Category Archives: Termination

One Racial Slur is One Too Many, Rules Third Circuit

Is a single racial slur by an employee’s supervisor enough to create a hostile work environment under § 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866?  The answer is yes according to the Third Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in Castleberry v. STI Group, No. 16-3131 (3d Cir. July 14, 2017). In Castleberry, two African American males were employed as general laborers.  They claimed that while working on a fence-removal project, their supervisor threatened to fire them if they “n[****]r-rigged” the fence.  The incident was confirmed by their coworkers and reported thereafter by the employees to a superior.  Two weeks …

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A Recipe for Burrito Disaster: Twitter and the NLRA

In Havertown, Pennsylvania, Chipotle recently had some negative publicity and, for once, E. coli was not the culprit. Instead, James Kennedy, a 38-year-old war veteran, was terminated from Chipotle, after criticizing the company on Twitter and for circulating a petition in store regarding scheduled breaks. Kennedy sued, alleging that his termination violated the NLRA. One of Kennedy’s tweets contained a news article regarding hourly workers having to work on snow days while other workers were off. The tweet referenced Chipotle’s communications director, asking, “Snow day for ‘top performers’ Chris Arnold?” Another tweet involved a reply to a customer who tweeted …

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Don’t Turn Unemployment Compensation Into Unemployment Complication

Unemployment comp.  Not the sexiest of topics.  But I get a lot of questions from employers on the issue, the appropriate resolution of which would spare me a lot of stress when a termination-related case lands on my desk.  (After all, this is all about me, right?) The proper handling of unemployment compensation claims also might save an employer – and its EPLI carrier – a fair bit of moolah if the termination ends up the subject of litigation.  So, even if you don’t care about my well-being, you’ll still want to read on. Should Employers Appeal UC Decisions? First, …

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Takeaways for Employers on the Hillary E-mail Debacle

5 Reasons Employers Should Prohibit Employees From Using Personal Email Accounts Recently, a political firestorm has erupted as news stories revealed that Former Secretary of State (and likely Presidential Candidate) Hillary Clinton utilized private e-mail accounts to conduct government business during her tenure as Secretary of State.  Pundits from the left, right, and center have weighed in on the political impact of Clinton’s e-mail practices.  But putting politics aside, as the story of Clinton’s e-mail usage unfolds, employers should be asking if it is a good idea to allow their employees to send work-related e-mails on private e-mail accounts.  In …

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Pregnant Dancers are Sexy and They Know It

In considering a motion for summary judgment that may have been written just so I could write about it, in Berry v. The Great American Dream, Inc. (No. 13-CV-3297-TWT), the Northern District of Georgia decided – once and for all – that pregnant women can be sexy. Now, you might be thinking – what circumstances could possibly have caused a court to consider that question and come to that conclusion? In comes The Great American Dream, Inc. d/b/a PinUps.  (Yes, another stripper case.) Two months after she became pregnant, Pin Ups terminated one of its dancers who left work early …

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Final Paycheck Laws – Getting It Right (Part II)

Unless you’re Donald Trump, you probably don’t like telling employees, “You’re Fired!” On the other hand, most employers do not like to hear that an employee is quitting. However, eventually the day will come when an employee leaves, and will be asking about his or her final paycheck. Many managers view the final paycheck as their last chance to get property back, or paperwork filled out. They often make this decision based on what they “feel” is fair and reasonable. Unfortunately, no matter how fair or reasonable their decision may seem, it must comply with state and federal law. Employers …

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