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General March 21, 2016

Seventh Circuit Opines on Adverse Employment Actions

In Boss v. Julian Castro, (7th Cir. March 18, 2016), the Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the employer because, among other reasons, the employee had not suffered an adverse employment action.  An adverse employment action requires “a significant change in employment status . . . [s]uch changes can involve the employee’s current wealth, his […]

Indiana Court of Appeals Reaffirms Employment Handbook Not a Contract

On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2015, Indiana’s Court of Appeals, in the matter of Harris v. Orange County Highway Department, et al, reaffirmed the precedent that employment handbooks generally do not create enforceable employment contracts.  Daniel Harris argued that the employment handbook at issue in his case was unique and created a burden on […]

Employment Discrimination Case – Cat’s Paw Theory

Employment attorneys are constantly on the hunt for decision-makers behind adverse employment actions.  They are always looking to make sure that the decision-makers are also the bad actors, i.e. the individuals who harbor discriminatory intent.  Sometimes, the decision-maker is a separate individual from the bad actor who holds discriminatory intent, and this can pose a […]

Private Email Access and the Stored Communications Act

Employees often ask whether their employer can access their private email messages that were used on the employer’s computer.  Generally, the answer to this inquiry is no, employers cannot intentionally access private email communication without your authorization.  This may likely constitute a violation of the Stored Communications Act.  Employees have no expectation of privacy with […]

Indiana’s Minimum Wage Law: No Overtime Claim for Law Enforcement Employee of Small Employer

Sometimes, the law falls well short of reasonable expectations.  Sometimes, people suffer clear injuries, and the law simply fails to provide an adequate remedy.  This is clearly the case in what happened in the matter of Richardson v. Town of Worthington, (Ind. Ct. App. Sept. 17, 2015).  Richardson sought unpaid overtime wages under Indiana’s Minimum […]

Sham Investigations – Terminated in Retaliation?

In Harden v. Marion County Sheriff’s Dept. (7th Cir. Aug. 25, 2015), the Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of a Title VII retaliation claim, and in doing so, explained in detail when “sham investigations” can be grounds for pretext.  The plaintiff in Harden claimed that he was terminated in retaliation for providing information during an internal […]

EEOC Filing Deadlines – Remember the Deadlines!

In Swanson v. Village of Flossmoor (7th Cir. July 24, 2015), the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed dismissal of a plaintiff’s race and national origin discrimination claims because he failed to timely file a complaint.  Claims of unlawful discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are required to be filed with the […]

Americans with Disabilities Act – Essential Functions – Issue of Fact for Jury

In Shell v. Smith (7th Cir. June 15, 2015), the Seventh Circuit reversed the District Court and held that issues of fact must be decided by a jury on whether driving a bus was an essential function for the plaintiff.  To be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (“ADAAA”), one must generally […]

Indiana Amends Wage Claims Act and Wage Payment Statute

On May 5, 2015, Governor Pence signed Indiana House Bill 1469, which amended the damages provision of Indiana’s Wage Claims Act and Indiana’s Wage Payment Statute to make it more favorable for employers. The Wage Claims Act covers former employees, who lost their job involuntarily, who are owed wages from their previous employer. The Wage […]

Social Security Disability and the ADA Amendments Act – No Paradox

In Rutledge v. Illinois Dept. of Human Services, et al (7th Cir. May 5, 2015), the Seventh Circuit reaffirmed the principle that being “disabled” for VA disability benefits or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits does not automatically mean that a plaintiff is foreclosed from pursuing an employment discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, […]