Published: August 15, 2017

Last week, the Third Circuit denied a Pennsylvania-plaintiff’s application to have her retaliation claim against her former employer reinstated. The plaintiff, Mindy Caplan, a former district manager for the retail chain Victoria’s Secret, claimed she was terminated “for opposing racial discrimination in society” after posting two racially-charged pictures on Facebook. Throughout 2014, the plaintiff identified herself as a Victoria’s Secret district manager on Facebook, which was accessible to other Victoria’s Secret employees and the public.

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Published: August 2, 2017

A threshold issue facing many companies is whether to publish an employee handbook. The purpose of an employee handbook is to provide a company’s employees with the company’s policies and inform them of the rules that govern them throughout the stages of employment. Through an employee handbook, employers notify employees about the legal rights and obligations they both have in the employment relationship. While an employee must comply with the policies contained in an employee handbook, a handbook should not be drafted in a way so as to create an employment contract with the employee.

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Published: July 24, 2017

In an opinion issued July 19, the Second Circuit vacated a jury verdict in favor of the employer, ruling that the district court judge had instructed the jury to use an incorrect standard of proof under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Woods v. START Treatment & Recovery Centers, Inc., No. 16-1318 (2d Cir. July 19, 2017). The correct causation standard, the Court held, was not whether the employer would not have fired her “but for” her exercise of rights under the FMLA.

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Published: July 24, 2017

The July 20, 2017 White House release of the Trump Administration’s updated Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions is the first clear indication of a shift by the Department of Justice on priorities under ADA Title II and III. The Obama Administration’s Fall 2016 Agenda had included proposed rules regarding non-discrimination in the accessibility of Web information in State and Local government services (ADA Title II), as the next step in addressing web accessibility.

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Published: July 20, 2017

On July 17, 2017, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts broke from a line of precedent among state and federal courts by allowing a medical marijuana user with a valid state law prescription to pursue a claim for disability discrimination after she was terminated for a positive drug test. In Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, SJC, No.

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Published: July 20, 2017

In a decision issued July 14, 2017, the Third Circuit clarified that to prevail on workplace harassment claims, plaintiffs must show that the conduct was “severe or pervasive”—not “severe and pervasive” or “pervasive and regular”—such that one racial slur was sufficient to state a claim for harassment under Section 1981.

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Published: July 13, 2017

On July 3, 2017, the Eighth Circuit overturned a National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) decision finding that a Jimmy John’s franchisee, MikLin Enterprises, Inc. (“MikLin”) violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when it discharged and disciplined employees who publicly distributed posters suggesting that consumers may become sick from eating sandwiches made by sick workers. The posters, which were distributed during a union organizing drive, were part of a campaign to demand paid sick leave.

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