The Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) was designed to address the disparity of resources between the government and a private party to a lawsuit. Its mandatory fee provision requires the government to bear the litigation costs of a prevailing defendant, evening out the playing field between small businesses and the federal government. However, in EEOC v. Great Steaks, Inc., 2012 U.S. App.  LEXIS 1430 (4th Cir. 2012), the Fourth Circuit took away this provision for
The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) makes it unlawful for an employer “to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge, . . . or otherwise to discriminate against any employee . . . because of genetic information with respect to the employee.”  The law defines such genetic information as including the genetic tests of family members of an individual.  Does this mean that an employee automatically has a viable lawsuit if he is
Employment arbitration agreements that bar employees from filing class actions against their employers, and instead require cases to be brought separately, violate federal labor law, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) held this month.  The decision is D.R. Horton, Inc. and Michael Cuda. 357 NLRB No. 184. In that case, Michael Cuda worked for D.R. Horton, Inc., a new home builder, as a supervisor for ten months. Two years after resigning, he filed an unfair labor practice charge
Under Federal law, an employer can be held liable for sexual harassment among co-employees, regardless of whether one has supervisory authority over the other. However, the employer will not be held liable if it promptly responds in a reasonable manner to stop the harassment. Additionally, to sustain a Title VII claim, the plaintiff must allege that the employer allowed harassment that was severe or pervasive. In Davis v. City of Charlottesville School Board, 2011 U.S. Dist.
While Virginia strongly adheres to the employment-at-will doctrine, many employers have worried that the Virginia Supreme Court’s recognition of a public policy exception to this doctrine would make employers vulnerable to a host of wrongful discharge claims.  However, a Federal Court has recently emphasized the narrowness of this public policy exception, refusing to expand its reach, even to a situation where the employer’s actions “offend[ed] the conscience of the Court.”  The case is Shomo v. Junior
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