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Green v. Brennan, No. 14-613 (U.S. S. Ct. May 23, 2016)

In the Supreme Court's only substantive Title VII case this term, the six-justice majority takes a plaintiff-friendly view of when a claim for constructive discharge accrues - on the date that the employee declares his resignation - while Justice Alito's special concurrence and Justice Thomas's dissent would start the limitations clock with the last discriminatory event. The court also dispenses with the requirement (imposed by some courts) that hostile working conditions be created by the employer with the intent of making the employee resign.

Hollywood Is Taking the Lead Role in Spotlighting Equal Pay Issues for Women

In a move fitting of her determined "House of Cards" character, actress Robin Wright demanded that she be paid the same salary as her co-star Kevin Spacey - or else she would go public with news of the disparity. Ms. Wright revealed the details of her ultimatum during a Rockefeller Foundation event on Tuesday, later reported by the Huffington Post.

The New "Defend Trade Secrets Act"

President Obama has now signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which takes effect immediately and represents a significant change in the way trade secret disputes are likely to be resolved in the United States. The law also extends new whistleblower protections to employees.

New federal overtime rules: "Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees"

The White House today issued a blockbuster set of changes to the overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) that will allow far more middle-class workers to earn time-and-a-half. The Final Rule doubles the standard salary floor for exempt workers, establishes automatic increases of that floor every three years, and sets a higher salary threshold for "highly compensated individuals" who are generally exempt under the 2004 rules.

Olivares v. Brentwood Indus., No. 15-2674 (8th Cir. May 13, 2016)

The Eighth Circuit today issued a short, cautionary opinion for plaintiffs who seek reinstatement (or front pay) in a discrimination case. Here, the employer - which the jury found liable for violating the employee's Title VII rights - escaped all but $1 of damages, where the district court found that reinstatement was not practical, and that the employee failed to make a strong enough case for front pay.

Legg v. Ulster County, No. 14-3636 (2d Cir. Apr. 26, 2016); Cooper v. N.Y. State Dep't of Labor, No. 15-3392 (2d Cir. Apr. 26, 2016)

Today's Two-fer Tuesday in the Second Circuit: a pregnancy discrimination case is returned for retrial, in light of the intervening decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1338 (2015); and a panel holds that a state human-resource professional's opposition to changes in the EEO complaint-reporting procedures is not a "protected activity" under Title VII.

Szeinbach v. The Ohio State Univ., No. 15-3016 (6th Cir. Apr. 20, 2016)

The Sixth Circuit holds, in an opinion that potentially expands remedies for Title VII claimants, that a back-pay award may include amounts that an employee could have earned from alternative employment, had the employer not engaged in discrimination or retaliation. Nonetheless, the court holds that the employee in this particular case failed to prove that she suffered such damages.

EEOC v. Rite Way Service, Inc., No. 15-60380 (5th Cir. Apr. 8, 2016)

The Fifth Circuit affirms that an employee interviewed as part of a company's internal investigation into sex harassment complaints is protected under the "opposition" prong of the anti-retaliation section of Title VII. Yet it also holds that the witness must manifest at least a "reasonable belief" that what she witnessed rose to a violation of that act.

U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM DEMANDS EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK

Last week, the U.S. women's national soccer team (USWNT), represented by five of its top players, filed a complaint of wage discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging that U.S. Soccer players on the men's national team are paid as much as four times that of their female counterparts on the women's national team.

Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, et al., No. 15-888-cv (2d Cir. Mar. 17, 2016)

The Second Circuit, in reviving plaintiff Cathleen Graziadio's Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference and retaliation claims, reminds employers that they share responsibility with employees to comply with FMLA requirements, and cannot place the burden entirely on the employee or, as the panel here admonished, fail to cooperate with the employee altogether. 

The panel also explicitly adopts two important standards for family responsibilities-related claims.  First, the panel formally adopts the five-part framework long used in the Second Circuit for proving interference claims.  The panel also adopts a framework for analyzing associational discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and in doing so, adopts the Seventh Circuit's narrow view on what constitutes actionable conduct.

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