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June 2016 Archives

Brown v. Smith, No. 15-1114 (7th Cir. June 28, 2016)

Here's a nice, short decision affirming a judgment of $25,200 in compensatory damages and $65,274.64 in back pay for an ADA plaintiff fired because of his insulin-dependent diabetes. The court underscores that the question of "essential function" under that statute is a factual one for a jury to resolve. And the court also holds that starting a business, even one that fails, is a valid method of mitigating damages.

Morris v. McCarthy, No. 14-5074 (D.C. Cir. June 14, 2016)

The D.C. Circuit, in a Title VII race-discrimination case, hands down a mixed decision for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee. It reverses summary judgment on her challenge of a suspension, holding that she was entitled to a trial where there was evidence that the lower-level decisionmaker who prompted the action made racially-biased remarks, especially one directed at the plaintiff. Yet it affirms dismissal of her termination claim, concluding that the plaintiff failed to exhaust the exacting administrative requirements that apply to federal-sector workers.

Illinois Attorney General Files Suit Against Jimmy John's

In a civil complaint filed June 8, 2016, the State of Illinois alleges that the sandwich chain Jimmy John's violated the state's Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, 815 ILCS 50511, et seq., by requiring its store employees to sign aggressive non-compete agreements.

Non-Compete Agreements: Bad for Employees, Bad for the Marketplace

This May, the Obama Administration released a report analyzing the use of non-compete agreements in the American economy, potential issues arising from such use, and the effectiveness of various state responses. This analysis suggests that the misuse of non-competes at various occupational levels places an unnecessary burden on employees, consumers, and the economy.

Seventh Circuit Finds Class Action Waivers Violate Federal Labor Law

Last week, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck a blow to employers that require their employees to waive their right to bring class and collective actions to remedy wage and hour violations, finding these waivers violate the National Labor Relations Act's right to engage in "concerted activities" to improve workplace conditions.

New York Attorney General Says Domino's Pizza Is "Joint Employer" in Wage Theft Scheme

A lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accuses Domino's Pizza of under-paying delivery workers and other forms of wage theft at ten locations across New York state. As a result, according to the lawsuit, restaurant workers have been shorted more than a half-million dollars in hard-earned pay.

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