Legal

The Case of the Vanishing Stock Option

The enforceability of noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements is governed by state law; each state has its own legal standard.

Donald Simota joined Stericycle Inc. to become its operations manager. He signed a noncompetition agreement that provided an option to purchase shares of Stericycle’s common stock, an option that would vest after a period of time. Thirteen months later, Simota resigned from Stericycle and joined its competitor, Patriot Environmental Services. Stericycle sued Simota under the agreement he signed. Simota filed…

Tattoos at Work: More Acceptance, Yet Still Some Legal Risk

While employers do have discretion in hiring or firing because of tattoos, they must be careful to ensure that such actions are grounded in a legitimate business reason.

While employers do have discretion in hiring or firing because of tattoos, they must be careful to ensure that such actions are grounded in a legitimate business reason.

6th Circuit Concludes That Title VII Prohibits LGBT Discrimination

A growing number of federal appellate courts are deciding that Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination expressly covers LGBT employees. This is just the latest.

Yesterday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals joined a growing number of federal appellate courts to hold that Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination expressly covers LGBT employees.

A Lesson on How to Terminate an Employee, Courtesy of David Brent

If you have previously communicated to an employee documented performance issues, there is no point in rehashing them at termination.

In my opinion, the original British version of The Office is far superior to its American counterpart, in large part because David Brent is so much more cringe-worthy than Michael Scott. I thought I’d start the week off with a little humor (and a little lesson), care of David Brent, via one of the most awkward employee terminations ever. This meeting violates one…

Court Holds That Title VII Expressly Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination as Sex Discrimination

I still wait for the day when we finally have national uniformity on this important civil rights issue.

The 2nd Circuit federal court of appeals (which covers New York, Connecticut, and Vermont) on Feb. 26 held that “Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as discrimination ‘because of … sex.’ ” With its decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express , the 2nd Circuit joins the 7th Circuit and the EEOC in interpreting Title VII as such. My thoughts on this issue are well…

‘Exhibit A’ for What’s Wrong With the Fair Labor Standards Act

The FLSA is broken and needs to be fixed. A great place to start is reinvesting that money back into education so that employers can begin to better understand their compliance obligations. 

Consider this scenario. Employer and Employee have a good-faith dispute over whether Employer owes Employee for unpaid overtime for time Employee spent traveling. Employee sues. Court awards Employee $608.08 for unpaid overtime (doubled to $1,216.16 as liquidated damages). So far, this all seems kosher. Then, however, Employee files his petition for attorneys’ fees. $141,236.50 in attorneys’ fees. Ultimately, the court reduced…

What Is Your Profession Doing to Combat Harassment? Mine Appears to be Doing a Lot

Are you part of the harassment solution or part of the harassment problem?

The policy-making body of the American Bar Association has adopted a formal resolution that urges legal employers to prohibit, prevent, and promptly redress sexual harassment and retaliation claims. Moreover, to make sure that law-firm leaders are paying close enough attention, Resolution 302  also urges that firms adopt measures to ensure that the heads of law firms are informed of the financial…

Happy 25th FMLA … and Happy #SuperSickMonday

Congress and the White House must do more to protect the sanctity of the family by looking at reasonable expansions to the FMLA to offer greater protections to workers who need time off from work.

Last night, my Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl. Today, the FMLA turns 25. Over the past 25 years, it is estimated that employees have used the Family Medical and Leave Act over 200 million times to take job-protected, unpaid time off work to address their own serious medical condition or care for a family member. And yet, in those…

ADA Doesn’t Guarantee More Leave Beyond FMLA

The 7th Circuit Court held that the company did not violate the ADA by denying an employee additional time off after he exhausted his FMLA leave.

For seven years, Raymond Severson worked as a fabricator of retail display fixtures, a physically demanding job, for Heartland Woodcraft Inc. At the end of a 12-week leave under the FMLA to deal with back pain Severson underwent surgery, which required that he take an additional two to three months off from his job to recover. Heartland denied Severson’s request…

A Fowl Plea for Emotional Support: ‘Can I Bring My Peacock to Work?’

The ADA makes no reasonable accommodation allowance for 'emotional support animals' of any species and of any size. Period.

United Airlines has blocked a customer from bringing her “emotional support peacock” on a recent flight. Truth be told, whether it was a large peacock, or a small parakeet, or a dog, or any other animal labeled “emotional support,” the airline acted well within its rights, whether dealing with a customer or an employee. The ADA makes no reasonable accommodation…