The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ new ruling in Jafari v. The Old Dominion Transit Management Company, a/k/a The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC), settled confusion arising from a prior unpublished decision about whether an employee’s complaint to supervisors within his company is activity protected by the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had incorrectly relied upon Whitten v. City of Easely, 62 F. App’x 477
On November 28, 2011, a Maryland corporation called Systems Assessment and Research, Inc. (“SAR”) learned a (hard) valuable lesson about the consequences of over-drafting — or having typos in — contract provisions.  Perricci v. Systems Assessment and Research, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135985, involved an offer letter prepared by SAR to its potential employee.  The letter stated: “You may not terminate your employment with SAR Corp during your first year, or thereafter on less than
Does the failure to include instances of “nonverbal harassment” in an EEOC charge bar a plaintiff from asserting such harassment as a basis for a Title VII lawsuit?  So long as the nonverbal conduct is reasonably related to the claims actually set forth in the EEOC charge, the answer is probably “no.”  The difficulty, of course, is in determining whether the new allegations in the civil action are reasonably related to the claims contained in
The subject of workplace defamation is a hot topic in legal circles these days.  In a pair of recent decisions, local federal courts have helped define when negative statements about employees can create legal liability for employers.  The answer varies depending on whether an employer has investigated alleged employee misconduct, and to whom the statements are made. In the first case, Bates v. Strawbridge Studios, a Virginia federal court allowed two former employees to pursue a
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently taken the controversial position that certain written “at-will” employment disclaimers could be violating Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).  Specifically, the NLRB is taking aggressive steps to protect employees’ rights under Section 7 of the Act, which gives employees the right to engage in concerted activities in order to alter the terms or conditions of their employment.  The NLRB has recently claimed that these typical
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