Jump to Navigation

April 2011 Archives

EEOC v. Xerxes Corp., No. 10-1156 (4th Cir. Apr. 26, 2011)

Hats off to the EEOC for persuading the Fourth Circuit to remand, for a trial, a claim that a manufacturer did not act quickly enough in 2005-06 to protect African-American assembly plant employees from a racially hostile environment. The court affirms judgment for the employer, on the other hand, on claims after that period when the employer picked up the pace and started disciplining and (in one case) firing the offenders.

Dep't of Fair Employment and Housing v. Lucent Technologies, No. 09-15057 (9th Cir. Apr. 26, 2011)

Employment lawyers know that it is commonplace for national employers to remove private, state-law employment discrimination cases from state to federal court, whenever there are diversity-of-citizenship grounds to do so. Here's the next step - the Ninth Circuit (2-1) approves removal of a suit commenced by a state civil rights agency in state court, holding that it is the citizenship of the employee - the real party in interest - that counts for diversity purposes.

Templeton v. First Tennessee Bank, N.A., No. 10-1753 (4th Cir. Apr. 22, 2011)

On a Friday afternoon, the Fourth Circuit in an unpublished decision dispenses some quick justice for a Title VII retaliation plaintiff -- with an assist from the appellate division of the EEOC -- holding that the complaint-filing stage is too early to decide whether a plaintiff can prove causation between a protected activity (here, complaining to management about sex harassment) and an adverse action (the company allegedly refusing to rehire her two years later).

Crabill v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education, No. 10-1539 (4th Cir. Apr. 20, 2011)

It is a shame for the development of the law when useful opinions like this one go unpublished. A 2-1 panel of the Fourth Circuit wades into two EEO issues that divide the circuits, holding in this ADA case that  (1) appellate review of a district court order granting equitable tolling of the 90-day limitations period is only for abuse of discretion, not de novo; and (2) reasonable accommodation of an employee's disability may require advising the employee of available opportunities to transfer.

Mauerhan v. Wagner Corp., No. 09-4179 (10th Cir. Apr. 19, 2011)

One of the conundrums Congress left us in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act is how to draw the line between those "currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs," 42 U.S.C. § 12114(a) -- who are not protected from discrimination under the Act -- and those recovered or otherwise not "engaging" in such drug use under 42 U.S.C. § 12114(b). As the latest decision on this subject reveals, applying these sections to real-life facts is akin to nailing Jell-o to the wall.

Aguiar v. Bartlesville Care Center, No. 10-5002 (10th Cir. Apr. 18. 2011)

In an unpublished decision issued today, the Tenth Circuit remands for trial the Title VII claim of a fired certified medication aide (CMA), who alleged that she was sexually harassed by a resident. The panel holds that there were genuine issues of material fact about whether the behavior was "severe or pervasive," and whether the employer did all it reasonably could to prevent the harassing behavior.

Peabody v. Davis, No. 09-3428 (7th Cir. Apr. 12, 2011); George v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., No. 10-1469 (7th Cir. Apr. 11, 2011)

Feel that your retirement plan is ripping you off, either wholesale or nickels at a time? Two back-to-back decisions from the Seventh Circuit involving breach of fiduciary duty claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) hold that there might be a remedy under Section 502(a)(2) of that statute.

McInerney v. United Air Lines, Inc., No. 09-1423 (10th Cir. Apr. 11, 2011)

A split jury verdict, of a kind now common in Title VII cases, is affirmed in full (in a non-precedential decision) by a 2-1 panel of the Tenth Circuit. The jury rejected the employee's gender discrimination claim, while awarding her $3 million in compensatory damages on her retaliation claim. The district court capped the award at $300,000, as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1981a(b)(3), but added $89,877 in back pay, and the Tenth Circuit remands for an award of attorneys' fees.

Radentz v. Marion County, No. 10-1523 (7th Cir. Apr. 5, 2011)

Courts have applied the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting method of proof to Title VII, § 1983 and other discrimination cases countless times since its inception in the 1970s. The test classically allows employees who lack direct proof that their employers discriminated against them to raise an inference of discrimination, indirectly, by disproving the other lawful reasons that the employer might have had for its decision. Many courts get this test wrong, but here the Seventh Circuit gets it on the nose and - as a bonus - corrects the district court's application of the "stray remarks" rule and the "same actor" inference.

Groesch v. City of Springfield, No. 07-2932 (7th Cir. Mar. 28, 2011)

This author is pleased to announce the return of Daily Developments in EEO Law to its new platform. I will continue to report on the comings-and-goings of federal equal employment opportunity law in this space - concentrating, as before, on developments in the U.S. Courts of Appeals - and will be joined before very long by other, extraordinary attorneys from Outten & Golden LLP, contributing in their areas of expertise.

Hoyle v. Freightliner, LLC, No. 09-2024 (4th Cir. Apr. 1, 2011)

From the Fourth Circuit, here's a decision reminding district courts that the summary judgment standard allows all employment discrimination cases - the weak with the strong - to go to trial, provided that there are genuine issues of material fact for a jury or bench trial to resolve. Here, the panel finds that the district court read too much into the Fourth Circuit's Title VII precedent on sex harassment, and that the degree of severe-or-pervasive behavior is quite often a fact issue suited to a trial. (And the plaintiff, helpfully, got an assist here from the Appellate Division of the EEOC as amicus.)

subscribe to this blog's feed subscribe to this blog's feed

tell us about your case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

facebook twitter linked in

our office locations

Outten & Golden LLP
685 Third Avenue, 25th Floor  
New York, NY 10017  
Phone: 212-245-1000
Map and Directions

Outten & Golden LLP
161 North Clark Street
Suite 1600
Chicago, Il 60601  
Phone: 312-809-7010
Map and Directions

Outten & Golden LLP
One California Street, 12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-638-8800
Map and Directions

Outten & Golden LLP
601 Massachussetts Avenue NW
Second Floor West Suite 200W
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-847-4400
Map and Directions