Stick to Your Story: Employer’s Shifting Termination Justifications Can Cause Employer to Have to Explain Its Discharge Decision to a JuryIf you want to avoid potential liability from a former employee, remember a key maxim: Stick to your story about why you made the employment decision. If an employer shifts rationales for its decision or tries to pile on by adding new reasons after the fact, it will likely have to explain itself to a

Exit EEOC? Supreme Court Rules that Charge-Filing Process Is Not Jurisdictional, But It’s Still ImportantIn a case that garnered big headlines, the Supreme Court weighed in yesterday on whether a claimant’s failure to amend her EEOC charge divests the federal court from hearing part of her Title VII claim. While the decision makes some strong statements about the purpose of an EEOC charge in Title VII litigation, it is

Terminating an Employee on Maternity Leave and Winning the Case: The Eleventh Circuit Affirms a Jury Verdict for Winn-DixieAn employee is on maternity leave and it does not look like she is going to be returning to work. Should you go ahead and terminate her employment during the maternity leave? Wait until it is over to terminate her employment? Require her to come in for an exit interview? Almost all of my clients

Once Is Enough: Tennessee Federal Court Rules Single Use of ‘N-Word’ By Co-Worker Sufficient to Get Hostile Work Environment Claim to JuryUsually, once is not enough, at least in the hostile work environment context. Unless, as the court found in Ronnie L. Outlaw v. SBH Services, Inc., it is.

Typically, a single incident of harassment – especially by a co-worker – is not sufficient for a hostile work environment claim to survive summary judgment and

Changing Marijuana Laws and Effective Drug Testing PolicyAlthough marijuana is classified as an illegal drug under federal law, a majority of states have now legalized its use in one form or another. This rapidly evolving legal landscape presents new challenges for employers, particularly those with offices and employees in several states. Employers must balance complying with often divergent federal and state laws,

Just What Does A Racially Hostile Environment Look Like? The Eleventh Circuit Provides Some GuidanceWhat constitutes a racially hostile work environment? Is one really bad comment specifically aimed at the plaintiff sufficient or do you need a sustained series of racial comments? What if you have both but no evidence that it affects the person’s work performance? In Brenda Smelter v. Southern Home Care Services, Inc., d.b.a. Rescare Homecare

In a decision that could have employers rethinking how they offer employees a severance agreement, in McClellan v. Midwest Machining, Inc. the Sixth Circuit held that former employees seeking to void severance agreements do not have to give the severance pay back before filing suit under Title VII or the Equal Pay Act.

Factual Summary

Winning Harassment Claims in the #MeToo EraIn this #MeToo era, employers are, understandably, a little sensitive when someone raises a claim of harassment. Even with the heightened sense of peril, companies should remember that if they are doing the right thing—having effective policies in place and handling complaints appropriately—they can still prevail. A recent decision, Peebles v. Greene County Hospital Board

Voluntarily Sharing Family’s Cancer History Bars GINA Claims, Court HoldsGINA—that elusive law about employers collecting genetic information that rarely comes up. What if an employee voluntarily shares his genetic history—can he turn around and claim his employer improperly acquired the genetic information? Fortunately, in Williams v. Graphic Packaging International, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, provides some guidance