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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Recent postings on Employment Law Notes


Recent postings on Employment Law Notes
Source: WK WorkDay

Click on text highlighted in color to access full text of the posting

By Brandi O. Brown, J.D.
A female employee who described a work environment replete with sexist comments, pornography, minimization of female workers, and at least one daytime visit by strippers—as well as her own belittlement and eventual termination—may proceed in part with her suit against two corporate defendants, a federal district court in New York ruled. Although the employee’s state-law claims and claims against individual defendants were dismissed, the court found more than enough reason to deny the defendants’ motion to dismiss her Title VII claims of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation (Conforti v. Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.).


In the current political climate, in which many assert that dog-whistle politics have paved the way for divisiveness and racial discrimination more common in times that many Americans hoped were safely relegated to the past, the Supreme Court has been presented an opportunity to rule on just how powerful one particular symbol of racism—a hangman’s noose—remains today. The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the employer because the employee had failed to make a prima facie case—the noose, as it turns out, was not clearly enough targeted to the employee to be one of those single acts of harassment that are threatening enough to create a hostile work environment—at least in the eyes of the district court and the Ninth Circuit.


By Marjorie Johnson, J.D.
A jury will decide whether a university’s decision to require a professor to undergo a mental fitness-for-duty examination was job-related and consistent with business necessity, and thus lawful under the Rehabilitation Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Denying both parties’ motions for partial summary judgment, a federal district court in California determined that triable issues existed as to whether the HR director based his decision on unsubstantiated allegations or specific emails from students and staff demonstrating her outbursts and inability to perform her job. And since the exam never occurred due to her refusal to attend, it was also questionable whether it would have been sufficiently job related (Ellis v. San Francisco State University, August 11, 2016, Henderson, T.).


By Matt Pavich, J.D.
A North Carolina district court has granted certification of a Rule 23 class action to a group of former hospital employees in their WARN Act lawsuit. The court found that questions of fact common to the class predominated over individual inquiries (Hutson v. CAH Acquisition Company 10, LLC dba Yadkin Valley Community Hospital, August 15, 2016, Osteen, W., Jr.).

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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