Author: John Shea

Gender Identity Bathroom Access – From Schools To The Workplace

As readers of our Education Law Notes blog are well aware, there has been a lot of focus on the rights of transgender students with respect to bathroom access in educational institutions under Title IX. The rights of transgender employees to utilize the bathroom matching their gender identity under Title VII, however, has received far…

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The Department of Labor Opines That The Fair Labor Standards Act Sets The Floor With Respect To Wage Standards For Disabled Workers

On November 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidance on the payment of subminimum (or special minimum) wages to workers with disabilities.  As many are aware, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or “Act”) authorizes the DOL to issue certificates permitting employers to pay subminimum wages to workers who…

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A Return Of “Common Sense” To The Courtroom? DC Circuit Concludes That AT&T Connecticut Was Justified In Banning Employees From Wearing “Prisoner Of AT$T” Shirts In Customer Homes

How would you feel if a telephone or cable repair person showed up at your residence wearing a t-shirt that said “Inmate”?  In Southern New England Telephone Company v. National Labor Relations Board  the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently reversed a finding of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”)…

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Department of Justice To Assert Title VII Protects Transgender Status

In a memorandum dated December 15, 2014,  the United States Attorney General has changed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) position with respect to the protection of transgender status under Title VII. While the DOJ had previously maintained that Title VII’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination did not encompass gender identity per se, the DOJ will now…

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Connecticut Supreme Court Rules That A Lying Police Officer Must be Reinstated Because His Lies Were Not “So Egregious.”

Should a police officer who was terminated for lying to the Town of Stratford’s independent physician about his alcohol abuse and epilepsy be permitted to return pursuant to an arbitration panel’s  determination that a nine-month suspension without pay is sufficient punishment for such conduct?  Yes, according to the Connecticut Supreme Court. In Town of Stratford…

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Can Watching Grandchildren Entitle Employee To FMLA Leave?

As all employers covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are well aware, that Act requires them to provide up to 12 weeks of leave to employees providing care to covered family members with a serious health condition.  While a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered family member under the…

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The Supreme Court Says Public Employee’s Court Testimony Protected From Retaliation Under The First Amendment, At Least To The Extent Testifying Is Not A Job Duty

Eight years ago the United States Supreme Court, in Garcetti v. Ceballos, instructed that speech undertaken pursuant to a public employee’s job duties is “employee” speech and not “citizen” speech, and hence is not protected by the First Amendment. Since issuance of Garcetti, lower courts have wrestled with the task of determining exactly when an…

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Employee Theft of Employer Documents—Protected Conduct in Opposition to Discrimination or Criminal Activity?

What happens to board of education employees who steal board documents to support a lawsuit against their employer?  In New Jersey, at least, they are criminally prosecuted.  In State V. Saavedra, Docket No. A-1449-12T4 (Dec. 24, 2013)(link), the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the indictment of a North Bergen Board of Education [“Board”] employee who…

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