WELA Alert

Unwanted Hugging Can Constitute Illegal Sexual Harassment

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT Unwanted Hugging Can Constitute Illegal Sexual Harassment Plaintiff was a correctional officer. She claimed the sheriff created a sexually hostile work environment by greeting her with 100 unwanted hugs and one unwelcome kiss over a 12-year period. She claimed he pressed his chest into her breasts. She complained but her employer did not investigate. She also claimed...

Court Will Decide Whether Applicants Can Bring Retaliation Claims Based on Opposition With Respect to a Different Employer

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT Court Will Decide Whether Applicants Can Bring Retaliation Claims Based on Opposition With Respect to a Different Employer The district court certified the following question to the Washington Supreme Court:  “Does RCW 49.60.201(1) create a cause of action for job applicants who claim a prospective employer refused to hire them in retaliation for prior opposition to...

State Prosecutor was Not an “Original Source” for Qui Tam Suit

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT State Prosecutor was Not an “Original Source” for Qui Tam Suit Prather, the relator in this qui tam action, served as a state prosecutor for over thirty years and supervised hundreds of wiretaps.  In 1994 Congress passed the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Agencies Act (“CALEA”), which authorized the payment of $500 million to telecom companies for...

Court Will Decide Whether an Employee Should Appeal a Mixed Case the MSPB dismisses for Want of Jurisdiction to the Federal Circuit or the District Court

WELA ALERT: SUPREME COURT Court Will Decide Whether an Employee Should Appeal a Mixed Case the MSPB dismisses for Want of Jurisdiction to the Federal Circuit or the District Court On January 13, 2017, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Perry v. MSPB, 829 F.3d 760 (D.C. Cir. 2016). Perry presents an arcane issue of procedure for federal employees. Normally...

District Court Granted Summary Judgment to Employer on Each of Employee’s Claims; District Court was Wrong Each Time

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT District Court Granted Summary Judgment to Employer on Each of Employee’s Claims; District Court was Wrong Each Time Plaintiff was a single mother with seven children. She worked at an Idaho grocery store where she supervised employees on the night shift. She was fired for “gross misconduct” allegedly for taking a stale cake from the bakery to...

Family Care Act Allows Employee to Use Disability Plan to Care for Family Member Where Employer Does Not Provide Sick Leave

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS Family Care Act Allows Employee to Use Disability Plan to Care for Family Member Where Employer Does Not Provide Sick Leave The employer in this case did not provide paid sick leave. When employees are ill they may receive paid leave through a short-term disability (“STD”) plan. Employees also receive two paid personal days and...

District Court Improperly Granted Employer Summary Judgment on Retaliation, Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment Claims

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT District Court Improperly Granted Employer Summary Judgment on Retaliation, Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment Claims Plaintiff was born in Mexico and moved to the United States several decades ago at age 15.  He became a United States citizen in 1981.  From 2004 to 2010, Efrain worked as a millwright at Roseburg, where he performed his job well...

De Facto Corporate Officers Are Liable For Willful Withholding of Wages Earned Before a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Regardless of Pay-Day

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT De Facto Corporate Officers Are Liable For Willful Withholding of Wages Earned Before a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Regardless of Pay-Day Plaintiff was the CFO of a financially troubled company. After failing to obtain additional financing, the Board of Directors began to make preparations for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The Board ordered the CFO to terminate...

Railway Labor Act Pre-Empts Fine State Agency Issued to Airline Based on Flight Attendant’s Claimed Violation of Washington Family Care Act

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT Railway Labor Act Pre-Empts Fine State Agency Issued to Airline Based on Flight Attendant’s Claimed Violation of Washington Family Care Act An Alaska Airlines flight attendant called in sick in May to care for her son, who was ill. She had used up all her sick leave. She had vacation time available, but did not have an...

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