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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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

Loose Lips Sink Ships — and Settlements

Posted in Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Attorneys Fees -- Civil Rights, Employee Termination

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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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.   [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

Employers May Have to Allow Guns at Work

Posted in Employee Termination

Most employers believe that they have the right to ban certain dangerous items, including guns, on their property.  In almost 20 states, those employers would be wrong. In the wake of the devastating Newtown shooting, many employers may be looking at tightening up or developing workplace violence policies to address guns and the safety of [&hellip… Continue Reading

Massachusetts to become 16th State to provide protections for transgendered individuals

Posted in Employee Hiring, Employee Termination, Employee Training Programs, Employment Litigation, Gender Identity or Expression, General Employment Discrimination, General Employment Matters, Harassment, Trangendered individuals; gender identity

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts passed and sent to Governor Deval Patrick, a bill–H.3810, which outlaws employment discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.”  It is expected that Governor Patrick will sign the bill which will take effect on July 1, 2012.   The proposed legislation would insert the phrase “gender identity’’ to chapters of state [&hellip… Continue Reading

NLRB Decision: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Board Scorned

Posted in Arbitration, Employee Hiring, Employee Termination, General Employment Matters, Retaliation

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a decision interpreting the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) decision in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002) as prohibiting the NLRB from awarding back pay to undocumented immigrants whose rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) were violated; even when their illegal [&hellip… Continue Reading

Clear and Specific Release Agreements Should Be Used by Employers When Offering Severance

Posted in Employee Termination

The case of Johnson v. Lebanese American University should serve as a lesson to employers that sometimes there is such a thing as a release that is too short.  In this case, the University had decided to terminate the plaintiff’s employment.  At the time of termination, the University offered the plaintiff severance on the condition [&hellip… Continue Reading