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Showing 6 posts from June 2015.

Gone, But Not Forgotten – A Deactivated Facebook Account Can Be Discoverable

Posted In Social Media

Courts have long grappled with social media in a legal context. The struggle to understand social media issues -- and to craft coherent applicable legal policy -- renders Crowe v. Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland, LLC amusing to show how the less-than-honest actions of an employee-plaintiff can make these difficult legal questions fairly simple for a court. More >

Every step you take…can your employer be watching you?

Posted In Uncategorized

It sounds like something out of an Orwell novel: an employer demands an employee provide electronic notice of her whereabouts at all times, on and off the clock. The employee must now face a choice – protect her privacy outside of work, or lose her job. This is, however, a true story, and one without a happy ending for the employee.

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What Employers Need to Know about Religious Discrimination after EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch

It’s rather fitting that the Supreme Court’s decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores turns on the idea of one’s belief; it is, after all, a decision about religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The belief at issue, however, is not the belief of the claimant of religious discrimination, but rather the belief of the employer.

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Morbid Obesity is Not a Disability in Kentucky – For Now

There’s no question that obesity is a national health crisis, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that more than a third of adults in the U.S. are obese. In 2013, the American Medical Association pronounced that it now finds obesity to be a disease, adding more fuel to the fire that suggests individuals afflicted with this disease could be considered “disabled” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). With regard to state law, however, the Kentucky Supreme Court closed the door – at least, for the time being - on disability claims with regard to obesity in the case of Pennington v. Wagner’s Pharmacy, Inc.[1]

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How Serious is “Serious” under the FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides protections for eligible employees who must take time off of work to deal with serious medical conditions. These protections, codified at 29 U.S.C. § 2612(a)(1), allow employees time away from work and prevent employers from taking adverse employment actions against the employee as a result of serious medical conditions. At issue, however, is the definition of “serious” – just how serious must a medical condition be to warrant FMLA protection? In the case of Dalton v. ManorCare, the Eight Circuit added yet another to a list of items that aren’t serious enough to trigger the protections of the statute. More >

It Takes Two (Racial Slurs to Support a Claim of Harassment, That Is)

Before we begin the analysis of the recent Fourth Circuit opinion in Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau, let’s take a moment to clear something up: When asking how many times an employee may permissibly hurl a racial slur at another employee, can we all agree that the answer is none? Employers, we beseech you – do not, under any circumstances, allow your employees to berate any other employees with racial slurs. It may not necessarily rise to actionable levels under Title VII, but it is just atrocious and unacceptable behavior (and, as the court in this case noted, it CAN rise to actionable levels under Title VII). More >

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