Author: Michael C. Jacobson
Developments in Illinois, Texas and the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) are significant for HR professionals whose companies face pending employment litigation claims.
Employers can use XpertHR and its continually updated content to strengthen their positions in litigation against large classes of plaintiffs, utilize arbitration agreements to force disputes into arbitration rather than state or federal court and to better understand the "attorney-client privilege," together with the types of materials and exchanges that are and are not protected by the privilege.
- In EEOC v. DHL Express, +2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155722 (N.D.I. 2012) a federal court applying Illinois law ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which was prosecuting racial discrimination on behalf of 94 employees, had to produce each individual employee for a deposition. This ruling strengthens the employer's position in class action lawsuits by enabling employers to collect testimonial evidence from each employee who claims discrimination.
- In In re USA Waste Management Resources, L.L.C., +2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 9152 (Tx. Ct. App. 2012) a Texas state court ruled that an ex-employee's conversations with in-house counsel are protected if certain conditions are met. This is important to understand for Texas employers but may also be relevant for employers nationwide that are interested in protecting private conversations between employees and attorneys from becoming "discoverable" during litigation.
- In Nitro-Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v. Eddie Lee Howard, +2012 U.S. LEXIS 8897 (2012) the SCOTUS ruled that valid, enforceable arbitration agreements may trump conflicting state law. This ruling strengthens the employer's directive to push disputes into arbitration as a time and cost-saving measure, even if certain terms of the arbitration agreement may otherwise violate state law.