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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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03 Aug 2012 Split Among Federal Circuits Deepens Regarding Administrative Exhaustion of Post-Charge Retaliation Claims

Year after year, retaliation is at or near the top of the list of the most common charges filed with the EEOC.  After receiving a right to sue notice, many plaintiffs, however, add a retaliation claim to their federal court complaints based on alleged employer conduct occurring after the EEOC charges have been filed. Traditionally, these claims have been allowed to proceed – despite not having been raised in the EEOC charge – under the theory that such claims grow out of or are sufficiently…

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01 Aug 2012 Court Rules Size Matters in Class Claim Against Goldman Sachs

A federal judge in New York recently held that last year’s seminal Supreme Court class action case, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes, does not preclude a class action against Goldman Sachs alleging gender bias.  The opinion can be found here. The plaintiffs have alleged that Goldman’s pay and promotion policies had a disparate impact on women, while Goldman argued that that plaintiffs, like those in Dukes, were basing their arguments on subjective decision-making policies, meaning their class claims should suffer the same fate as those…

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27 Jul 2012 Offers of Judgment Support Dismissal of Wage and Hour Claims

A federal district court in Illinois recently granted an employer’s motion to dismiss federal and state wage and hour claims asserted by two employees because the court determined it lacked subject matter jurisdiction.  In Avila v Watts Electric Co, Inc, the employer made offers of judgment to both employees, which included the “total amount of wages owed” and “reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to be determined by the court.”  The plaintiffs each rejected these offers of judgment.  Watts Electric Co. then filed a Rule 68…

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25 Jul 2012 EEOC Cannot Claim “Deliberative Process Privilege” To Preclude Investigator’s Deposition

The United States District Court of the Southern Division of Alabama recently denied the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) motion to quash the deposition of the investigator assigned to the underlying Charge of Discrimination. In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Southern Haulers, Inc., the EEOC argued that the “deliberative process privilege” prohibited the defendant from deposing the investigator about “the steps she took in conducting the investigation, the documents produced by EEOC as part of its investigative file, inconsistencies in the documents contained in EEOC’s…

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20 Jul 2012 Electronic Monitoring of Employees’ Telephone Conversations: A Quick Reminder for Employers

Some employers concerned with excessive use of business phones for personal use may wish to adopt a practice of monitoring employees’ telephone calls placed over company phone lines. Other employers might wish to monitor phone usage in order to evaluate the level of customer service provided by their employees.  And suspected wrongdoing by one or more employees may cause employers to want to monitor telephone usage. Whatever the reason for monitoring, employers need to be aware that the practice is not without risk. For example, the Omnibus…

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17 Jul 2012 EEOC Meeting on Strategic Enforcement Plan

In February 2012, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved a Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016. The first performance measure of the Plan requires the EEOC to approve a Strategic Enforcement Plan, which it currently is developing. The purpose of the Plan is to leverage agency resources to focus on high impact lawsuits that will obtain relief for large numbers of individuals.  The text of the Plan can be found here.  To that end, the EEOC will hold an open meeting on…

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05 Jul 2012 Complaints Need Not Include Facts Which Would Support a Prima Facie Case of Discrimination under McDonnell Douglas

BT CurrentsBT Currents is managed by the attorneys in Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor & Employment Law Department. It’s designed to be your resource on employment law developments across the country. BT Currents will help employers across all industries stay aware of and respond to these developments.More Posts – Website

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29 Jun 2012 Don’t Screen Out State Laws When Hiring

A recent decision from the Northern District of Illinois serves as a reminder to employers to consider both federal and state laws regarding pre-employment screening when making hiring decisions. In Stratton v. Merrill Lynch, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60426, 2012 WL 1533456 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 25, 2012), the court determined that the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA) did not preempt the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/2-103, which prohibits employers from using the fact of an arrest as a basis for taking an adverse…

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29 Jun 2012 Supreme Court’s Ruling on Healthcare Impacts Employers

In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld nearly every provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Consequently, employers will need to prepare for full implementation of the Act this year and next in anticipation of a new health benefits world in 2014. See our B&T Healthcare Blog’s post for more information about the decision. BT CurrentsBT Currents is managed by the attorneys in Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor & Employment Law Department. It’s designed to be your resource on employment law…

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27 Jun 2012 U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Employment Provision in Arizona Immigration Law

The Supreme Court has ruled in Arizona v. United States, Dkt No. 11-182 that Arizona’s S.B. 1070, enacted in 2010 in reaction to increasing undocumented immigration into the State, is largely preempted by federal law. The decision, issued by Justice Kennedy, considered four provisions of the 2010 Arizona law and struck down three, including Section 5(C), which made it a state criminal misdemeanor for undocumented immigrants to apply for employment or work in the state. The Court held that the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)…

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