Protecting Employers Since 1985

Case Of Teacher Fired For Refusing To Address Transgender Student By Preferred Pronoun Awaits Supreme Court Ruling On Religious Discrimination Under Title VII

By James B. Sherman / June 1, 2023

The case is Kluge v. Brownsburg Community School Co.  The plaintiff is an evangelical Christian high school orchestra teacher in Indiana who lost his job for refusing to use a transgender student’s preferred pronoun. Kluge objected for religious reasons. According to court pleadings, initially, he worked out an agreement with the school to simply refer…

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Mistake Prone IRS Employee Failed To Pursuade Appellate Court Her Discharge Reflected Unlawful “Cultural Bias”  

By James B. Sherman / May 20, 2023

An IRS employee brought a national origin discrimination lawsuit after being fired for poor performance. The employee’s discharge was preceded by a disciplinary notice that documented over 100 mistakes she had made on the job.  Undaunted by the overwhelming documented evidence of her failed performance, the plaintiff blamed management for its “cultural bias” against her…

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Twitter Faces Class Action Lawsuit By Laid Off Contract Workers Alleging WARN Violations

By James B. Sherman / May 13, 2023

Not long after Elon Musk paid billions to acquire a majority interest in Twitter, the company laid off over half its workforce. Many of those laid off were contract workers supplied by TEKsystems Inc., a staffing firm. In the aftermath Twitter is facing a proposed class action lawsuit alleging it failed to provide these workers…

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Appellate Court Hands Northwestern University A Win In ADA & FMLA Suit

By James B. Sherman / April 26, 2023

The case was brought by a lab-tech employed by the university’s medical school, alleging several claims, including harassment, disability discrimination, and retaliation for taking FMLA leave for anxiety. The plaintiff also alleged she was called a “typical millennial,” “Princess Diana,” and teased about needing psychiatric help, or being “off her meds.” The FMLA claim named…

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Court Of Appeals To Determine Whether To Enforce The NLRB’s Controversial Mclaren Macomb Decision That NDAs And Non-Disparagement Agreements Violate Federal Labor Law

By James B. Sherman / April 22, 2023

As predicted, the National Labor Relations Board’s recent decision in McLaren Macomb has quickly advanced to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. In February the NLRB declared that employers violate federal labor law if they include nondisclosure (NDAs) or non-disparagement clauses in severance agreements for non-managerial employees. The appellate court will decide…

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By James B. Sherman / March 31, 2023

Many jobs require regular overtime or some minimum number of hours per day or week. If working a certain number of hours amounts to an essential function of a job, employees or applicants who cannot work those hours are generally unqualified. Even under the ADA, excusing a disabled individual from regularly working the hours essential…

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By James B. Sherman / February 22, 2023

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board reversed Trump-era Board precedent, and arguably expanded its precedent from the Obama administration, to declare unlawful two clauses commonly used by employers when offering severance packages. The decision in McLaren Macomb, Case No. 07-CA-263041 (2/21/2023) held that the employer, a Michigan hospital, violated the National Labor Relations Act by…

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“Honest Suspicion” of Employee’s Abuse of Approved FMLA Leave, Justified Suspension

By James B. Sherman / February 17, 2023

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming an employer violated the FMLA by suspending its employee over his use of intermittent leave. The case involved a married couple who worked for the same employer. Both were certified and approved for intermittent FMLA leave, but for…

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It Must be an Election Year

By James B. Sherman / November 4, 2022

When politics work their way into the field of labor law, as they often do in an election year, things tend to go a little sideways. 2022 is no exception, as demonstrated by these two recent developments. Constitutional Amendment: Tuesday’s ballot in Illinois includes a proposed amendment to the State’s Constitution to ban Right-To-Work laws.…

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Judge Shoots Down Nonsensical Class-Action ADEA Lawsuit Against Amazon With an Assist From The Goat, Tom Brady

By James B. Sherman / July 6, 2022

Some lawsuits are so outlandish they make headlines … for all the wrong reasons. One such silly case was brought as a class action against Amazon by employees in California. The plaintiffs, all 40 and older, alleged Amazon violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by imposing productivity quotas on all employees. The complaint…

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