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Oct 28, 2021

Employees awarded wages for WARN act violation

Where a compressor manufacturer violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) act, its employees are awarded compensation for each working day of the violation period. Background In this class action alleging violations of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, act, following this court’s resolution of several motions for summary judgment, counsel for [&h[...]

Oct 28, 2021

Conditional certification granted in unpaid wage case

Where the complaint and record alleged that a manufacturer of agricultural, construction and energy products had a company-wide policy of not paying its employees for pre-shift activities or for overtime, a class is conditionally certified. Background Defendants manufacture and assemble products for use in agricultural, construction, energy and mining industries. Charlie Stacy and Clifford Allen [[...]

Oct 28, 2021

Bad economy not cause to withhold deferred compensation

Where a furniture company claimed the economic downtown allowed it to suspend payment of deferred compensation to executives, that argument fails. Neither the plan documents nor the impossibility doctrine allowed the suspension of payments based on a poor economy. Background Several decades ago, Stanley Furniture Company LLC, or SFC, allowed executives to defer compensation until […]

Oct 28, 2021

Civil engineering firm responsible for $2 million bridge repair bill

Where a civil engineering company challenged a jury verdict holding it liable for the costs incurred in tearing down and rebuilding an improperly constructed bridge, the company failed to show the verdict was against the weight of the evidence, the damages were unsupported, the jury instructions were improper or interest was improperly calculated. Background On […]

Oct 25, 2021

Punitive damages claim survives demurrers

A claim for punitive damages in a wrongful termination case is allowed to proceed after surviving demurrers from the defendant employer. An additional claim by the plaintiff for attorney fees was not allowed to proceed after the defendant’s demurrer was sustained. The decision on three demurrers filed by the defendant employer came in an Oct. […]

Oct 19, 2021

Punitive damages available in public policy discharge case

Where plaintiff alleges that he was fired after he complained to defendant employer that he was not being timely paid, he has stated a claim for discharge in violation of public policy. Further, defendant’s demurrer to plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages is overruled. However, the demurrer to plaintiff’s attorney fees claim is sustained. Case goes […]

Oct 14, 2021

Fire chief’s email stigmatized fired employee

Where the Henrico fire chief sent an email stating the plaintiff was fired because she “admitted to being dishonest during the investigation,” “made other statements that confirmed she violated the public trust and her oath of office” and “tarnished the reputation of this organization,” those statements were sufficiently stigmatizing to support a due process claim. […]

Oct 11, 2021

Jury to decide if termination because of protected speech

Where the director of the Pittsylvania County Department of Social Services, or DSS, was terminated 15 days after she gave a speech that criticized the DSS board, a jury will decide whether the speech was the but-for cause of her termination. Background After the DSS board voted to remove her as DSS director, Sherry Roberts […]

Oct 11, 2021

No breach of loyalty in Army contract case

Employees who took advantage of a shift in a U.S. Army contract to form their own company and compete with their former employer did not violate their duty of loyalty to that employer, an Alexandria federal magistrate judge has ruled. The decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff reaffirms that employers may not have […]

Oct 11, 2021

Former DSS director advances wrongful termination claim

A former Department of Social Services (DSS) director can move forward on her First Amendment retaliation and wrongful termination claim against a member of the DSS Board and County Board of Supervisors, a federal court judge has ruled. But U.S. District Court Judge Thomas T. Cullen rejected the fired employee’s §1983 due process claim, ruling […]

Oct 11, 2021

Sexual harassment prevention training that actually works

It seems like every few weeks a new sexual harassment scandal explodes across the headlines. In most cases, salacious allegations involve powerful politicians or well-known executives who often end up resigning in shame. In a futile attempt to defend themselves, these men (yes, they are most often men) often attempt to excuse their behavior by […]

Sep 27, 2021

Claim rejected — Judge: No ‘Bowman’ action for safety-claim retaliation

A Richmond federal judge has rejected a state-law wrongful termination claim based on alleged retaliation against an employee who reported safety and health violations. The Bowman claim fizzled because the state code already provides a “extensive statutory remedy” that precludes a common law action for retaliatory firing, U.S. District Judge David J. Novak reasoned. Novak […]

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