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Massachusetts state employee improperly terminated for taking fishing trip to Mexico while on FMLA leave

June 10th, 2019

By Harold S. Berman J.D.
A Massachusetts state employee terminated after vacationing in Mexico while on FMLA leave was entitled to a nearly $1.3 million award. The jury found the state agency’s conduct to be outrageous, and the trial court did not err in its jury instructions.
A manager for a state agency who was terminated after [Read more...]

Giving the executive exemption its ‘fair reading,’ court holds battalion chiefs are FLSA-exempt

June 7th, 2019

By Harold S. Berman J.D. and Lisa Milam, J.D.
Battalion chiefs who primarily perform managerial functions satisfied the FLSA’s executive exemption. The appeals court rejected their plea that, despite the Supreme Court’s contrary holding, exemptions generally are to be narrowly construed.
A city fire department had no obligation to pay two battalion chiefs overtime for their standby [Read more...]

Employer’s state court lawsuit against discharged transgender employee may be retaliatory

June 7th, 2019

By Victoria Moran, J.D.
While the employer claimed its former employee breached a settlement agreement, she provided sufficient circumstantial evidence that it filed a state court action against her based on retaliatory intent.
In litigation related to a previously settled discrimination suit between a transgender employee and her former employer, a federal court in Illinois denied cross [Read more...]

Requiring notice to HR in addition to manager improperly imposed heightened FMLA leave notice burden

June 7th, 2019

By Nicole D. Prysby, J.D.
The employee contacted her manager but did not contact HR, as the employer’s FMLA policy required. However, employees weren’t required to contact HR for any other type of leave, so the employer could not refuse FMLA leave on that basis.
A Burger King franchise unlawfully interfered with an employee’s FMLA rights when [Read more...]

Agreement requiring employee, but not employer, to arbitrate is enforceable

June 7th, 2019

By Brandi O. Brown, J.D.
In the Third Circuit, such agreements are not deemed substantively unconscionable so long as the agreement does not alter the rights or remedies available to the employee in arbitration.
Compelling an employee to arbitrate his disability and age discrimination suit based on his signed agreement to arbitrate, a federal court in Pennsylvania [Read more...]