WELA Alert

University President Entitled to Qualified Immunity on Former Employee’s Claim for Deprivation of Liberty Interest without Due Process

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Plaintiff worked as the executive director for a public radio station and related foundation, both affiliated with a state university. He reported to the university president. The university president became concerned with how the foundation was spending its money. An audit determined that there was an inherent conflict of interest in having...

US Sct. Will decide if the ADEA Employee Minimum applies to Public Employers

Does the ADEA 20 Employee Minimum Apply to Public Employers? Court Will Tell Us The Court granted review of whether, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the same 20-employee minimum that applies to private employers also applies to political subdivisions of a state, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th Circuits have held,...

DOL Investigation Results in WA Orchard Paying $19,297 in Fines for Illegal Housing for Migrant Workers

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in a Washington Orchard Paying $19,297 in Fines for Providing Illegal Housing for Migrant Workers SEATTLE, WA – After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation, Rivera Orchards Inc. has paid $19,297 in penalties to resolve Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) violations that posed a direct and imminent...

Attorney Did Not Engage in Protected First Amendment Activity; Jury Verdict Reversed

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT Attorney Did Not Engage in Protected First Amendment Activity; Jury Verdict Reversed The plaintiff worked for many years as a civil litigation attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO), and later (briefly) as a direct employee of Maricopa County, defending the county and related entities in civil lawsuits, before again returning to her previous employment at...

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...

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