It is infrequent that a losing plaintiff in a racial discrimination case is ordered to pay the legal fees incurred by the defendant, but it is an ever-present risk for plaintiffs who proceed to trial with very weak evidence of discrimination.  Forcing the plaintiff to pay the fees of the defendant is rare because it is typically limited to egregious circumstances.  However, a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia recently found the plaintiff’s continued
Low-value claims by employees against their former employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are sometimes more about the attorney’s fees for the employee’s lawyer and less about compensating the employee for the alleged injury.  Consider, for example, an FLSA claim asserted by a former employee seeking unpaid wages or overtime compensation in an amount less than $1,000.  If there is a significant risk that the employer may be found liable for that amount
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA, or the “Act”), eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period, without fear of losing their job.  If an employer violates its employee’s FMLA rights, the employee can usually sue the employer in federal court to recover monetary damages (including lost wages & benefits, liquidated damages, and possibly attorneys’ fees).  See 29 U.S.C. § 2617; 29 C.F.R. §825.400(c).
Most employers would not think that there is anything unlawful about telling their employees to refrain from making “offensive, demeaning, abusive or inappropriate remarks” in social media.  Similarly, most employers would think that instructing employees not to “reveal non-public company information on any public site” is a smart thing to do.  However, the National Labor Relations Board, in its most recent memo summarizing its recent social media cases, found these and other statements by employers to
Unlike Virginia, Maryland law allows courts in that state to “blue-pencil” or selectively delete terms in a non-compete to make it enforceable.  In a July 11, 2011 decision, however, the Maryland Federal Court blue-penciled a non-compete and still found that it was facially overbroad and unenforceable because it did not define “competitors”.  The case is SNS One, Inc. v. Hage, and concerned a non-compete clause that an IT government contractor, SNS One, Inc., made its employees
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