Retaliatory Counseling Can Create Liability

In Tuli v. Brigham & Women’s Hospital, et al, No. 08-2026, before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the plaintiff had provided adverse criticisms of her supervisor as part of her job as a Quality Assurance and Risk Management Committee member.  When the plaintiff’s professional credentials were later scheduled for renewal,
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Expiration of Non-compete Agreement Limits Damages

An employer cannot extend a non-competition agreement beyond the agreed-upon duration, even if an injunction has been entered and the court has not decided on an appeal.  Any relief at that point would be limited to a damages remedy.  The full decision can be found by clicking here: EMC Corporation v Emanuel Arturi, et al.
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Misclassified Employees Not Paid Per Statute

In Pius Awuah and others vs. Coverall North America,SJC-10829, the Court’s decision held that the defendant illegally used customer accounts-receivable financing to pay a franchisee who was characterized as an employee. The issues before the Court included whether or not a franchisor could lawfully use the practice of “customer accounts-receivable financing” to pay the employee/franchisee. 
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Pro-Labor Employee Discriminated Based on Disability

Hector Luis Roman-Oliveras had a pre-existing medical condition (Schizophrenia) during his two decades of employment with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).  During that tenure, his work performance was exemplary.  However, Mr. Roman-Oliveras became the target of retaliatory activity from a supervisor at PREPA in 2005 for his union activities; the following year he
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Protected Activity Preserves Retaliation Claim

Summary judgment does not need to prevail on all counts.  If an employee believes, despite being mistaken, that his/her employer’s conduct has violated the law, a retaliation claim may prevail during a summary judgment challenge, despite the failure of a discrimination charge holding up against the challenge.  In Johnston v. Urban League of Rhode Island,
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Court Rules That Multiple Benefits Awards Are Not To Be Concurrent

In a recent opinion, Susan T. Duffy v. Sandra A. Powell, in her capacity as Director, Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and the Board of Review, Department of Labor and Training, No. 2009-100-M.P. (AA 08-133), the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled on the question of whether a claimant can collect a lump sum
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Employer’s Proper Defense Not An Option

Employers should allow for the discovery process to be thorough and complete or face a vacated judgment.  In Baltodano v. Merck, Sharp & Dohme, No. 09-2027, the employer (“Merck”) did not allow plaintiff Baltodano to obtain evidence during the discovery (obtaining information and supportive documents) phase of the case.  Instead, Merck moved for a summary judgment
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Typical Employer Confidentiality Agreement Illegal

Employment contracts at temp agency Northeastern Land Services (“NLS”) contained very typical language: “Employee understands that the terms of this employment, including compensation, are confidential to Employee and the NLS Group.  Disclosure of these terms to other parties may constitute grounds for dismissal.”  The employee in this case, Mr. Dupuy, complained to a client about
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Male on Male Sex Harassment Yields $451,000 for Worker

A federal jury  awarded a male ironworker $451,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  According to an EEOC press release, the jury awarded plaintiff Kerry Woods damages against Boh Bros. Construction Co., L.L.C., a major construction firm, after only a two-and-half-day trial, including $250,000 in punitive
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Retaliation Against Employee Complaint

Oral complaints can fall within the scope of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s Anti-Retaliation provision.Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.