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Category Archives: Employee Termination

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Faruqi Sexual Harassment Case Is Still a Cautionary Tale

Posted in Employee Termination, Harassment, New York City Human Rights Law, Sexual Harassment

Lawyers, and I suspect a good deal of employers, watched the Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi case with a great deal of interest.  The allegations after all were quite scandalous — namely that Juan Monteverde, one of Faruqi’s high profile partners, had sexually harassed Marchuk and raped her.  Some of the interest may have been… Continue Reading

$185 Million Punitive Damages Against AutoZone: How Did They Get There?

Posted in Employee Termination, Gender Discrimination, Retaliation

Whew. Let’s just take a moment for that to sink in.  As we reported on Monday, $185 Million in punitive damages were awarded Monday against AutoZone.  This was after the jury awarded $872,000 in compensatory damages on Friday. You are probably asking yourselves how in the world this happened.  I have to say, based on some… Continue Reading

Do Accused Harassers Have a Right to Be Heard?

Posted in Employee Termination, Harassment

Today, I read an interesting opinion piece in The Boston Globe about how a sexual harassment policy nearly ruined Patrick Witt’s (the former quarterback for Yale University) life. Witt, who is now a law student at Harvard University wrote an op-ed criticizing Harvard University Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy. The article raises interesting questions about… Continue Reading

Fired Pregnant Employee Offered Job Back After Our Blog Post!

Posted in Employee Termination, Pregnancy Discrimination

Boy, do we have clout or do we have clout! Just two days after we posted about a NYT article which reported that an employee with a high-risk pregnancy was fired because her doctor refused to let her work overtime, the NYT reports today that the employer said it was all just an “unfortunate misunderstanding” — and that… Continue Reading

Onionhead Religion at Root of EEOC’s Latest Complaint

Posted in Employee Termination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Religious Discrimination

The online news is abuzz with discussions about the EEOC’s latest lawsuit against United Health Program Services based in Syosset, New York.  According to the complaint, United Health forced its employees to engage in various activities such as holding hands, praying, burning candles and telling co-workers “I love you.” I must admit that I had never… Continue Reading

Here’s Your Check, Now Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

Posted in Employee Termination

We received some interesting reader comments from our April 15th post Tired of That Unmotivated Employee?  Pay Them to Quit. Most people who wrote back thought the idea was a good one: Rod Brown, Employer Advocate at AskRodBrown.HR noted “Hard costs and benefits aside, what I like about the strategy is that employees must decide whether… Continue Reading

EEOC Settles Retaliation Suit filed On Behalf of Plant Manager who Terminated Harasser for $75,000

Posted in Employee Termination, Retaliation

The EEOC has announced that it has reached a settlement with Winfield Rubber of Alabama to resolve claims filed by a manager who responded to a complaint of harassment.  Now, admittedly, we only have the press release to go on, but if these facts are true, we hope even the greenest of HR professionals would… Continue Reading

Loose Lips Sink Ships — and Settlements

Posted in Age Discrimination, Employee Termination, Employment Litigation

A man in Florida is learning the hard way that this old adage is true.  Patrick Snay, the ex-headmaster of Gulliver Schools Inc. settled an age discrimination and retaliation suit he brought when his contract was not renewed.  The settlement agreement contained a rather standard confidentiality agreement that prohibited the disclosure of the existence or… Continue Reading

12 Guidelines for Employees to Insure You Survive the Office Holiday Party With Your Job Intact

Posted in Employee Termination, Sexual Harassment

Most times when we are posting on this blog, we are directing our comments to employers.  This holiday season we thought we might speak directly with employees in an attempt to limit the number of calls we get in the next week or so from HR folks regaling us with tales of bad behavior at… Continue Reading

The Top 10 Reasons (In Quebec) Not To Prematurely Terminate An Employment Relationship

Posted in Employee Termination, General Employment Matters

We came across this great article by Maria Valente Fernandes and Justine Laurier of the Quebec law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP which sets out a simple checklist on why you should not terminate an employee prematurely. They write that “When faced with difficult employment situations, employers can sometimes act hastily, including opting to quickly… Continue Reading

Employee Fired For Refusing Boss’s Racist-Laced Order To Fire African-American Employee

Posted in Employee Termination, Race Discrimination

Taking an adverse employment action against an employee for complaining of discrimination or filing a complaint or charge of discrimination is retaliation under all of the anti-discrimination laws.  So is taking an adverse employment action against a non-complaining employee who refuses to be complicit in a discriminatory act. An EEOC attorney recently said, “Retaliation charges continue… Continue Reading

Employers Need to Be Careful How They Access Employees’ Facebook Accounts: Part 2

Posted in Employee Termination, Family Medical Leave Act, Leave Laws

We recently posted about an arbitration decision that reminded employers that the Stored Communications Act could impact how employers gain access to social media accounts. (See August 19th post). Soon New Jersey employers will also have to make sure that they are complying with New Jersey’s Facebook Privacy bill. The bill specifically prohibits employers from demanding user… Continue Reading

Employers Need to Be Careful How They Access Employees’ Facebook Accounts: Part 1

Posted in Employee Termination, Family Medical Leave Act, Leave Laws

There have been an increasing number of articles and cases about employees’ misdeeds spread across Facebook or other similar social media sites. With some of the stupid things employees post that basically give away the fact that they are abusing FMLA and other types of leave, employers may be very tempted to play private detective.… Continue Reading

What Happens When An Employee Rejects An Offered Accommodation Because She Prefers A Different One?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Employee Termination

Today we discuss an interesting case from the federal appeals court in Philadelphia which discusses what efforts an employer must make, if any, to provide an accommodation which the employee likes. A city laboratory employee  – an analytical chemist – worked with solvents and developed health problems as a result of a chemical she was working with — methyl… Continue Reading

Rare Jury Trial In Gender Discrimination Case Results in Verdict For BONY

Posted in Employee Termination, Equal Pay Act, Gender Discrimination

Today’s New York Times has a good article about Bank of New York Mellon’s favorable jury verdict yesterday in a gender discrimination and Equal Pay Act case in Manhattan federal court. Plaintiff, a wealth management portfolio officer, was laid off along with many others in 2010 after the financial crisis.  She claimed gender discrimination and lower… Continue Reading

It is Now Harder for Plaintiffs to Recover Emotional Distress Damages in New Jersey

Posted in Employee Termination, Gender Discrimination, Retaliation

In  Battaglia v UPS the Supreme Court of New Jersey handed employers a small victory in a decision that was largely employee friendly. Buried in a discussion of whistleblower and discrimination retaliation standards, is the Court’s decision that a plaintiff alleging emotional distress cannot recover for future emotional distress unless the plaintiff presents expert testimony demonstrating permanency of injury.  … Continue Reading

Failure to Document Performance Issues Dooms Employer’s Defense to Age Discrimination Claim

Posted in Employee Termination

Every time I provide managers with training on how to best discipline and evaluate employees I sound like a broken record, repeating the following mantra: "Be fair, but honest. Do not sugarcoat or fail to address performance problems."   A recent Michigan case demonstrates the dangers of not following the above advice.  In Chlystek v. Donovan, the Court… Continue Reading

Fired HMV Workers Hack into Company’s Twitter Account

Posted in Employee Termination

Some rogue, very recently fired (as in still in the building), employees took the news that they were included in a mass lay-off rather poorly. The Australian is reporting that recently laid off employees have crashed HMV’s Twitter account.    The employees sent voluminous tweets from HMV’s own Twitter account.  One of the tweets claimed to… Continue Reading