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A New York law, known as the “Wage Theft Prevention Act” (and codified at Section 195 of the New York Labor Law) (“WTPA”), recently went into effect.    The WTPA, among other things, strengthens the Labor Law’s anti-retaliation provision, specifies additional notice requirements, and significantly increases penalties for noncompliance (by, for example, increasing liquidated damages from…

Read More NY Enacts Employee-Friendly “Wage Theft Prevention Act”

In Bessemer Trust Co., N.A. v. Branin (decided April 28, 2011), the New York Court of Appeals addressed the following question, which was certified to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 618 F.3d 76: What degree of participation in a new employer’s solicitation of a former employer’s client by a…

Read More NY Court of Appeals Clarifies Circumstances Triggering Liability Arising From Solicitation of Former Employer’s Client

In Govori v. Goat Fifty LLC, 10 Civ. 8982 (S.D.N.Y. March 30, 2011), the Southern District of New York held that plaintiff adequately stated a claim for pregnancy discrimination. Plaintiff contended that she was fired after announcing her plans to undergo in vitro fertilization (“IVF”), and sought relief under Title VII of the Civil Rights…

Read More Female Server States Claim For Pregnancy Discrimination, Bias Against In Vitro Fertilization

In Creagh v. Trata Estiatorio and Watermill 27 Partners, LLC (decided March 14, 2011), the court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of notice of the allegedly hazardous condition (here, water on the floor). Initially, the court summarized the law regarding premises liability, as well as the burdens of the parties on summary judgment…

Read More Court Denies Summary Judgment to Defendant Restaurant in Slip and Fall Case

In Staub v. Proctor Hospital, 131 S.Ct. 1186 (2011), (slip opinion here), the Supreme Court clarified the circumstances – under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. 4311 – under which an employer may be held liable for employment discrimination based on the discriminatory animus of an employee who influenced, but did not…

Read More U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies “Cat’s Paw” Liability Theory

The EEOC recently issued its final regulations pertaining to the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.  These new regulations significantly modify the existing legal landscape relating to the law of disability discrimination.  They include nine “rules of construction” derived from the statute or its legislative history, many of which relate to whether a…

Read More EEOC Issues New Regulations Regarding the ADA Amendments Act of 2008

In Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., 131 S.Ct. 1325 (2011), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) anti-retaliation provision does not require the submission of a written complaint. That provision, codified at 29 U.S.C. 215(a)(3), makes it unlawful to, inter alia, “discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee…

Read More FLSA Anti-Retaliation Provision Covers Oral, as Well as Written, Complaints

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga) today (Wednesday, March 16, 2011) introduced legislation (the “Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011”, H.R. 1113) which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect against discrimination on the basis of unemployment status.  The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.).  Click here for more information on…

Read More Proposed Legislation Would Add “Unemployment Status” As Protected Class

This article, inspired by the apparent recent public dissemination of the Coca-Cola formula (albeit an earlier version of the formula), succintly highlights the difference between the protections provided by patent law, on the one hand, and trade secret law, on the other.  Simply put, patent law arguably offers more comprehensive protection, but provides that protection for a limited…

Read More Why Coca-Cola Never Patented Its Formula

In Kampfer v. Buchanan et. al., No. 1:10-CV-1234 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 18, 2011), the court dismissed plaintiff’s claim – brought under 42 U.S.C. 1981 (“Section 1981”) – which was solely based on defendant’s alleged comment alluding to the parties’ “Mormon contract”.  Plaintiff alleged that this constituted racial discrimination that interfered with his ability to make and enforce a…

Read More Section 1981 Inapplicable to Discrimination Based on Religion