Archives: Compliance Tip

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Internal Investigation Report Prepared by Outside Counsel Entitled to Work Product Protection

In Lassiter v. Hidalgo Medical Services, No. 17-00850 (D. N.M. Apr. 18, 2018), a former employee sought to compel production of outside counsel’s reports and findings of an internal investigation into harassment claims.  The discovery demand was denied, in this instance, because the Court found that the documents, which contained “factual summaries of the information … Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Says Plaintiff’s Private Facebook Materials Are Fair Game In Discovery

For employers defending discrimination claims in which the plaintiff claims emotional distress, social media accounts are potential treasure troves of evidence of claimant’s feelings, thoughts, and mental impressions. In Forman v. Henkin, New York State’s highest court held that the “threshold inquiry” for social media disclosure is whether the materials sought are “reasonably calculated to … Continue Reading

Jury May Find Pregnancy Discrimination Where Employer Refused To Assign Work To Avoid Injury To Pregnant Worker

Pregnancy discrimination can arise from an employer’s effort to “protect” a pregnant worker from harm, just as it can from other adverse actions.  In Cameron v. NYC Dept. of Educ., 15-cv-9900 (S.D.N.Y), it was alleged that plaintiff no longer received teaching assignments after her pregnancy became visible and known.  According to plaintiff, the principal told … Continue Reading

Employer’s Ultimatum Supports Employee’s ADA Failure to Accommodate Claim

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in McClain v. Tenax Corp. recently denied in part an employer’s motion for summary judgment on a disabled employee’s failure to accommodate claim under the ADA.  The Court held the ADA-required interactive process never took place where the employer’s issued an ultimatum to the … Continue Reading

Medical Residency Program Demonstrates Importance of Documenting and Consistently Applying Job Requirements

In Rodrigo v. Carle Foundation Hospital, No.16-1403 (7th Cir.), plaintiff was a medical resident in a three-year residency program (the “Program”).  In addition to completing certain rotations and passing parts one and two of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (“USMLE”) or (“Step 1” and “Step 2,” respectively), residents were required to pass Step 3 … Continue Reading

Inclement Weather May Require Employers To Warm To Reasonable Accommodations

To enable employees to deal with natural disasters and severe local weather, employers should prepare to address issues arising from employees’ inability to get to work.  By itself, being stuck at home because of a blizzard is not a protected activity.  This constitutes a personal absence warranting no protection under the law.  However, if the … Continue Reading

Workstation Relocation Creates Viable Claim for Retaliation

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently permitted a Title VII retaliation claim to proceed to trial based on allegations of retaliatory relocation of a worker’s workstation.  In Massaquoi v. District of Columbia, the plaintiff was relocated to a new workstation one month after he complained to his supervisor about disparate … Continue Reading

Beyond the Weinstein Effect: It’s More Than Just Training

In light of the many high-profile news stories involving sexual harassment, employers are cognizant of the need to update policies, improve investigation procedures, and conduct training. However, there is more going on than meets the eye.  Several states have proposed legislation that creates a path for victims to come forward.  In addition, the new federal … Continue Reading

Be Prepared: Changes to Workplace Wellness Programs Coming in 2019

Though still a year away, employee health plans are in for significant change beginning January 1, 2019.  This modification is the result of a longstanding argument about plan administration.  In October 2016, the AARP sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), arguing that the regulations interpreting the Americans With Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination … Continue Reading

Top 5 Tips for Conducting Pre-Employment Medical Exams

In a recently filed lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contends that Consolidated Edison Co. (“Con Ed”) violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”) by its use of pre-employment medical examinations. According to the Complaint, Con Ed required applicants to submit to pre-employment medical examinations … Continue Reading

Spousal Jealousy Provides Grounds for Discrimination Claim

In a decision of apparent first impression in New York, an appellate court has ruled that the sexual jealousy of an employer’s spouse may be considered gender discrimination under New York State and New York City law (Edwards v. Nicolai).  In this case, the husband and wife were co-owners of a chiropractic office.  The practice … Continue Reading

Job Applicants Cannot Bring Disparate Impact Claims Under Age Discrimination In Employment Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently rejected a claim that applicants  can sue for disparate impact under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).  Villarreal v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18074 (Oct. 5, 2016). The plaintiff alleged that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s recruiting practices … Continue Reading

Sleeping On The Job Due To Prescription Medication Not A Sufficient Basis to Dismiss Disability Discrimination Complaint

In Beaton v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit, Docket No. 15 CV 08056 (S.D.N.Y. June 15, 2016), the Court denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s disability discrimination claims under the ADA and local laws.  The case is significant because it addressed an alleged  mental disability.  By way of background, Plaintiff was employed by … Continue Reading

Inconsistent Policy Application By Employer Allows Age Discrimination Claim To Survive Summary Judgment

In Jones v. Pate Rehab. Endeavors, Inc., Docket No. 14-CV-2218 (N.D. Tx. June 17, 2016), the Court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing Plaintiff’s age discrimination claim under the ADEA.  By way of background, Defendant employed Plaintiff as a Patient Transporter, which required him to transport patients in a motor vehicle.  During his employment, … Continue Reading

Employment Application That Included a “Health History” Form Violated the ADA and GINA

A federal court in Missouri has held that an employer’s employment application unlawfully required job applicants to fill out a three-page “Health History” before being considered for a job, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008.  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Grisham Farm Products, Inc., Case … Continue Reading

Assisting Student With Sexual Harassment Report Not Protected Under Title VII or First Amendment

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected a professor’s claims that a university violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution when it allegedly denied tenure because she reported sexual harassment to the university on behalf of a … Continue Reading
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