Category Archives: Legal

Victories for Employers at the Supreme Court Level, cont.

On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court, in the second big win for employers, clarified what standard employees must meet to successfully pursue a retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. No longer will employees be able to prevail on retaliation claims just by demonstrating that retaliation was a “motivating factor” in an employer’s adverse employment action towards the employee. The case decided was styled University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar. The plaintiff, Nassar, was hired by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (“UTSW”), but resigned after one of his supervisors allegedly made remarks about his productivity and national origin.  He then sought a job at another hospital, but that hospital withdrew its job offer to Nassar after one of his former UTSW supervisors opposed the hire.  Nassar then sued UTSW, alleging discrimination and retaliation. A jury found for Nassar on both claims, but UTSW appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...
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Victories for Employers at the Supreme Court Level

The United States Supreme Court just issued two very important employment-related rulings and both of the decisions are big wins for employers. Today, let’s take a look at the first case:Vance v. Ball State University (decided June 24, 2013)which centered on employers’ liability for workplace harassment. The Supreme Court held many years ago that, under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, employers can be held liable for the acts of “supervisors” who harass subordinate employees.  When the harassment culminates in a tangible employment action (hiring, firing, promotion, etc.), strict liability is the standard.  When a tangible employment action is not involved, there is still a presumption that the employer is liable for the “supervisors” harassing actions that can only be disproved by showing that (1) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct any harassing behavior and (2) that the plaintiff unreasonably failed to take advantage of the preventive or corrective opportunities that the employer provided.  In...
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Notices Required by the Affordable Care Act by October 2013

By October 1, 2013, employers must provide current employees and new hires with notices concerning health insurance and state exchanges created pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). These notices are required by section 18B of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), an amendment created by the ACA. Originally, the employer notification was to occur by March 1, 2013, but the deadline was delayed. On May 8, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Technical Release No. 2013-02, which announced the long-awaited instruction and contained a Model Notice to Employees of Coverage Options. Employers subject to FLSA must distribute the notice to current employees no later than October 1, 2013.  New employees must be given the notice at the time of hire beginning October 1, 2013.  For 2014, the DOL will consider a notice to be provided at the time of hire if it is provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date. The notice is applicable to...
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