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Egregious examples of workplace harassment and discrimination often generate headlines, but more often there is a gray area of behavior that leaves workers and businesses alike wondering if a line has been crossed that will lead to litigation. Here, attorneys offer five examples of seemingly benign workplace behavior that can in fact be legally problematic.
As companies continue to bolster their sexual harassment policies in the wake of #MeToo, some new efforts may be creating unintended legal pitfalls that must be weighed carefully, experts said on Monday at a New York City Bar panel on sexual harassment.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a Christian baker who refused to bake a custom wedding cake ordered from a same-sex couple in a high-profile LGBT rights case involving the state of Colorado, though it largely ducked the core constitutional questions in the case.
A group of jurists and senior administrators from the federal courts on Monday released its findings into the judiciary’s procedures for handling workplace harassment complaints, recommending several reforms to the courts’ policies, including changing codes of conduct to emphasize judges’ special responsibility for ensuring that the courts are a safe and civil place to work.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away three employment-related cases, including an appeal of a Ninth Circuit decision affirming Comcast’s win in a race and national origin bias suit in which the company claimed it fired a Filipino technician for napping on the job.
Private-sector employees have not typically enjoyed a right to free speech at the workplace, but National Football League players who try to challenge the league’s new policy requiring them to stand during the national anthem may have a legitimate basis to seek First Amendment protection for their right to protest racial injustice, experts say.
High-earning lawyers and accountants may have been barred from taking advantage of a 20 percent tax deduction in the new federal tax law, but this hasn’t stopped firms from exploring ways to qualify for the break. Here, experts share strategies that may be available to law firms to take advantage of the new tax law’s provisions.
The University of Southern California failed to protect female students from a sexually abusive staff gynecologist who potentially molested thousands of women, according to a new class action suit filed Monday by 14 anonymous and one named former student in California federal court.
A California state judge has denied Tesla’s bid to send to arbitration a proposed class suit alleging it tolerated harassment toward black workers at its Alameda, California, plant, ruling the electric-car maker can’t enforce a contract the accuser never signed.
An Illinois federal judge handed United Airlines and the international pilots union a quick win Monday over older pilot instructors’ claims that an agreement the airline entered when merging with Continental discriminates against them based on age, saying the workers’ real problem is with federal law and not the agreement.
A California federal judge granted a quick a win to Foot Locker Inc. on Friday in a proposed class action accusing the retailer of securing consumer reports about job applicants without proper consent, saying the claims lodged by a former employee aren’t within the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s purview.
WAGE & HOUR
The First Circuit on Monday suggested it may turn to the U.S. Department of State to help settle a dispute about whether au pairs should be treated as employees subject to Massachusetts labor laws or as part of a cultural exchange program.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked the Trump administration to weigh in on a petition asking the court to find that federal law blocks Los Angeles from requiring businesses at Los Angeles International Airport to negotiate “labor peace agreements” with unions that request them.
The U.S. Supreme Court won’t take up a case challenging the constitutionality of a 2013 amendment to the state of New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law that shifted the liability for certain reopened cases from a statewide fund to insurance carriers, according to the order list distributed Monday.
An Oregon door manufacturer Friday asked a Virginia federal court to order a competitor to return or destroy trade secrets that were the subject of a $1.2 million jury award last month.
Former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov on Monday once again asked a New York state judge to set aside a jury’s verdict over his use of the investment bank’s high-frequency trading source code, citing faulty jury instructions and double jeopardy concerns.
A Harris County District Court and the Texas Supreme Court have declined requests to move dueling disputes between McCombs Energy Ltd. and its former officers and employees to the same court, setting them up to move forward separately in Houston and San Antonio.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. must pay a former crew member $20.3 million for injuries she suffered when her hand got crushed in a sliding door during a 2008 drill, a Florida jury decided after a three-week trial in Miami.
The Chicago Cubs’ bid to escape a former scout’s age bias suit took an odd bounce at a hearing Monday, where a California federal judge focused on the potential significance of an email that not only rated scouts’ performances but also included what he called “beauty contest” descriptions of their age and physique.
California’s high court ruled Monday that a Liberty Mutual unit must cover the costs of a construction company to defend against claims it negligently hired and failed to supervise a former employee who sexually assaulted a middle school student, finding that the builder’s conduct fits the definition of an accident in L&M’s policy.
Epstein Becker Green has bolstered its employment practice with the additions of a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney and a former assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey, who will use their experience trying complex cases at their new firm.
The appellate lawyer who argued for Oil States in this term’s seminal U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of America Invents Act reviews has left Morgan Lewis & Bockius for Gibson Dunn & Crutcher as of Monday, according to Gibson Dunn.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis, California employees and lawyers are likely to question whether representative actions brought under the state’s Private Attorneys General Act are now similarly waivable through arbitration agreements, says Thea Rogers of Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP.
After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, employees may no longer deduct unreimbursed business mileage-related expenses. Employers interested in helping employees hit by the change should keep certain factors in mind to avoid crafting employee reimbursement policies that create unintended tax issues, say Mark Bakker and Michael Brittingham at Nexsen Pruet LLC.
Despite the partiality some courts have shown to live video testimony, it provides no advantages — and several disadvantages — over the tried-and-true method of videotaped depositions, say attorneys with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.
Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP on Monday rolled out an associate pay bump, announcing its plans to increase attorneys’ salaries by $10,000 or $15,000 with starting compensation to reach $190,000 a year beginning on July 1.
Cynthia Ladd became a lawyer through what some people might perceive as an unusual journey. Here, the general counsel of clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company MyoKardia shares details about her atypical path to working in-house, the qualities she hopes to find in candidates when building her legal department and the ways she expects the biotechnology industry to change in upcoming years.