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Race bias claims revived for driver fired for job abandonment after texting supervisor about illness

April 25th, 2019

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
The employee had presented sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of racial discrimination,including comparator evidence and pretext based on shifting reasons for his discharge.
Not only did the court below err in finding that a discharged African-American employee failed to establish an appropriate comparator—he produced evidence that a white coworker dealt [Read more...]

Though injured by hotel guest, housekeeper’s inability to meet minimum cleaning requirements defeats ADA claim

April 25th, 2019

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
Although it was undisputed for summary judgment purposes that an employee had an ADA-qualifying disability, she failed to show that she was a qualified individual, capable of performing the essential functions of the housekeeping position.
Cleaning 17 “room credits” per shift is an essential function of the Westin hotel housekeeping position, a federal [Read more...]

Disability bias claim of alcoholic police officer noncompliant with treatment plan fails

April 25th, 2019

By Joseph Arshawsky, J.D.
A police officer diagnosed as an alcoholic failed to show that he received harsher treatment than similarly situated officers, based on his contention that his employer treated employees not diagnosed as alcoholics with the option to return to work, yet it refused to provide him that opportunity.
A municipal employer provided a legitimate [Read more...]

Citing importance of ‘consent’, 5-4 High Court holds ambiguous contract can’t support class arbitration

April 24th, 2019

By Joy P. Waltemath, J.D.
Stressing the fundamental differences between individual and class arbitration under FAA preemption principles, the Court held that ambiguities in an arbitration agreement cannot provide the basis for finding the parties agreed to class arbitration.
Under the Federal Arbitration Act, an ambiguous agreement cannot provide the necessary contractual basis for concluding that parties [Read more...]

No revival of Title VII claim employee was fired for opposing discrimination based on her heterosexual orientation

April 24th, 2019

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
Title VII protects employees only from retaliation for complaining about the types of discrimination it prohibits, the appeals court, stated, finding the employee’s claim failed as a matter of law.
Reasserting its position that “Title VII in plain terms does not cover ‘sexual orientation,’” the Fifth Circuit refused to revive a discharged HR [Read more...]