On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated ruling in the case of United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013). In its 5-4 decision, the Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional as a deprivation of equal liberty for same-sex married couples under the Fifth Amendment.
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Claims of age discrimination under Ohio law are governed by the so-called Coryell test, under which a plaintiff must prove that 1) he or she was old enough to be a member of the statutorily protected class, 2) he or she was discharged, 3) he or she was qualified for the position, and 4) he or she was replaced by, or his or her discharge permitted the retention of, a substantially younger person. Coryell v. Bank One Trust Co., N.A., 101 Ohio St.3d 175 (Ohio 2004). The Fifth District Court of Appeals in Stark County recently affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to an employer who argued that a fired employee was not actually “replaced” simply because some of his duties had been assumed by a younger employee. Continue reading
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and New York minimum-wage laws by not paying interns who worked on production of the 2010 movie Black Swan. Continue reading
In a recent unanimous decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit became the second appellate court to reject the National Labor Relation Board’s (“NLRB”) notice posting requirement, under which employers had to display a poster informing employees of their rights to organize a union; form, join, or assist a union; bargain collectively through representatives; discuss wages, benefits, and union organizing; take action with others regarding working conditions; strike or picket; or choose not to engage in any of these activities. The court held that the notice fell outside the scope of the NLRB’s authority in that it affirmatively required employers to educate employees about federal employment law. Continue reading
Despite the increasingly widespread use of texting as a form of communication in the workplace, its use calls for caution in certain situations. For instance, the Fifth Circuit recently held that a text message an employee sent to her supervisor requesting an evening off of work because her father was in the emergency room was not sufficient to put the employer on notice that the employee intended to take FMLA leave. Lanier v. Univ. of Texas Southwestern Med. Ctr., 5th Cir. No. 12-10928, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 11836 (June 12, 2013). Continue reading
The Supreme Court of Ohio recently held that, a psychiatric condition must be causally related to the claimant’s compensable physical injury that was received, or arose out of the course of employment to be covered by workers’ compensation law. The case was called Armstrong v. John R. Jurgenson Co.
Last week, the Sixth Circuit held that Cleveland’s mandatory retirement ordinance for police officers was “not a subterfuge” meant to circumvent the Age Discrimination in Employment Act’s requirements, and additionally that forced-out Cleveland police officers had no 14th Amendment claim. Sadie v. Cleveland, 6th Cir., No. 12-3142 (June 11, 2013).
In Sadie, five former Cleveland police officers brought suit under the ADEA and the 14th Amendment against the city of Cleveland and three city officials. Pursuant to a Cleveland local ordinance, the mandatory retirement age of police officers is set at 65. Up until 2010, however, no officer had been denied working beyond the age of 65 upon the passing of a medical exam. Yet, all officers age 65 and over were denied an extension in 2010 and were forced to turn in their badges. The officers argued that the city’s actions showed discriminatory animus and an express preference for younger workers.
The Court of Appeals for Hamilton County recently dismissed a plaintiff’s sex discrimination hostile work environment claim because the plaintiff had voluntarily returned to her job after quitting it. Garrison v. Nippert, et al., Hamilton App. No. C-120384, 2013-Ohio-1965 (May 15, 2013).
Plaintiff Garrison alleged that immediately upon beginning her employment with Defendant Nippert, she was subjected to repeated sexual harassment — lewd sexual remarks and unwanted touching. Ultimately reaching her “breaking point,” the plaintiff resigned. However, weeks later, the plaintiff returned to work for Defendant Nippert because she was “desperate for money.”
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The District Court for the Southern District of Ohio recently ruled that two African-American plaintiffs stated legally sufficient disparate impact race discrimination claims based upon their terminations pursuant to the defendant School District’s implementation of statutorily-mandated criminal background checks. Waldon v. Cincinnati Public Schools, No. 1:12-CV-00677 (S.D. Ohio, April 24, 2013).
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The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday issued a ruling striking down the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) notice of employee rights posting requirement in its entirety. This ruling impacts over 6,000,000 employers nationwide which would have been subject to the posting requirement.