AND EMPLOYMENT LAW
NEWS AND UPDATES
v. Scott (11th Cir 06/30/2010) Randall sued the employer pursuant to 42 USC
Section 1983 alleging First Amendment retaliation. Randall was discharged after
announcing he was running for the Board of Commissioners. The U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit concluded that the dismissal of Randall's
complaint could not be affirmed on the failure to state the denial of a First
Amendment right. Because the right to run for office was not heretofore clearly
established, the court found that the employer enjoyed individual qualified
According to the U.S. Supreme Court,
the issue as to the ratification date of a CBA should be decided by the district
court and not by the arbitrator. Also, the Supreme Court unanimously
refused to recognize a new federal common-law cause of action under LMRA Section
301 for the international union's alleged tortious interference with the CBA.
Granite Rock Co. v. Int'l. Brotherhood of Teamsters, No. 08–1214 (June 24,
The U.S. Supreme Court held in
Rent-A-Center West, Inc. v. Jackson, that the arbitrator and not the court,
decides if an arbitration agreement is unconscionable. (June 21, 2010.)
Process Steel v. NLRB (US Supreme Ct 06/17/2010) The U.S. Supreme Court held
that Section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act requires that a delegee
group of the NLRB maintain a membership of three in order to exercise the
delegated authority of the Board.
Lewis v. City of Chicago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a plaintiff who
does not file a timely charge challenging the adoption of a practice
may assert a disparate-impact claim in a timely charge challenging the
employer's later application of that practice as long as he alleges
each of the elements of a disparate-impact claim. (US Supreme Ct 05/24/2010)
tax professional and her former employer had entered into an employment
agreement which included a non-competition covenant and a non-solicitation
covenant. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that: 1) the
agreement's non-competition covenant was reasonable, considering the nature and
extent of the business, the situation of the parties, and other relevant
circumstances; and 2) the non-solicitation clause was enforceable because it was
reasonable with respect to duration and activity covered, and it did not
prohibit defendant from accepting unsolicited business. See
H&R Block v.
Morris (11th Cir 05/17/2010)
v. Lee (Georgia Supreme Court 03/01/2010) Thomas was an administrative
assistant for the solicitor general of the county, an elected position, and was
not a civil service employee. The Supreme Court of Georgia agreed with the trial
court that Thomas lacked a property interest in her employment and she could be
discharged without cause.
In an age discrimination case, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held the the mixed-motive framework does not
apply due to the U. S. Supreme Court's decision in
Gross v. FBL Financial Services.
However, the court found that the plaintiff produced sufficient evidence of a
discriminatory motive to survive summary judgment. See
Mora v. Jackson Memorial (2/23/10).
Healthcare Services, Inc. (355 NLRB No. 5) Jonesboro, GA, Jan. 29, 2010.
The National Labor Relations Board adopted the administrative law judge's finding that Victoria Torley is
an employee under the NLRA, and that the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(1) of the
Act, by discharging Torley for engaging in protected concerted activities. (Non-union
Reeves v. C.
H. Robinson Worldwide, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
held that Plaintiff could maintain a gender hostile work environment claim even
though gender-specific language was not directed at her. (1/20/2010).
The Americans with Disabilities Act's prohibition
against pre-offer medical inquiries applies even though applicant is not
v. Benchmark Electronics Huntsville. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir.
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in
Corbitt v. Home Depot (12/4/2009) that the conduct the plaintiffs complained
about in their same-sex harassment claim was not severe enough to cause a
hostile work environment. "Flirtation is part of ordinary socializing in
the workplace and should not be mistaken for discriminatory conditions of
employment," the Court stated. However, the court held that the
retaliation claim should have gone to the jury.
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a tenured professor could be put on
indefinite suspension for failing to comply with post-tenure remedial plan in
Edmonds v. Board of Regents,
2009 Ga. App. LEXIS 1440 (12/21/2009).
Coleman v. Retina Consultants
even though non-compete agreement was held to be unreasonable, former employee
was still enjoined from misappropriating trade secrets because a contract is not
required. (Georgia Supreme Court, 11/9/2009).
The Georgia Supreme Court held that an at-will city employee had no right to
notice or a hearing before her discharge in
Goddard v. City of
The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed jury's
award of damages for a breach of contract in Board of
Regents v. Ambati, 299 Ga. App.
804; 685 S.E.2d 719; 2009 Ga. App. LEXIS 983, (8/21/2009).
In Paramount Tax v. H&R Block
(Georgia Court of Appeals August 6, 2009), the Georgia Court found the
territorial limitation contained in the noncompetition clause overbroad.
The court affirmed, but narrowed, an injunction regarding the use of Block's
trade secrets in the form of customer lists.
Bryant v. CEO
DEKalb County (7/31/2009), plaintiff filed a claim under 42 USC §1983 for
racial discrimination, hostile work environment, constructive discharge, and
retaliation. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the
denial of qualified immunity.
Consulting v. Gordon (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir., 7/30/2009), the
court found that a non-compete agreement that prevented a former Project
Director from competing in North America and any other territory to which the
employee had been assigned during his employment for six months following his
employment was enforceable under Florida law.
