The EEOC Reaches a Settlement in Landmark Sexual Orientation Harassment Case

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According to a press release from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency has reached a first-of-its-kind settlement in a workplace sexual orientation harassment case. All forms of workplace sexual harassment must be taken seriously. Employees deserve working conditions that are free from harassment, discrimination or retaliation. If you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, please contact an experienced Charlotte NC employment attorney for immediate legal assistance. The Company Fired an Employee For Complaining About Harassment According to the EEOC, IFCO Systems terminated a female employee after her complaints of sexual harassment. The employee alleged that her…

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HB2

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Politicians lie sometimes.  I don’t think that anyone will be surprised to learn that.  But, the lies being told by the North Carolina legislature and government in connection with HB2 are truly astounding. By way of background, North Carolina legislature House Bill 2, or HB2 for short, has mostly been described as an anti-LGBT bill.  The press coverage about the bill has focused on its impact of banning cities (such as Charlotte) and municipalities from enacting legislation that would permit people to utilize the bathroom assigned to the gender they identify with.  That has gained a lot of attention, spawned…

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The Wrong Way To Apply For A Job

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Every now and then, I receive letters or emails from people who have recently graduated from law school and are looking for legal jobs.  No question, it’s tough out there for new law school graduates.  The Great Recession and the tepid recovery has taken a toll on the availability of entry level legal positions.  Even when there are open positions law firms, large and small, tend to hire experienced lawyers because there are experienced lawyers out there to hire.  The market for newly admitted lawyers is so bad, in fact, that people who know what they’re talking about have advocated that…

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Brown v. Nucor Redux

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For the second time, the Fourth Circuit has reversed the District Court’s decertification of a putative class in Brown v. Nucor, No. 13-1779, (May 11, 2015).  The Nucor Plaintiffs  sought certification for their Title VII and Section 1981 claims of failure to promote based on race.  After the Fourth Circuit reversed the District Court’s decertification Order in 2009 (Brown v. Nucor, 576 F.3d 149), the case went back to the District Court for further discovery.  The 2009 Nucor case is a significant precedent in the Fourth Circuit, because it provides a Plaintiff favorable interpretation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Walmart v….

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Fourth Circuit Reaffirms Retaliation Temporal Proximity Standard

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The Fourth Circuit recently issued an unpublished decision in Ranade v. BT Americas.  Ranade brought claims against BT for FMLA retaliation and interference.  After discovery, BT moved for summary judgment, arguing that Ranade’s retaliation claims failed because the temporal proximity between her protected activity and BT America’s adverse employment action was too remote.  BT Americas also moved for summary judgment on Ranade’s FMLA interference claim. The Fourth Circuit granted BT’s motion for summary judgment.  In doing so, the Court reaffirmed its prior caselaw that a six month gap between protected activity and adverse employment action is too remote to support…

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U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Review Young v. UPS

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Young v. UPS is, at its core, a claim made by a pregnant employee of UPS that the company’s policy of not accommodating pregnant employees with light duty and office jobs, while accommodating other disabled persons, violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.  UPS defended the case by contending that its policy is facially neutral in that it grants accommodations for employees injured on the job but does not grant accommodations for those employees restricted from work because of injuries and events that happen away from the job. Thus, according to UPS, its policy did not discriminate against pregnant women because an employee who…

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SOX Retaliation Case Tossed

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In a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit in Feldman v. Law Enforcement Services Corporation, the Court upheld dismissal of a SOX Whistleblower Retaliation case on the ground that the temporal proximity between the complaint and adverse employment action was too remote. In doing so, the Court reiterated the well-known standard for Plaintiffs to make out a prima facie case of retaliation under SOX:  “(1) she engaged in protected activity;  (2) the employer knew that she engaged in the protected activity; (3) she suffered an unfavorable personnel action; and (4) the protected activity was a contributing factor in the unfavorable action.”  While…

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Fourth Circuit Undermines Retaliation Law

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For us experienced employment lawyers, the Fourth Circuit’s recent retaliation decision inBoyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp. (May 13, 2014) is a stunner. The central facts of the case are that a non-manager employee of the Defendant twice referred to the Plaintiff as a “porch monkey.”  The Fourth Circuit determined that because the comments, offensive as they were, only occurred on two isolated occasions, the Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim was properly dismissed on a summary judgment motion.  The two highly offensive comments, the Court ruled, were not “severe or pervasive” enough to alter the terms and conditions of the Plaintiff’s employment. I…

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Fourt Circuit Reverses Grant of Summary Judgement In Customer Harassment Case

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Employers cannot avoid Title VII liability when their customers harass their employees by adopting a “see no evil, hear no evil” strategy.  That was the message this month from the Fourth Circuit in Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp.  In a decision written by Judge Shedd and joined by Chief Justice Traxler, a divided panel formally adopted a negligence standard for when an employer is liable for the harassing acts of third-parties, including customers, directed at its employees.  The Court stated: “[A]n employer is liable under Title VII for third parties creating a hostile work environment [for its employees] if the employer knew...
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Court reinstates suit against NC’s Family Dollar

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A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit against North Carolina-based Family Dollar that says female managers were paid less than male store managers. The Charlotte Observer reported a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., overturned a Charlotte judge’s order that had effectively ended the case. An attorney representing about 50 store managers says the Matthews-based company discriminates against female managers. Attorney Roberts Wiggins says pay discrepancies between male and female store managers averaged about $2,500 a year, about 10 percent of their pay. Family Dollar has asked the full appeals court consider the...
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