Tag Archives: employment discrimination

20 Years Later, Employers Still Don’t Understand Family And Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) turned 20 this year, with enforcement first taking effect on August 5, 1993. Sure, the FMLA is a “burden” on employers in the same way that weekends, lunch breaks, and the minimum wage are a “burden,” but it’s hard to argue with the basic precept that employees who work 1,250 hours a year at a company with the resources to handle employees calling out shouldn’t be entitled to a little bit of unpaid time off when they’re too sick to work or when they need to be good spouses, children, and parents by ... Continue Reading

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Pregnancy Is (Legally) Like A Disability If Employers Accommodate Temporarily Disabled Workers

Via Eric B. Mayer's Twitter feed, I saw that a few days ago the Wall Street Journal's blog for working parents, The Juggle, posted on a hot legal issue these days, "Should Pregnancy Be Treated as a Disability?" A recent study by a University of Dayton law professor, Jeannette Cox, asserts that pregnant women should be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, to protect them from being fired or forced to perform labor that could be harmful to mother or child. (The paper is forthcoming in March in  the Boston College Law Review.) The ADA doesn’t recognize pregnancy as a disability, leaving pregnant women physically ... Continue Reading

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Perdue v. Kenny A. Keeps On Punishing Class Action Lawyers

I complained back when the Supreme Court's Perdue v. Kenny A. opinion first came out more than a year ago, knocking down attorney's fees awarded to a set of extraordinary children's rights lawyers: It’s no stretch to say those lawyers single-handedly reformed the foster care system in metropolitan Atlanta. And they did that by spending their own money and putting in their own time, with no guarantee they would recoup any of their out-of-pocket costs, much less get paid a fee for their services. Had they been paid by the hour as they went along, their services would have been ... Continue Reading

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The Potential Upside for Class Action Plaintiffs In The Dukes v. Wal-Mart Certiorari

At Blawgletter: The U.S. Supreme Court today granted review of a Ninth Circuit ruling that allowed a class of California women to pursue sex discrimination claims against Walmart.  Of course, if you're reading this legal blog, you probably already knew that. So let's dive a bit deeper, per Blawgletter: The Court both limited and expanded review.  Walmart's petition presented two questions, only the first of which the Court will address: I.  Whether claims for monetary relief can be certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedures 23(b)(2) -- which by its terms is limited to injunctive or corresponding declaratory relief -- ... Continue Reading

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Another Reminder: Lawyers Should Protect Themselves With A Paper Trail

I've written before about the need for lawyers to create a "paper trail" to protect themselves from later accusations of malfeasance or negligence. Yesterday the New Jersey Law Journal gave a vivid example of where the lack of a paper trail can go: Ex-employees of Prudential Life Insurance who say the company bribed their lawyers to keep their bias claims out of court are seeking access to thousands of documents the company asserts are privileged. The request was made in a motion by Stephen Snyder, the attorney for 73 of the 234 plaintiffs, who told Bergen County Judge Brian Martinotti ... Continue Reading

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The Rising Tide Of Employment Discrimination Claims Won’t Lift Most Boats

At the WSJ Law Blog, The Rising Tide of Job Bias Claims: There’s often a debate about whether litigation in counter-cyclical. Do lawsuits increase when the economy heads south? In one area of litigation, there’s no debate: employment discrimination claims. A lot of folks have been fired, and many of them are are claiming that they were let go because of their race, age, gender, or because of a disability. Job bias claims, to put it mildly, are through the roof, according to this WSJ article. For the six months that ended April 30, more than 70,000 people filed claims with ... Continue Reading

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Does The Philadelphia Housing Authority Owe Carl Greene Over $600,000?

When I first saw the headline in The Philadelphia Inquirer —  "Greene suit says PHA ruined reputation" — I thought: has Carl Greene lost his mind? I interpreted the "ruined reputation" as referring to a defamation claim, and I could not see how Greene could possibly sue the Board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority for defamation. The primary allegations are indisputable: Greene was accused of several instances of sexual harassment, the accusers brought suit, and Greene authorized the PHA and their insurer to settle those cases. The PHA Board is now investigating how those claims were handled and has not reached ... Continue Reading

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Academic Abstention Should Not Be a Blank Check for Arbitrary and Capricious Conduct by Universities

Via Atrios, we have Stanley Fish's recent NYTimes column, The Rise and Fall of Academic Abstention: As recently as 1979, legal academics Virginia Nordin and Harry Edwards were able to say that “historically American courts have adhered fairly consistently to the doctrine of academic abstention in order to avoid excessive judicial oversight of academic institutions” (Higher Education and the Law). Academic abstention is the doctrine (never formally promulgated) that courts should defer to colleges and universities when it comes to matters like promotions, curricula, admission policies, grading, tenure, etc. The reasoning is that courts lack the competence to monitor academic ... Continue Reading

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Probable Cause For Racial Discrimination Found Against Valley Swim Club of Huntingdon Valley

As you may already know (Google News already lists 300+ articles on it): A state investigation found that a Montgomery County swim club racially discriminated in June when it revoked an agreement to allow a Northeast Philadelphia day camp to use its pool after 56 African American and Hispanic children made their first visit. "The racial animus . . . and the racially coded comments" by club members at the Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley were the reasons the club revoked Creative Steps Inc.'s contract, according to a 33-page report by the Human Relations Commission that was released last night ... Continue Reading

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Joe Satriani Settles Copyright Suit Against Coldplay, and A Word On Settlement Technicalities

The AmLaw Daily reports: When news broke Wednesday that guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani's copyright suit against the band Coldplay had been settled, the Litigation Daily raced to Pacer to download the documents. After all, it's not every day that a copyright dispute between an aging guitar god and one of the biggest rock bands on the planet settles. (Granted, it's a bit of a stretch to call Coldplay a "rock" band.) But it turns out that the settlement is as opaque as a Coldplay lyrics sheet. Satriani filed suit in December 2008, alleging that Coldplay's monster hit of 2008, "Viva ... Continue Reading

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