I look forward to speaking at the West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association’s annual conference on October 12 and 13, 2018, at Hawk’s Nest State Park in Ansted, West Virginia.
I will be speaking and presenting an article on the Harless wrongful discharge doctrine, which deals with termination of employees where the employer’s motivation allegedly violates a substantial public policy.
I will also be presenting an article and participating in a panel discussion on social networking & electronic discovery issues.
Here is information on the conference, joining the WVELA, and attending the conference.
On March 29, 2017, I will be speaking and presenting an article on “The Perilous Intersection of FMLA and ADA,” at a seminar hosted by Sterling Education Services. The Seminar, “Employment Law: Rights, Benefits, and Emerging Issues,” will take place in Morgantown, West Virginia. If you would like to attend the seminar click here for more information and a registration form.
Here is the agenda for my speech and article:
- FMLA updates
- ADA updates and EEOC guidelines
- Expansion of what can be considered a “disability”
- What constitutes “reasonable accommodation” according to the EEOC
- Discrimination and violations
- Review and update written policies and job descriptions
- Overlap of FMLA and ADA: finding the right balance
Read this article about how Paris supported the United States after 9–11. Le Monde wrote “We are all Americans”. We owe them nothing less. We are all Parisians.
Let La Marseillaise sing for those injured and killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015.
Continue reading We Are All Parisians
Maybe it’s the frustrated novelist in me, but I’ve been thinking about literature and law.
This article is the start of a series where, once in a while and for no particular reason, I will focus on thought provoking and even profound statements (by others) about the law. Sometimes the quotations will be from literature, and sometimes they will be from legal writings, philosophical works, and from darn near anything else that makes us think about the nature of law and its relationship to society.
So let’s begin … Continue reading Favorite quotes about the law, part 1
“Eternal rest grant them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.” Lux Aeterna
The United States Supreme Court recently unanimously issued a major victory for employees under “USERRA”, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, 38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq., on the “cat’s paw” theory in employment discrimination claims. The decision was in Staub v. Proctor Hospital, — U.S. — (March 1, 2011) (opinion at Google Scholar). Justice Scalia wrote the opinion for the unanimous court. Justice Alito wrote an opinion concurring in the judgment, which Justice Thomas joined. Justice Kagan did not participate in the decision.
What is the “Cat’s Paw” Scenario?
So, what the heck is the “cat’s paw” theory? Does it explain why my cat, pictured at the left, is staring so intently at you?
First, to define “cat’s paw” in a non-legal context, the Webster’s Online dictionary defines a “cat’s paw” as: “A person used by another to gain an end.” The term arises out of a fable in which a a shrewd monkey tricks a cat into pulling roasting chestnuts out of a fire—the cat gets its paw burned, and the monkey gets the chestnuts and scampers away unhurt.
Continue reading US Supreme Court Rules for Employee on “Cat’s Paw” Theory
House Bill 2770, which was recently introduced into the West Virginia House of Delegates, would create the “Flexible Leave Act” to allow employees to take already earned paid leave, and to use that leave for paid time off for an illness of the employee or the employee’s “immediate family”. The bill does not give employees any additional paid leave—it only allows them to take their paid leave that they have already earned under their employers’ policies, and allows the flexibility (hence the name, “Flexible Leave Act”) to take leave that may have been intended for another purpose, such as earned vacation time, and apply it for the different purpose of their own or an immediate family member’s illness.
On January 24, 2011, Delegates Caputo, Fragale, Hatfield, Martin, and Moye introduced House Bill 2770, which is being referred to the Committee on Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business then Finance. You can keep track of the progress of the bill by going to the Bill Status page and entering 2770 in the “Enter Bill Number” field. For information on the bill’s sponsors, or on any other members of the Senate, you can go to the House Members page and pick the member from a drop-down list. For those of you who are interested in finding out more about the legislative process, the Legislature has a “How a Bill Becomes Law” page. The Legislature also has a very nice photo gallery of the Capitol Building.
Continue reading Legislative Update: Pending bill would expand sick leave rights for West Virginia employees
Pending West Virginia legislation would, if passed, extend the time employers have to issue a terminated employee’s final paycheck, from the current 72 hours after discharge to the next regular pay day.
On January 28, 2011, Senators Palumbo and Klempa introduced Senate Bill 339, which is being referred to the Labor and Finance Committees. You can keep track of the progress of the bill by going to the Bill Status page and entering 339 in the “Enter Bill Number” field. For information on the bill’s sponsors, or on any other members of the Senate, you can go to the Senate Members page and pick the member from a drop-down list.
Senate Bill 339 would amend the WV Wage Payment and Collection Act, which deals in part with the obligation of an employer to issue a final paycheck to an employee within a certain period of time. The Wage Payment and Collection Act currently sets two different deadlines, depending on whether the employee resigned or was discharged.
- Section 21–5-4(b): If an employee is discharged, the employer must pay the employee all earned wages within 72 hours after the discharge.
- Section 21–5-4©: if the employee resigns, the employer must pat the employee all earned wages by the next regular payday, either through “regular channels” or, if the employee requests, by mail. There is this additional variation where the employee resigns: if the employee provides “at least one pay period’s notice of intention to quit”, then the employer must pay the employee all earned wages “at the time of quitting” (which is the final day worked after giving notice).
Continue reading Legislative Update: West Virginia legislature may give employers more time to cut final paycheck