Monday, July 25, 2011

Employment Case Law Update

--Benuzzi v Board of Educ of the City of Chicago, 7thCir, July 21, 2011: Plaintiff's retaliation claim allowed to advance by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit because it was a jury question whether the disciplinary notice and hours restriction memorandum she received the day after she gave her deposition in her underlying sex discrimination case were materially adverse, and the short time span between the events could reasonably infer they were linked. Plaintiff's sex discrimination claims dismissal affirmed.

--Dorward v Macy’s Inc, MDFla, July 20, 2011: An employer’s alleged breach of an employment contract containing an arbitration agreement did not foreclose enforcing arbitration against an employee, ruled a federal district court in Florida, in spite of her laundry list of reasons for why she should not be compelled to arbitrate her Title VII claims. The employee assented to arbitration by declining to send in an opt-out form that was provided with other new-hire materials. Also, the agreement did not violate public policy, and it was not unconscionable because it was voluntary, afforded all rights available in court, and imposed no substantial costs on the employee.

--Basden v Professional Transp, Inc, SDInd, July 19, 2011: Defendant's motion for summary judgment against plaintiff's ADA and FMLA claims GRANTED. This case presents a quintessential example of the difficult balance between an employee with a disability who requires absence from work frequently and the employer's interest in having employees who can reliably be present to complete work. A dispatcher who was terminated after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis failed in asserting claims under the ADA that her employer did not reasonably accommodate her disability and that it terminated her employment because of her disability or in retaliation for seeking accommodation. There was no evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that she was a qualified individual with a disability at the time of her termination, the court found, adding that because only qualified individuals with disabilities are entitled to the protections offered by the ADA, the employer was entitled to summary judgment on her claims.
Dismissing the plaintiff's FMLA claim was easier to rule on because the employee had not been employed for 12 months at the time of her termination, she could not satisfy the first element; she was not eligible for FMLA protection and, therefore, she had no rights under the FMLA.

--Louis v Sun Edison, LLC, DMd, July 15, 2011: Defendant's motion for summary judgement on plaintiff's sex discrimination GRANTED. Plaintiff's retaliation and sexual harassment claims allowed to proceed. District court held the employer’s alleged “honest belief” that she was lying and filing false charges could be considered by a jury to be a pretextual considering the one-sided nature of the investigation into her complaint.

No comments:

Post a Comment