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Jan 30, 2023

Court tosses Title VII retaliation claim

A former investigator with a university’s office of equity and compliance saw her Title VII claim against the university dismissed by a federal court. The woman said the university retaliated against her after she claimed the school allegedly discriminated against a male student who said he was assaulted by his then-girlfriend. Senior Judge Norman K. […]

Jan 23, 2023

How employers can prepare for a possible non-compete ban

Employee non-compete agreements have faced mounting scrutiny in recent years. Proponents say non-competes are indispensable for protecting trade secrets and other business interests. Critics say they hurt employee mobility and wage growth. Now the federal government has stepped into the fray. On Jan. 5, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a new rule that would ban […]

Jan 21, 2023

Judgment denied to former hotel employees

Where two persons moved for summary judgment on their claims that they were unjustly and inappropriately terminated from their positions at a Martinsville hotel, but they relied only on unsupported, conclusory statements, their motion was denied. Background This dispute dates back to a business relationship that soured, ending in Patrick & Shirley Lattimore’s termination from […]

Jan 12, 2023

Lack of disputed facts doom due process claim

Where a probationary employee in the sheriff’s department argued he was entitled to a hearing after he was fired for falsifying official records, but also admitted that he did not accurately complete certain entries in his surveillance logs, and it was undisputed that he was terminated on that basis, there was no need for a […]

Employee packing up items on desk
Dec 26, 2022

4th Circuit applies private sector standard to federal workers

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has applied the private sector “materially adverse” standard for retaliatory conduct to reverse the dismissal of a federal employee’s race-based retaliation and harassment claims under Title VII. The court held that Title VII’s federal sector provision incorporated its private sector anti-retaliation provision. “Our examination of Title VII’s text [...]

Dec 21, 2022

Confidentiality order entered in retaliation suit

Where a doctor suing her former government contractor employer for retaliation argued the magistrate judge erred in adopting a confidentiality order that designated government confidential documents as confidential, her argument was rejected. A contract required the contractor to keep the documents confidential, and the doctor had previously leaked documents to the media. Background Dr. Karen [&he[...]

Dec 5, 2022

‘Safe harbor’ defense rejected in imprudent investment suit

Where an employee alleged her employer breached its fiduciary duty under ERISA by maintaining an allegedly imprudent investment option in its retirement plan, ERISA’s safe harbor did not apply to her decision to remain invested in that fund. The safe harbor does not shield a fiduciary from liability based on a decision to select and […]

Dec 5, 2022

Labor secretary’s TRO motion denied in FLSA case

Where the secretary of labor moved to prohibit goods made by employees who weren’t paid lawful wages from entering the stream of commerce, but the company had already ceased the offending conduct and needed time to retain counsel, the secretary’s motion for a temporary restraining order, or TRO, was denied. Background The Secretary of Labor […]

Nov 29, 2022

Underpayment of pension benefit claims dismissed

Where a former employee asserted claims based upon purported underpayment of pension benefits, they were dismissed. The breach of contract claim was preempted by ERISA, and the ERISA claims failed as a matter of law. Background Sylvia Moore was employed by defendant Verizon Communications Inc. from 1989 until 2017. Her complaint seems to allege a […]

Nov 29, 2022

Court won’t reconsider trade secret judgment

Where the court previously ruled that the employment agreement between an assistant professor and Eastern Virginia Medical School, or EVMS, precluded the professor from asserting a claim for misappropriation of the trade secret against EVMS, the professor’s motion for reconsideration was denied. The court refused to allow her to present new evidence in favor of […]

Nov 28, 2022

No treble damages under Overtime Wage Act

A demand for treble damages under the Virginia Overtime Wage Act was rejected after a federal judge found that recent amendments applied retroactively. Judge Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia limited the claimant’s relief to damages available under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. “The court finds that the changes to […]

Nov 22, 2022

Collective action approved in medical management OT suit

Where a medical management nurse showed that that she was similarly situated to other medical management nurses working at the defendant’s location, at a similar employment level and whose primary job duty was conducting medical necessity reviews, a collective action was approved. Background Winifred Midkiff seeks to represent a putative collective of medical management nurses […]

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