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Defects in discharged prof’s briefings torpedo any revival of her sex bias, retaliation claims

September 1st, 2015

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
Warning that this is “another cautionary tale about the consequences of not properly responding to a motion for summary judgment,” the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a university professor’s Title VII claims for sex discrimination and retaliation as well as her claim under the Equal Pay Act. “A district court may [Read more...]

Text messages on private cell phone used for government business are public records

September 1st, 2015

By Cynthia L. Hackerott, J.D.
In a unanimous opinion, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that text messages sent and received by a public employee in the employee’s official capacity (i.e. to conduct government business) are public records of the employer under the Washington Public Records Act (WPRA), even if the employee uses a private cell phone. [Read more...]

NLRB reaffirms employers’ obligation to check off union dues after contract expires

September 1st, 2015

By Ronald Miller, J.D.
An employer acted unlawfully when it ceased checking off union dues after its contract with a union expired, ruled a five-member panel of the NLRB in a 3-2 decision. In reaching a contrary result, an administrative law judge applied the Board’s ruling in Bethlehem Steel and did not rely on WKYC-TV, Inc., [Read more...]

Two sexually themed texts, cold shoulder after complaint not hostile environment

August 30th, 2015

By Lorene D. Park, J.D.
An employee whose friendly relationship with a male coworker soured after she complained about two text messages he sent stating she should have “wild sex” with her husband while on vacation failed to show his texts and subsequent hostility were “based on sex” or were severe and pervasive enough to create [Read more...]

Threatened by coworker, then fired for absences, employee advances FMLA claims

August 30th, 2015

By Marjorie Johnson, J.D.
An employee who missed work due to an anxiety disorder caused by a coworker’s repeated threats of workplace violence (including putting a bullet with the employee’s initials on his desk), and was fired for unexcused absences despite providing medical documentation, stated plausible claims of FMLA retaliation and interference, a federal district court [Read more...]