to employees before then. The salary threshold for most white-collar exemptions is currently $455 a week, and the minimum for...
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