Monday, November 14, 2011

Employment Case Law Update


--Overly v KeyBank Nat’l Ass’n, 7thCir, November 10, 2011, Case No. 10-2705: Employer-defendant's motion for summary judgment, granted by lower court, on plaintiff's gender discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment because of gender AFFIRMED.  The facts in this case are not incredibly outrageous and it's fairly obvious to see why the 7th Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the employer but it also is easy to see why the plaintiff filed the claims she did.  Often times there is unprofessional and inexcusable conduct engaged in by the employer against an employee based on the EE's sex but court's simply consider some statements "stray remarks" or not "passing muster."  

--Bayer v Neiman Marcus Holdings, Inc, NDCal, November 8, 2011, Case No. CV 11-3705 MEJ:  Employer sought to have plaintiff's disability discrimination claim dismissed and arbitration compelled DENIED.  Although the terms of an arbitration agreement stated that continued employment constituted consent, an employee’s express rejection of the agreement, which required written acknowledgment, was sufficient to document his refusal to consent to the agreement, so an employer could not compel the employee to arbitrate a disability claim.  Instead of signing the agreement, the employee forwarded his refusal and rejection of the agreement on several occasions. Employers, therefore, should be wary of a conflict between provisions in agreements that can undermine a showing of consent.

--McIntire v Keystone RV Co, NDInd, November 9, 2011, Case No. 3:10-CV-508:  Defendant's motion to dismiss DENIED.  Plaintiff filed a claim of race and religious discrimination when employer began hiring amish employees over non-amish and fired him and hired an amish employee.  The defendant motioned to dismissed claiming that being “non-Amish” is not a category protected by Title VII.  Because this is a religious discrimination claim based on the employee NOT holding the same belief as the employer, the court properly noted that a more relaxed standard is applied in denying the employer's motion to dismiss.

--Howard v Penn Dept of Pub Welfare, EDPa, November 3, 2011, Case No. 11-1938:  Defendant's motion for summary judgment GRANTED in part, DENIED in part.  An employee’s FMLA claims survived an employer’s motion to dismiss where the employer demanded that she return to work or face discipline, refused to let her return, and then issued a second demand that she return.

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