Investigations and Litigation items

  • New York Federal Court Rules Hyperlinks to a Reliable Source May Be a Defense to Defamation Claims

    Date:
    07 November 2013

    A New York federal court has ruled that employers may have a defense to defamation claims when their employees include hyperlinks to reliable sources in their social media posts. The ruling is significant for employers given the increasing use of social media in the workplace, particularly where employees use social media at the direction of employers or within the scope of their employment.

  • New Podcast Examines Key Supreme Court Wins for Employers

    Date:
    27 September 2013

    While the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act has drawn the most attention, other key opinions from the 2012-2013 term also affect HR. In a new podcast, our editorial team examines a pair of wins for employers in cases involving Title VII of the Civil Rights Act--Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar and Vance v. Ball State - plus much more.

  • Florida Court Ruling Highlights Importance of Specific Terminology in Arbitration Agreements

    Date:
    23 September 2013

    A Florida appeals court held that specific language in an arbitration agreement meant that the employer could arbitrate a workers' compensation retaliation claim, while preserving an exception the employer created to avoid arbitrating workers' compensation benefits claims.

  • Oklahoma Federal Court Rules Invasion of Privacy Sufficient for Employee Emotional Distress Claims

    Date:
    19 September 2013

    Employees may be successful in claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), a common way to boost the stakes in litigation, if employers intentionally invaded their privacy.

  • EEOC Discusses Factors for Determining Partner-Employee Status Under EEO Laws

    Date:
    28 August 2013

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released two informal discussion letters regarding partner-employee coverage under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Employers should note that enforcement agencies and the courts do not rely blindly on internal labels, job titles or ownership interests when making a determination regarding coverage under equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws.

  • Paula Deen Ruling Shows Limits of 'Zone of Interest' Employment Discrimination Claims

    Date:
    27 August 2013

    As the recent dismissal of the race discrimination claim against celebrity chef Paula Deen illustrates, employees who are not directly affected by unlawful racial discrimination may not sue under federal antidiscrimination laws to remedy racial discrimination directed toward third parties.

  • Supreme Court Rules Class Action Waivers Are Valid and Enforceable

    Date:
    25 June 2013

    A divided Supreme Court ruled that class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable, even if the cost of prevailing in individual arbitration claims is high. Employers should consider using arbitration agreements as a cost-saving measure and should consider including class action waivers in their arbitration agreements as a means to prevent employees from banding together to pursue their claims.

  • Update: $240 Million Verdict Against Hill County Farms Reduced to $3.4 Million

    Date:
    19 June 2013

    A $240 million jury verdict for the EEOC - the highest verdict in EEOC history - against Hill County Farms d/b/a Henry's Turkey Service, for severe discrimination and harassment against intellectually disabled plant workers in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, has been reduced to $3.4 million.

  • Employers Should Review Arbitration Agreements in Wake of New Supreme Court Ruling

    Date:
    18 June 2013

    The Supreme Court held that arbitrators - not courts - may have the last word on the question of class arbitration, opening the door to more class arbitration in the employment context. Employers should review their arbitration agreements to determine if they are specific and clear about their intentions, including, but not limited to the question of class arbitration.

  • 2nd Circuit Relaxes Standard for New York City Discrimination Claims

    Date:
    14 June 2013

    The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently relaxed the standard for evaluating violations of the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), opening the door for more NYCHRL claims. Employers in NYC must be extra-vigilant in preventing and responding to incidents of workplace discrimination.

About this category

News: HR guidance on the importance of conducting thorough and objective investigations as a tool to guard against and/or defeat litigation.