Ricci v. DeStefano, the city of
New Haven, Conn., threw out the
test results of a firefighters exam because no African-American candidate
received a high enough score to be considered for promotion. The
US Supreme Court held 5-4 that New Haven's decision to ignore the test results
violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (US Supreme Court 06/29/09)
The US Supreme Court held in
Gross v. FBL Financial Services that a
plaintiff bringing an ADEA disparate-treatment claim must prove, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that age was the “but-for” cause of the
challenged adverse employment action. The burden of persuasion does not shift to
the employer to show that it would have taken the action regardless of age, even
when a plaintiff has produced some evidence that age was one motivating
factor in that decision. (US Supreme Court 06/18/2009)
A post PDA decision to award benefits according to a net credited
service date adjusted for pregnancy leave was an “actionable” event - An
employer does not necessarily violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
when it pays pension benefits, calculated in part under an accrual rule, applied
AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen (US Supreme Court 05/18/09)
14 Penn Plaza, LLC v. Pyett
arbitration clause in a collective bargaining agreement that clearly and
unmistakably requires union members to arbitrate ADEA claims is enforceable as a
matter of federal law. (US Supreme Court 04/01/09)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh
Circuit has held that an employee was not entitled to overtime compensation
because he met the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act's outside
salesman's exemption. See
First Title of Am., Inc., (1/27/09).
On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed into law the
Fair Pay Act of 2009, which amends Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, and the
Rehabilitation Act., and adjusts the Statute of Limitations rule.
v. Metropolitan Govt of Nashville, a unanimous US Supreme Court held that an
employee is protected against retaliation for reporting sexual harassment during
an employer's internal investigation.
(US Supreme Court 01/26/2009)
U.S. Supreme Court has held that under ERISA a plan administrator must pay
benefits according to plan documents, and not according to a divorce decree.
Plan Administrator (US Supreme Court 01/26/2009)
On January 21, 2009, the Department of Justice
withdrew its draft final rules to amend the Department’s regulations
implementing title II and title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act from
the OMB review process. The notice can be found at
The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed a local
union to charge non-members for national litigation expenses. The First
Amendment permits a local union to charge nonmembers for national litigation
expenses as long as (1) the subject matter of the (extra-local) litigation is of
a kind that would be chargeable if the litigation were local, e.g.,
litigation appropriately related to collective bargaining rather than political
activities, and (2) the charge is reciprocal in nature, i.e., the
contributing local reasonably expects other locals to contribute similarly to
the national's resources used for costs of similar litigation on behalf of the
contributing local if and when it takes place. See
Karass (US Supreme Court 01/21/2009)
On September 25, 2008, President Bush signed into
law the ADA
Amendments Act of 2008,
which will make some
significant changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new Act
specifically states that its purpose is to reject some of the requirements and
standards enunciated in U.S. Supreme Court cases of the last ten years. The
result of these change will be that more people will be considered to have a
"disability," and will therefore, be protected by the Act.
The Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
has held that whistleblower claim under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX is subject
to the parties' arbitration agreement. See Guyden v. Aetna
permits policemen, firemen, and other "hazardous position" workers to
retire and to receive "normal retirement" benefits after either (1)
working for 20 years; or (2) working for 5 years and attaining the age of 55. It
permits those who become seriously disabled but have not otherwise become
eligible for retirement to retire immediately and receive "disability
retirement" benefits. And it treats some of those disabled
individuals more generously than it treats some of those who became disabled
only after becoming eligible for retirement on the basis of age. The Supreme
Court ruled that the plan was not discriminatory. See Kentucky
Retirement System v. EEOC. (06/19/08)
Supreme Court held that an employer defending a disparate-impact claim under the
ADEA bears both the burden of production and the burden of persuasion for the
"reasonable factors other than age" (RFOA) affirmative defense. See Meacham
V. Knolls Atomic Power Lab. (06/19/08).
Supreme Court ruled that a California law which prohibits employers that receive
state grants or more than $10,000 in state program funds per year from using the
funds "to assist, promote, or deter union organizing," was pre-empted
by the National Labor Relations Act. See Chamber
of Commerce of the U.S. v. Brown. (06/19/08).
Supreme Court ruled that where an ERISA plan administrator both determined
eligibility for benefits, and paid the benefits, a conflict of interest
existed. See Metropolitan
Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn (06/19/08).
May 21, 2008, President Bush Signed Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
(GINA) of 2008, which prohibits U.S. insurance companies and
employers from discriminating on the basis of information derived from genetic
tests. For more information and the History of the Bill, go to GovTrack.
The U. S. Supreme Court has held that the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits retaliation against a federal
employee who complains of age discrimination. See Gomez-Perez
v. Potter (05/27/2008).
U. S. Supreme Court has held that Section1981 (42 U.S.C. §1981 which provides
that all persons have the same right to make and enforce contracts as is enjoyed
by white citizens) encompasses retaliation claims. See CBOCS
West, Inc. v. Humphries (05/27/2008).
In an 8-1 decision, the US
Supreme Court ruled that a valid arbitration agreement precludes resort to a
state administrative agency to adjudicate a claim. May arguably apply to bar
judicial proceedings involving state antidiscrimination statutes when the state
civil rights agency has adjudicative authority.
Preston v. Ferrer (US Supreme Court 02/20/2008)
U. S. Supreme Court held that Title
VII's statute of limitation period (180 or 300 days) begins to run when
each allegedly discriminatory pay decision
made and communicated to the employee. See Ledbetter
v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (05/29/2007).