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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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06 Apr 2017 Lesson: Don’t Underestimate Court’s Ability to Change Its Mind Minor Leaguers’ Wage Suit Gets Certified and Comes Back From the Dead

  While Major League Baseball (MLB) can celebrate its new season, which began on April 2, the last pitch has yet to be thrown when it comes to addressing a minimum wage and overtime lawsuit filed by thousands of minor league players.   A lawsuit filed by a class of thousands of Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players in February 2014, which is part of a feeder system into MLB clubs, claims that minor league ballplayers are not paid the proper minimum wage or overtime. The…

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27 Feb 2017 Federal Lawsuit Over Mass Layoffs Not on the Menu for California Restaurant Group

  A California restaurant chain recently got lucky and avoided a proposed class action filed by former workers who claimed the chain failed to provide proper notice before laying off approximately 3,000 employees.   The lawsuit alleged that the Catalina Restaurant Group’s April 2015 restructuring – the chain was sold, restaurants were closed and layoffs occurred at corporate headquarters – left about 3,000 employees out of a job without prior warning. Additionally, the suit claimed that those affected were offered no severance pay and were…

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01 Nov 2016 Dancer Employees Allegedly Stripped of Wages Through Misclassification

  It has long been argued by many detractors that gentlemen’s clubs objectify women. A group of exotic dancers in Philadelphia has gone a step further and argued that their employer has objectified them as workers by failing to treat them as employees and failing to pay them the minimum wages to which they are entitled. A class of approximately 75 exotic dancers has sued The Penthouse Club under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claiming they were wrongly classified as independent contractors and were…

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18 Jul 2014 Collective and Class Actions: Interns, Assistant Managers – and their Lawyers! LETTER OF THE LAW: CURRENT EMPLOYMENT LAW ISSUES A-Z

  While working through an alphabet of employment issues is not an exact science, the letter C must belong to collective and class actions. Collective and class actions in the employment arena are a longer term trend where a group of people with allegedly common legal issues can come together in a single action.   Often these actions involve very small alleged wrongs – ever receive a check for a few bucks in the mail because you, without lifting a finger, were part of a…

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10 Apr 2014 Top Tech Companies Headed to Trial in Talent Poaching Conspiracy Case

  Several top tech companies are headed to trial on claims that they engaged in a talent poaching conspiracy involving agreements not to solicit each other’s employees.  Trial is set to begin next month in the Northern District of California federal court.   On Friday, March 28, 2014, in the class action case titled In re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, Judge Lucy Koh decided to send several tech companies to trial when she rejected their summary judgment motions by finding that the plaintiffs, a class…

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19 Jul 2013 Straying from Past Practice in Investigation Raises Retaliation Risk

A recent 7th Circuit case demonstrates the importance of carefully designing workplace investigations to account for a variety of potential claims. In Hobgood v. Illinois Gaming Board, a gaming board employee filed suit against his employer alleging unlawful retaliation in violation of Title VII and the First Amendment. The employee was terminated for helping his coworker organize and research a suit against the gaming board, citing widespread corruption in its hiring policies. Additionally, the employee supplied two confidential documents supporting the coworker’s claims. The coworker’s lawsuit…

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08 Nov 2012 Losing A Fair Labor Standards Act Lawsuit Can Be Costly

The costliness of losing a Fair Labor Standards Act was recently illustrated in a case that was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.  In Monroe v. FTS USA LLC, the jury found that a cable company had improperly withheld overtime wages which should have been paid to 296 cable technicians.  The court eventually awarded $1.9 million in compensatory damages to the technicians.  The court then awarded an additional $1.9 million in liquidated damages because the jury had found that the…

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18 Oct 2012 Seventh Circuit Sides With Defendants On Eavesdropping Case

Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the employer and two individual defendants in an eavesdropping claim brought by a former employee, who was fired after making a threatening telephone call to a colleague at his home.  In Carroll v. Merrill Lynch, the plaintiff, Mary Carroll, was fired as a result of her conduct during a phone call with her co-worker, Jim Kelliher, whom she called at his home on Thanksgiving night.  Upon hearing the exchange…

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