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Author Archives: Cynthia Augello

Higher Insurance Premiums for Smokers and the Obese

The perils of smoking and obesity have long been the topic of conversation in doctors’ offices and between nagging family members. However, employers are jumping on the bandwagon by imposing higher health insurance premiums on employees who maintain unhealthy lifestyles. CVS has recently gained significant attention after it was alleged that employees were charged a […]

Age Discrimination Claims under the Equal Protection Clause? The Supreme Court Will Decide

The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to consider the question of “[w]hether the Seventh Circuit erred in holding, in an acknowledged departure from the rule in at least four other circuits, that state and local government employees may avoid the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act’s comprehensive remedial regime by bringing age discrimination claims directly […]

Second Circuit Adopts EEOC’s Rule on Harassment by a Nonemployee

In a recent opinion, the Second Circuit adopted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) rule imputing employer liability when a worker reports harassment by a nonemployee. The case, Summa v. Hofstra Univ., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3677 (2d Cir. N.Y. Feb. 21, 2013), marks the first time that the Second Circuit has endorsed the EEOC’s […]

Message to Employers: When Terminating an Employee Never Mention Anything Relating to the Employee’s Age

Brazil v. Volkert, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164601 (N.D. Ala. Nov. 19, 2012). Employers should carefully prepare what they say to employees who they intend to terminate before actually saying it. Often, employers use terms that should be excluded from their vocabulary when in those delicate situations. Employers who fail to do so, may […]

Circuit Split: How Does the CFAA Apply to Employment Cases?

Imagine a disgruntled employee rummaging through your company’s confidential files and covertly stealing trade secrets to use as he builds a competing business.  What recourse would you have against the rogue employee? The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) provides a potential avenue for the company to seek redress against the siphoning of confidential information by mischievous […]

UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Named in Employment Discrimination Suit by Sole Female Director in NBA Security Department

Former N.Y.P.D. narcotics detective Kelley Hardwick, who now serves as a Director in the NBA’s Security Department, alleges that Coach Geno Auriemma of University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball Team retaliated against Hardwick after she rebuffed his sexual advances during a 2009 trip to Russia with the USAB Women’s Senior National Team. According to the complaint […]

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Ruling Protects Transgender Individuals

Macy v. Holder, Appeal No. 0120120821, Agency No. ATF-2011-00751 (April 23, 2012)  On April 23, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) held in a landmark decision, that transgender individuals who are discriminated against may now have recourse under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which generally prohibits employment discrimination “based on […]

What’s in Your Employee Handbook?

Employers should always have an employee handbook.  Generally, where a company does not have a handbook, it risks increased litigation, especially since both the FMLA and COBRA require policies detailing an employee rights under those acts. Further, some states (e.g.New York) require employers to have policies concerning leave or workplace smoking. There are many advantages […]

New York Appellate Court Provides Guide for Courts Considering Discrimination Claims on Summary Judgment

Bennett v. Health Mgt. Sys., Inc. 2011 NY Slip Op 09206 (1st Dept. Dec. 20, 2011). In a recent case, a New York State Court examined whether, and to what extent, the three-step burden-shifting approach set forth in the Supreme Court’s McDonnell Douglas v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973) decision, must be modified for New […]

290 Pound Man Files Suit in S.D.N.Y. Claiming That his Civil Rights/ADA Were Violated When He Could Not Fit into White Castle Booth

Although not a typical employee discrimination case, a recent complaint was filed in S.D.N.Y. claiming that a customer’s civil rights/ADA were violated when the customer could not fit into a White Castle booth.  Basically, this case involved a 6 foot – 290 pound man from Nanuet, who filed an action against White Castle claiming that the […]

Fifth Circuit Determines That Temporary, Indefinite Employment Does Not Toll the Limitations Period for Age Discrimination

Phillips v. Leggett & Platt, Inc., No. 10-60585 (5th Cir. Sept. 21, 2011) On September 21, 2011, the Fifth Circuit reversed a district court’s decision to award an age discrimination plaintiff $48,000 because the plaintiff’s claim was time-barred. In Phillips v. Leggett & Platt, Inc., the plaintiff, a 66-year-old former employee for the defendant, was […]

NLRB Holds that the Supreme Court’s Decision in Hoffman Prevents Backpay for Undocumented Immigrant Workers

Mezonos Maven Bakery, Inc. and Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. Case No. 29–CA– 25476 (August 9, 2011)  On August 9, 2011 the National Labor Relations Board unanimously held that under the Supreme Court’s decision in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002), the NLRB lacks remedial authority to award backpay […]

New Jersey WARN Act Applicable To Parent And Affiliated Companies

In DeRosa v. Accredited Home Lenders, Inc., Case No. A-3727-09T3 (NJ Superior Ct. App. Div., June 14, 2011), New Jersey’s Appellate Division held that parents or affiliates (including a private equity investor) of a company that failed to give required notice of a closing or mass layoff under the New Jersey WARN Act may be […]

Fifth Circuit Says ERISA does not Prevent Payment of Pension in Instances of Sham Divorces

Brown v. Continental Airlines, Inc., No. 10-20015 (5th Cir. July 18, 2011) On July 18, 2011, the Fifth Circuit refused to extend the “sham” transaction doctrine into claims involving ERISA.  The Court considered whether ERISA allows a retirement plan administrator to seek restitution of benefits that were paid to a plan participant’s ex-spouse pursuant to […]