While somewhat rare, employers nonetheless wisely want to take every step they reasonably can to avoid being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for discrimination against employees in protected categories (age, race, sex, etc.). Once the EEOC has determined that reasonable cause exists that a discrimination claim is valid, Title VII, the federal anti-discrimination law, requires that the EEOC attempt conciliation before suing.


Several major employers have faced class action lawsuits based on the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), alleging the employers provided insufficient notice that they were going to obtain background checks on employees.  Lawsuits alleging FCRA violations have been brought against Bank of America, Dollar Tree, Michaels, Inc., and Whole Foods.

To avoid similar lawsuits, employers must take certain steps when obtaining a background check on an applicant or employee.


It’s that time of the year again…colleges are out for the summer and students are begging to be “hired” as interns.  Unfortunately for potential candidates and employers alike, class actions continue to be filed across the country.  A recent lawsuit filed in California against a California corporation, makes claims based on behalf of “all unpaid interns who were employed by the Defendants within the State of New York” any time within the last six years (the New York statute of limitations on most wage claims).  


In a lawsuit seeking overtime wages, a New York federal district court recently found that Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., has to turn over a report prepared by an outside human resources consultant.  Chipotle’s attorney reached out to an outside human resources consultant to seek an opinion as to the classification of certain employees.  Once the consultant had completed a review and prepared a report, the report was delivered to Chipotle’s attorneys.


The proposed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules I wrote about in the April 13, 2104 blog entry below are going into effect tomorrow, absent a last minute Court injunction.


Recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 6 to 3 decision that a former UPS worker’s lawsuit be reinstated where she alleged that when she was pregnant, UPS unlawfully forced her to take unpaid leave rather than give her light duty work assignments as her doctor recommended.  Peggy Young became pregnant during her tenure as a UPS delivery driver and was denied light duty during her pregnancy.  UPS had a policy whereby it only provided light duty to workers injured on the job, who had a condition covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or who lost their license to drive a


Many of us who are labor and employment attorneys and/or human resources professionals recall the prior law under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), whereby if the designation of the employee’s leave as pursuant to the FMLA was delayed, the employee became entitled to 12 additional weeks of  leave from the date of the notice.  Fortunately, the law has changed so that now, if the FMLA notice is given within a reasonable time following the beginning of the leave, the 12 week period may be retroactively started with the first day out of work.


Employment laws protect transgender people from discrimination and harassment.  Many employers may not know what to do if an employee tells his or her employer that he or she is transgender and will start dressing and identifying as a different gender in the workplace.  It is important to take some proactive steps to make sure the employee is comfortable during any transition and does not face discrimination due to his or her transgender status.  It is also important to prepare the employee’s co-workers and supervisors for the change. 


EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. is pending at the Supreme Court as I write this blog entry.  The question at issue is, under what circumstances must an employer, as a religious accommodation, grant an exception to its dress code for applicants who wear religious garb yet do not ask for an accommodation of the policy?


While restrictive covenants in employment agreements (typically non-compete and non-solicit clauses) remain difficult for employers to enforce, employers keep trying and some courts do enforce them in certain circumstances.  A recent decision from the New York State Appellate Division First Department considers many common non-compete/non-solicit clause issues.  Fewer v. GFI Grp. Inc. et al. stands for the following propositions: