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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

In Badiak v. Education and Assistance Corp., 2011 WL 233901 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 24, 2011), Plaintiff asserted several causes of action (under federal and state law) alleging age discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment against her former employer, a non-profit agency that provided “educational, vocational, counseling, mediation and intervention services” and ran “learning centers” that functioned as “alternative high school programs…

Read More Section 1983 Claim Against Private School Dismissed Because Complained-Of Acts Were Not Committed Under Color of State Law

Plaintiff was injured after her son-in-law’s dog knocked her down.  Supreme Court (Kings Cty.) denied defendant’s, and granted plaintiff’s, respective motions for summary judgment.   (See Bannout v. McDaniels, 9920/09 (NYLJ 1202479668419, at *1)). The court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment – which was premised on plaintiff’s failure to offer evidence that an “insufficient handrail” proximately…

Read More Bad Dog! Summary Judgment for Woman Knocked Down by Overenthusiastic Pooch

Field v. Grant, 10-23898 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk Cty. 2010): After attorney Gary P. Field discovered that someone was anonymously posting comments about him on two websites (Ripoff Report and LawyerRatingZ), Field sued the suspected author of the posts – Robert Grant, the ex-husband of one of Field’s clients – for defamation. The postings included statements…

Read More Lawyer’s Defamation Suit Over Online Insults Dismissed; Allegedly Defamatory Comments Constituted Non-Actionable Opinion

On January 24, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court (in an opinion authored by Justice Scalia) unanimously held that an employee (Eric Thompson), who was fired after his fiancee Miriam Regalado filed an EEOC charge alleging sex discrimination, could assert a claim for retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.…

Read More Supreme Court Permits Fired Fiance to Maintain Title VII Retaliation Suit