justice scale justice scale justice scale

McKenna Minutes

“The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

McKenna Employment Bulletin – June 2015

-
  • COURT REFUSES PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION TO UNIVERSITY EMPLOYER WHICH WOULD ALLOW NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE “AFFORDABLE CARE ACT”
  • YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COMPLAIN TO THE PERSON DESIGNATED BY THE EMPLOYER
  • EMPLOYER’S FALSE CLAIM OF POOR JOB PERFORMANCE SUPPORTS A RETALIATION CHARGE
  • THE SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT COURTS HAVE AUTHORITY TO REVIEW THE EEOC’S DUTY TO CONCILIATE WITH EMPLOYERS
  • GIVING JOB INSTRUCTIONS DOES NOT EQUAL HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT HARASSMENT
  • YOU HAVE TO APPLY FOR A JOB TO CLAIM YOU WERE NOT HIRED

 

COURT REFUSES PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION TO UNIVERSITY EMPLOYER WHICH WOULD ALLOW NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE “AFFORDABLE CARE ACT”

In University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, No. 13-3853, May 19, 2015, 7th Cir., the Court affirmed the denial of the Employer University’s request for issuance of a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin the federal government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from enforcing certain regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The regulations would require the Employer University, a religious institution that provided health benefits for its staff/students, to fill out ESBA Form 700 to obtain an exemption from the requirement under the ACA to provide contraceptive coverage. The Employer University argued that filling out the Form would make it complicit in the “sin of contraception.” The Supreme Court rejected the employer University’s theory that the Form essentially made it a conduit for the provision of contraceptive services. The Court held that the only relevant “conduit” was between the secular health administrators, whom the Employer University had contracted to provide health services and who would be providing any contraceptive coverage, and the Employer University’s staff/students. The Court also found that the Employer University failed to provide copies of relevant contracts it had with the secular health administrators. The Court further noted that Form 700 essentially relieved the Employer University of any burden to provide contraceptive services for its staff/students.
Return to Issues Menu

 

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COMPLAIN TO THE PERSON DESIGNATED BY THE EMPLOYER

In E.E.O.C. v. New Breed Logistics, 2015 WL 1811018 (6th Cir. 2015), certain female employees demanded that their supervisor cease his sexually harassing conduct. The female employees did not complain to the person designated by the employer to receive complaints. The Court held that the female employees’ complaints qualified as a protected activity under Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision. The Court further held that the language of the statute did not specify to whom protected activity had to be directed. The Court found it would be unfair to read into the provision in the statute a requirement that a complainant only engages in protected activity when that person complains of the harassment to a particular official designated by the employer.
Return to Issues Menu

 

EMPLOYER’S FALSE CLAIM OF POOR JOB PERFORMANCE SUPPORTS A RETALIATION CHARGE

In Castro v. DeVry University, Inc., No. 13-1934, May 13, 2015, 7th Cir., the employee filed an action alleging that the employer terminated the plaintiff in retaliation ten months after the employee had complained about a supervisor’s racially and ethnically derogatory remarks. The employee disputed the employer’s claim that the termination was based on the employee’s alleged inconsistent job performance and/or report of his volatile behavior. The employer ultimately conceded that the employee’s job performance did not justify his termination. Furthermore, the employee presented evidence that (1) his manager did not honestly believe that the employee had acted unprofessionally and (2) the employer had falsely told the EEOC that the employee’s manager was unaware of the plaintiff’s prior complaint.
Return to Issues Menu

 

THE SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT COURTS HAVE AUTHORITY TO REVIEW THE EEOC’S DUTY TO CONCILIATE WITH EMPLOYERS

In Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, No. 13-1019, April 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that trial courts have authority to review whether the EEOC had fulfilled its duty to attempt conciliation of claims before suing an employer for employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Court cautioned that this review is narrow, and courts can only enforce the EEOC’s statutory obligation to give the employer notice and an opportunity to achieve voluntary compliance. In Mach, the employer argued that the EEOC did not make a good-faith effort to resolve the matter short of litigation. According to the company, among other failings, the EEOC never provided the names of any other women who allegedly suffered discrimination.
Return to Issues Menu

 

GIVING JOB INSTRUCTIONS DOES NOT EQUAL HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT HARASSMENT

In Blackford v. Federal Express Corporation, 2015 WL 632328 (N.D.Ill. 2015), the employee filed suit alleging race-based hostile work environment. The facts were that the senior manager allegedly asked the employee to clean up a spill of microorganisms, despite the employee not believing he was qualified to do so. The senior manager also allegedly instructed the employee to contact a beverage manufacturer after a shipment of soda broke apart during transit, despite the employee believing it was not his responsibility because the beverages were not dangerous goods. Finally, the senior manager allegedly interrupted the employee when the employee was “bunching up” dangerous goods so that the senior manager could show the employee a picture of a spill in a package delivery vehicle. The Court held that these alleged incidents between the senior manager and the African-American package handler employee were not severe or pervasive, as would be required for a race-based hostile work environment claim.
Return to Issues Menu

 

YOU HAVE TO APPLY FOR A JOB TO CLAIM YOU WERE NOT HIRED

In Volling v. Antioch Rescue Squad, 2015 WL 1089440 (N.D.Ill. 2015), discharged emergency medical technicians (EMTs) filed an EEOC charge and complained about patient mistreatment and public safety issues. The technicians then filed a retaliation claim alleging that a new service provider, which contracted with their former employer, refused to hire them. The Court held the technicians failed to state that they suffered an adverse employment action as a result of the refusal. This was because the technicians failed to allege that they applied for and were qualified for the positions they sought and did not get. The Court held, therefore, that the technicians failed to allege an adverse employment action sufficient to support their retaliation claim.
Return to Issues Menu

This Employment Bulletin is intended to provide information of general interest and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should consult with their counsel before taking any action based on the information in this publication. All rights reserved. Copyright 2013, McKenna Storer. 

Categories Employment Bulletin Employment Law Publications



Here to help with whatever your legal issues may be, schedule your no-obligation consultation or Simply Call us at.
(815) 334-9694

Please do not send confidential information via email. The sending of information by you, and the receipt of it by McKenna Storer, is not intended to, and does not create a lawyer-client relationship.

Privacy Policy | Sitemap © 2019 McKenna Storer
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons