September 7, 2016

From the Law Blogs

From the Law Blogs
Employment Law Daily items posted by Wolters Kluwer

[Internet links highlighted in color]

Liability under New Yorklaw barring criminal history bias
By Marjorie Johnson, J.D.

Unable to determine whether a provision in the New York Human Rights Law barring denial of employment on the basis of a criminal conviction (absent specific circumstances) applied only to “employers,” and if so, who could be considered an “employer” and, or, an “aider and abettor,” the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit certified the three questions to the New York State Court of Appeals. The underlying claim involved two convicted violent sex offenders who were fired from their jobs at a moving company after a background check revealed their criminal histories. Along with their direct employer, they sued Allied Van Lines (which had an agency relationship with the moving company) and its parent company (Griffin v. Sirva Inc.).

The text of Ms. Johnson’s summary is posted on the Internet at:

Business necessity must be shown to justify “chronic-condition” sick leave inquiry

Because the Shreveport Police Department could not show that the chronic condition inquiry in its sick-leave policy was no broader or more intrusive than necessary, it failed to establish as a matter of law that any justifications it offered for the inquiry qualified as a business necessity, a federal court in Louisiana ruled, denying summary judgment against the Rehab Act claims of SPD officers. Most of their privacy claims under the Louisiana Constitution also advanced (Taylor v. City of Shreveport).

The text of Ms. Kapusta’s summary is posted on the Internet at:

Supervisor terminated for bullying workers failed to show reasons for dismissal were pretext for alleged age discrimination or retaliation for claiming Family Medical Leave Act leave

Granting summary judgment against a former production supervisor’s ADEA discrimination and FMLA retaliation claims, a federal district court in North Carolina found that he failed to raise a triable issue of fact on whether the investigation into multiple complaints that he bullied and intimidated subordinates was manipulated due to animus toward his age or use of FMLA leave. Nor did the employee show that anyone involved in the investigation or decision to fire him did not honestly believe that he had violated multiple rules of conduct (Shell v. Tyson Foods, Inc.).

The text of Ms. Park’s summary is posted on the Internet at:

Imposing new bilingualism requirement could serve as a proxy for unlawful discrimination
By Brandi O. Brown, J.D.

An employee who was terminated when her employer imposed a new requirement that all employees be able to speak Spanish fluently was told to refile her motion to amend her complaint under Title VII (among other claims) after a federal district court in Alabama spent some time explaining the deficiencies of both her motion and her complaint. As “sussed out” by the court, the thrust of the employee’s disparate impact claim was that the employer’s facially neutral language requirement was being used to have an intentionally discriminatory effect on non-Hispanic employees. Such a claim could be viable under Title VII and Section 1981 if properly pleaded and proven, the court explained, denying the employer’s motion to dismiss with leave to refile (Davis v. Infinity Insurance Co.).

The text of Ms. Brandi’s summary is posted on the Internet at:

Employer who sued employee who filed an equal pay claim under the Equal Pay Act to pay $37,000 in damages to the employee

A project manager for a bearing manufacturer will receive $37,500 in damages and will no longer be forced to defend herself against a malicious prosecution lawsuit after a federal court in Missouri entered an order enforcing a consent decree that the EEOC negotiated with her former employer. The employer conceded that it violated the Equal Pay Act when it retaliated against the employee for filing a complaint with the EEOC alleging violations of the Equal Pay Act (EEOC v. Hobson Bearing International, Inc.).

The text of Ms. Milam-Perez’s summary is posted on the Internet at:

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Labor Law Case Summaries posted by Findlaw:

Allegations of retaliation for exercising First Amendment free speech rights dismissed

1. In a suit brought by a former police officer against the City of Quincy and individual police officers, claiming defendants retaliated against him for protected speech in violation of his First Amendment rights, the District Court's grant of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed where plaintiff could not establish a claim under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (MCRA) against defendants because they did not interfere with his exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by the Constitution or the laws of the United States or the Commonwealth; and 2) plaintiff could not maintain a defamation claim against the Police Chief for statements that appeared in the 2012 newspaper articles because none of the quotes from the Police Chief are capable of defamatory interpretations. [McGunigle v City of Quency, USCA, First Circuit, Docket # 15-2224.] Posted on the Internet at:

2. In an action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 and state law alleging that Los Angeles police officers together with City of Los Angeles officials and the police officers' union retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment rights, the district court's summary judgment and judgment entered following a jury trial in favor of defendants are affirmed where: 1) the statements allegedly made by defendants against plaintiff were not sufficiently adverse to support a claim of First Amendment retaliation, because although plaintiff's reputation was undoubtedly damaged by the increased media attention, which eventually resulted in the loss of his job, such reputational harm is not actionable under section 1983 unless it is accompanied by some more tangible interests; and 2) on the state law negligence claim, the causal relationship between the allegedly negligent pre-force conduct of police officers and the later use of force was too attenuated. { Mulligan v Nichols, USCA Ninth Circuit, Docket # 14-55278.] Posted on the Internet at:


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