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Showing 6 posts from May 2015.

Complaining to the Boss? The Second Circuit Says That's Protected

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation that oral complaints are protected by anti-relation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), but it did not address a vital question: must those complaints be “filed” with a government agency to receive protection against retaliation, or will simple oral complaints to an employer trigger such provisions?[1] The Second Circuit recently moved to fill that gap, ruling in Greathouse v. JHS Security, Inc. that merely “filing” an oral complaint with an employer is enough to trigger anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA[2].

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For Equal Pay Act Comparison, “Equal” Can Mean “Greater Than”

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (“EPA”) bars employers from discriminating in the payment of wages between employees on the basis of their gender. The employees of different genders must be performing equal work in jobs which require “equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.”[1] In an odd set of facts, the Tenth Circuit case of Riser v. QEP Energy hinged on an unusual definition of “equal.”[2]

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Facebook is Not a Picket Line

The National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of employees to connect and address conditions at work, and recent decisions have held that this protection extends to certain work-related conversations on social media.[1] However, it has yet to be determined exactly how far this protection will reach. More >

A Title VII Transition?: Protections for Transgender Persons in the Workplace

Three years ago, the EEOC issued an opinion which held, for the first time, that discrimination against transgender persons based on gender identity is impermissible sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See Macy v. Holder (Apr. 20, 2012). Last month, the EEOC revisited discrimination against transgender persons and released a decision that sheds some light on how the practical applications of this finding may affect employers, holding that certain bathroom restrictions for a transgender employee constituted discrimination. See Lusardi v. McHugh (Apr. 1, 2015). More >

Local Court Ruling Takes the Hands off of Hands On: Tensions between Fairness Ordinances and Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

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Businesses should keep a close eye on a case that continues to develop in Lexington, Kentucky, as it highlights the current tensions between emerging, evolving antidiscrimination paradigms and rights of free expression and freedom of religion as they exist under both federal and state laws. More >

The Cost of Buying Silence – Non-disclosure Provisions Run Afoul of Federal Agencies

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There’s an inherent tension in requiring an employee to sign an agreement restricting his or her ability to discuss activity in the workplace. On one hand, employers with confidential business practices and trade secrets need to maintain those investments in intellectual capital both during and after employment. On the other, these agreements can stifle both the rights of employees to seek redress of workplace grievances as well as restrict the ability of regulatory agencies to investigate and correct employer practices or violations of the law. The tenor of recent enforcement actions by various agencies as to strict non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) and non-disclosure provisions in separation agreements should give employers cause to re-evaluate their own attempts to limit liability. More >

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