Supreme Court Watch: Part 1

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its new term earlier this week.  For the first time, three of the justices are women, creating an historic moment for the Court.  Employers anticipate several important decisions coming from the cases being heard this term, as well.  In this first part in a series, we’ll post about three of the most interesting employment-law cases scheduled for oral argument this Fall. Continue reading

Retaliation and the FLSA: U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert

ussc-building1Wage-and-hour lawsuits filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), are the hottest thing going for plaintiffs’ lawyers. And a worst-case scenario for an employer named as a defendant. FLSA cases can be very difficult to defend; the law imposes what is almost strict liability under most circumstances. So, when a court issues a decision in favor of an employer, it is worthy of notice. And when the U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari of such a decision, it’s definitely worthy of notice. Continue reading

Good Reads for Human Resources Professionals

The February 2010 issue of Law Practice Today, the webzine published by the ABA’s Law Practice Management section, is now available and can be read in its entirety at the Law Practice Management section’s website.  I was the issue editor for this edition, which focuses on the Human Resources side of management.  The articles are great and offer lessons that apply to all industries.  Continue reading

EEOC Files Retaliation Claim Against Verizon: How to Make Sure You’re Not Next

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has filed suit against Philadelphia-employer, Verizon, alleging unlawful retaliation.  The complaint was filed on behalf of former service technician, Theresa Allen, who worked at the company’s Bryn Mawr facility until last year.  Allen, who is in her 50s, was the only female employee at that location until October 2006.  Continue reading

No Re-Application Provision Approved In Settlement Against State Agency

Three female attorneys filed suit against the New Jersey State Office of Attorney Ethics (“OAE”), alleging gender discrimination. The plaintiffs claimed that women were assigned to lower-grade positions than their male counterparts. According to the article on, males without law degrees, some without college degrees, were awarded higher ranked jobs than females with law degrees. Continue reading

U.S.S.C. Is Hardly Anti-Employee: Supreme Court Expands Retaliation Claims

Supreme CourtThe United States Supreme Court is anything but anti-employee.  The Supreme Court’s decisions in Cracker Barrel and Gomez-Perez, filed yesterday, continue to broaden the limits of Section 1981 in favor of employees.

Recently, employee-advocate groups have made great sport out of attacking the Supreme Court’s employment-discrimination decisions–using them to raise the hue and cry for legislative reform. This week’s rulings in CBOCS West, Inc v. Humphries (the “Cracker Barrel” case), and Gomez-Perez v. Potter show that employee advocates and plaintiffs’ lawyers have little to complain about.

Continue reading

City Fights Retaliation Claim at Trial

Yesterday, the local newspaper, The News Journal reported on an employment discrimination case that is currently in trial in the federal District Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The plaintiff in the case is a 19-year veteran of the Wilmington Police Department who claims he was improperly demoted in retaliation for reporting offensive comments made by a supervisor. According to the officer’s attorney, he was demoted and denied transfers after he reported that another officer said that “all Puerto Ricans have low riders and fuzzy dice hanging from their mirrors” and that “all Puerto Ricans and Mexicans are alike.” Continue reading