an update for the week of june 26, 2006
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Retaliation Means Retaliation, Says the Supreme Court: A 9-0 decision in favor of employees from the Roberts' Supreme Court? Some didn't think it was possible, but today workers received a break in the case of Burlington Northern v. White. The decision means that a worker who has faced retaliation, but has not been fired, denied a promotion, or subject to an "ultimate employment action," can still bring a retaliation lawsuit as long as the action taken by the employer "would have been materially adverse to a reasonable employee or applicant." Not only can plaintiff Sheila White, who was reassigned to a less desirable position and suspended without pay (but later reinstated with backpay) proceed with her lawsuit under the Supreme Court's ruling, but other employees who have faced retaliation will find it easier to do so as well.
this week in the courts
Worth v. Jackson  (D.C. Circuit; No. 05-5321)
Decision Date: June 23, 2006
Dismissal of a complaint involving a white male employee's challenge to a government agency's affirmative action policy is affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction where the expiration of a written affirmative employment plan mooted one claim, and he lacked standing for another claim involving a generalized challenge to unspecified agency "policies and practices," which was unripe, in any event.
Decision Date: June 23, 2006
An order of the National Relations Board (NLRB) finding that petitioner committed an unfair labor practice is remanded for further proceedings where the Board erred in applying its "due diligence" standard, used to permit an untimely election challenge based on newly discovered evidence, to the facts of the case.
Smith v. E. Baton Rouge Parish School Board  (Fifth Circuit; No. 04-31199)
Decision Date: June 23, 2006
Summary judgment in favor of the defendant-school board on plaintiff's Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claim and denial of plaintiff's motion to reconsider are affirmed where the district court did not err in determining as a matter of law that the position plaintiff held before taking maternity leave was equivalent to the position she was offered upon her return.
Chao v. Malkani  (Fourth Circuit; No. 05-1654)
Decision Date: June 22, 2006
Judgment against defendant plan fiduciaries, resulting in removal as fiduciaries of plan and order for remuneration for losses resulting from misconduct, is affirmed where defendants' actions, including attempts to raid plan's assets and deprive employees of vested benefits, constitute an egregious misuse of authority that justified the remedies.
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