Tag Archives: award

EEOC wins over $1.5 million in sexual harassment case

The EEOC has issued a press release announcing a big victory for sexual harassment cases.  These cases are often dismissed.  For instance, according to EEOC 2011 statistics, the EEOC received 11,364 sexual harassment complaints.  Of these, 53% were found to have no reasonable cause.  This is an increase from 2010, where the percentage was of 50.1%.  Since 1997, the percentage of cases dismissed has been in an upwards trend.

In the EEOC case against New Breed Logistics (Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-02696-STA-tmp), the jury awarded $177,094 in back pay, $486,000 in compensatory damages, and $850,000 in punitive damages.

Following the 7-day trial, the jury found that the warehouse supervisor subjected 3 temporary workers to unwelcome sexual touching and lewd, obscene and vulgar  sexual remarks at the company’s Avaya Memphis area warehouse facility.  Further, the jury found that a supervisor fired the three temp workers because they complained about the harassment.

 

via Jury Awards More Than $1.5 Million in EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Suit against New Breed Logistics | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – JDSupra.

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Filed under civil rights, courts, District Court, employment, legal decision, wage

Contingency fees in Personal Injury

The ABA Journal reported on an interesting case; where the attorney was unable to get all of its full contingency fees.  The reason?  Because the client replaced the attorney with himself prior to the $1 million settlement.

New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, ruled in an unsigned opinion that the settlement wasn’t yet final when lawyer Jeffrey Aronsky handled the case because the settlement offer hadn’t been formally communicated to the defendant, Rivlab Transportation. However, the court held that Aronsky will be allowed to place a lien on Gyabaah’s recovery and receive a pro rata fee based on his contributed work, Reuters reports.

Reuters notes that in a dissent, Justice Richard Andrias considered the settlement binding because a general release was signed and defense counsel confirmed in writing that the $1 million settlement offer was accepted.

via Lawyer Replaced by Client Can’t Collect Full Contingency on $1M Settlement, Court Rules – News – ABA Journal.

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NLRB recent decisions

This is the list of the most recent and significant decisions decided by the NLRB:

Hispanics United of BuffaloThe Board found that the employer unlawfully fired five employees because of their Facebook posts and comments about a coworker who intended to complain to management about their work performance. In its analysis, the Board majority applied settled Board law to the new world of social media, finding that the Facebook conversation was concerted activity and was protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Member Hayes dissented.

Alan Ritchey, Inc. – In a unanimous decision that resolved the last of the two-member cases returned following the 2010 Supreme Court decision in New Process Steel, the Board found that where there is no collectively-bargained grievance-arbitration system in place, employers generally must give the union notice and an opportunity to bargain before imposing discipline such as a discharge or suspension on employees. Member Hayes was recused.

Latino Express In a decision that will affect most cases in which backpay is awarded, the Board decided to require respondents to compensate employees for any extra taxes they have to pay as a result of receiving the backpay in a lump sum. The Board will also require an employer ordered to pay back wages to file with the Social Security Administration a report allocating the back wages to the years in which they were or would have been earned. The Board requested briefs in this case in July 2012. Member Hayes did not participate in the case.

Chicago Mathematics & Science Academy – Rejecting the position of a teachers’ union, the Board found that it had jurisdiction over an Illinois non-profit corporation that operates a public charter school in Chicago. The non-profit was not the sort of government entity exempt from the National Labor Relations Act, the Board majority concluded, and there was no reason for the Board to decline jurisdiction. Member Hayes dissented in part.

United Nurses & Allied Professionals (Kent Hospital) – The Board, with Member Hayes dissenting, addressed several issues involving the rights of nonmember dues objectors under the Supreme Court’s Beck decision. On the main issue, the majority held that, like all other union expenses, lobbying expenses are chargeable to objectors, to the extent that they are germane to collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance adjustment. The Board invited further briefing from interested parties on the how it should define and apply the germaneness standard in the context of lobbying activities.

WKYC-TV, Gannet Co. Applying the general rule against unilateral employer changes in terms and conditions of employment, the Board found that an employer’s obligation to collect union dues under a check-off agreement will continue after the contract expires and before a bargaining impasse occurs or a new contract is reached. Member Hayes dissented.

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NLRB Seeks Briefing on Backpay Calculation Rules

The NLRB in Latino Express, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 94 (July 31, 2012) (scroll down to decision) decided not to decide two issues raised by the Acting General Counsel and instead invited “all interested parties” to file briefs on two issues regarding awarding backpay to discriminatees:

Should the Board routinely require a respondent to:

(1) submit the appropriate documentation to the Social Security Administration so that when backpay is paid, it will be allocated to the appropriate calendar quarters; and/or

(2) reimburse a discriminatee for any excess Federal and State income taxes the discriminatee may owe in receiving a lump-sum backpay award covering more than 1 year.

Briefs are due by October 1, 2012.

Workplace Prof Blog: NLRB Seeks Briefing on Backpay Calculation Rules.

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NLRB and post-Hoffman

From Workplace Prof Blog:

In its recent Mezonos Maven Bakery case, the NLRB was faced with a variation on the Hoffman Plastics problem (see here for the Board’s press release).  Unlike Hoffman, however, in Mezonos, the employer was found to have been aware of the employees’ undocumented status before hiring.  In a unanimous decision (with Member Becker recused), the Board concluded that Hoffman controls and precludes an award of backpay.  However, Chairwoman Liebman and Member Pearce issued a concurring opinion, in which they lamented the policy implications of Mezonos and Hoffman.  They also noted that, under different circumstances, alternative monetary remedies could be appropriate, such as requiring employers in these situations to pay an equivalent backpay award into a fund–which could, for example, give money to employees awarded backpay that has been uncollected–but not to the undocumented workers. 

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Filed under immigration, labor, legal decision, NLRB, union