A New York court recently entered a judgment of about $700,000 against the owner of a limousine company for sexually harassing a female dispatcher. The judgment consisted of $450,000 in compensatory damages, $100,000 in punitive damages, $167,478 in attorney fees and $3,168 in litigation costs. The case presents an almost classic example of sexual harassment.
While the requirement that an employer must post a notice outlining the employer’s responsibilities and an employee’s rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act is not new, OSHA has updated the required posting which must be displayed by an employer in a conspicuous place where employees can see the poster in the workplace. In addition to providing an updated poster, OSHA has also prepared a version written in Korean, Nepali, Spanish, Chinese, Polish, and Portuguese.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently established a new standard for analyzing claims under the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the divided court held that a pregnant worker can show that the employer’s legitimate, non-discriminatory justifications are pretextual under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework if its accommodation policies impose a “significant burden” on pregnant workers and its reasons are not “sufficiently strong.” Over Justice Scalia scathing dissent, the Court vacated the Fourth Circuit’s decision granting summary judgment to UPS, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of the Court’s new standard and interpretation of the statute.
Recently, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri addressed whether non-compete agreements are automatically assignable in an asset purchase. The court found the agreements to be unenforceable on account of the employees who signed them had not contemporaneously assented to their assignment when their employer sold its assets to another company. Symphony Diagnostic Services No. 1, Inc. d/b/a MobileXUSA v. Greenbaum, No. 13-4196 (W.D. Mo. March 16, 2015). In MobileXUSA, the determinative fact was the agreements did not have an assignment clause allowing an employer to freely assign the agreements to a subsequent company.