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April 2011 Archives

Staub v. Proctor: A key victory for employees' rights

The Supreme Court's decision in Staub v. Proctor Hospital involved a claim of wrongful termination made by a member of the military reserves who was employed as a technician by a hospital. The plaintiff, Vincent E. Staub, was frequently absent from work when he performed his duties as a reservist. His first and second-line supervisors resented his absences, which they felt caused others in the department to work harder to make up the slack. Staub's supervisor issued a corrective action notice relating to his absences. When the supervisor subsequently determined that Staub had violated the write-up, he sent Staub's file to human resources for further action. The HR manager reviewed Staub's file and the supervisor's write-up, and based on the facts given to him by the supervisor, made the decision to terminate Staub's employment.Staub filed suit for wrongful termination of his employment on the ground that it is unlawful for an employer to hold his military reservist obligations against him. A trial ensued and the jury ruled in his favor. However, the hospital appealed and the appeals court reversed the trial court's decision and ruled in favor of the hospital. The appeals court concluded that the decision to fire Staub was made by the HR manager independent of the supervisor who had issued the prior discipline.The Supreme Court, however, reversed the appeals court's decision. The court ruled that the bias of Staub's supervisor may be imputed to the hospital's HR manager since that manager relied on facts contributed by the supervisor, who was hostile toward Staub because of his reservist obligations.Decisions made by non-supervisors may be considered biased if the decision-maker relies on facts provided by a line supervisor.   Consider how the ruling could affect the typical discriminatory disciplinary cases we see every day:

Workers seek unpaid wages and overtime from Kansas slaughterhouse

BusinessWeek reports that two employees at a Creekstone Farms slaughterhouse in Arkansas City, Kansas, recently filed a federal lawsuit against their employer demanding an unspecified amount of unpaid overtime and wages.

IRS gives first whistleblower award for tax fraud tip, P.1

Last Friday an accountant from Pennsylvania received a $4.5 million whistleblower award from the IRS Whistleblower Office for reporting that his employer-one of largest financial services firms in the United States-ignored its own underpayments on taxes.

Labor Department: Levi Straus misclassified employees, owes back wages

Bloomberg reports that the Department of Labor announced on Tuesday that San Francisco-based clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co. will be paying around $1 million in back wages to 596 of its employees.

Former employee of D.C. Mayor's office accused of harassment

The Vince Gray administration is, according to sources, currently being investigated by the FBI, the US attorney's office, and the House Oversight Committee after allegations surfaced concerning bad hiring practices and inflated salaries, among other things.

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I have been a litigator for close to 20 years and Alan is most certainly one of the best attorneys I have ever come across.
Mr. Lescht is an excellent Trial Lawyer, He is calm, cool, and collected.
I also appreciated Alan's frankness and his ability to identify what is important and what is not when going through a case like this.
I would highly recommend Alan to anyone who needs an exceptional and incredibly talented Employment Attorney.
Mr. Lescht is an extraordinarily responsive attorney, returning my emails and phone calls within minutes. I would absolutely recommend him to anyone who thinks they may need a lawyer. Definitely incredible work.
I was impressed with his knowledge and professionalism, and I will always be grateful for his guidance.

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