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Category Archives: Employee Rights

Watch Out for Drastically Increased Overtime Expenses

A recent proposal from the U.S. Department of Labor would double the minimum salary for the overtime exemption for white collar workers, but would still keep the same complicated duties test in place. As a result, liability for any incidents of misclassification could become significantly more expensive. At this time, salaried employees must make a […]

Whistleblower Alleges Discrimination, Claims Morbid Obesity is Legal Disability

The Eighth Circuit may reopen the 2013 case of a Kansas man who alleges the BNSF Railway Co. revoked his job offer because he was obese. The man, Melvin A. Morriss III, asserts that per the Americans with Disabilities Act, morbid obesity is a disability and that BNSF’s action was discrimination. Morriss claims his obesity […]

IRS, Former Employees Oppose Liberty Medical Bankruptcy Plan

On June 10, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alleged that the proposed Chapter 11 liquidation plan of Liberty Medical Supply Inc. restricts the federal agency’s rights to recover funds it is owed. Former employees of Liberty Medical, a provider of supplies for diabetics, have also criticized the plan, which they claim would allow the company […]

Whistleblower Retaliation Protections Upheld in Sixth Circuit

The Sixth Circuit of Appeals confirmed financial planner Michael Rhinehimer’s $250,000 award in his lawsuit against his former employer, U.S. Bancorp, for retaliation against a complaint. Through affirming Rhinehimer’s case, the Sixth Circuit has upheld Section 1514A of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which allows a whistleblower to act and be protected if the individual has reasonable […]

Hodgson Russ to Continue Involvement in Sexual Harassment Suit

A U.S. Magistrate, Judge Leslie G. Foschio, decided on June 10 that Hodgson Russ LLP would continue to be allowed to defend New York charter bus company, Carrier Coach Inc., and the company’s owner against accusations of sexual harassment. A Carrier Coach Inc. employee, Jessica Grundstrom, had protested the firm’s involvement in the lawsuit, alleging […]

President Obama Proposes Major Changes to Overtime

President Barack Obama recently proposed raising the threshold for overtime salary to $50,400 in an op-ed he penned for the Huffington Post. Currently, the threshold is less than half that amount — set at $23,660 per year. That amount is currently below what is considered to be the poverty line for a family of four. […]

Whistleblower Awarded $80,000 in Punitive Damages

A recent case, Peasley v. Regis Corporation, resulted in a jury awarding $80,000 in punitive damages to the plaintiff, a hair stylist named Valerie Peasley. The claim was filed under the Maine Whistleblower Protection Act. Peasley says she reported to the manager of her salon that some of her coworkers had been selling and using […]

Fourth Circuit Ruling Makes Retaliation Claims Harder to Dismiss

Reya C. Boyer-Liberto, a cocktail waitress, recently filed a lawsuit against the Maryland hotel she worked at, claiming she was fired after complaining about people using racial slurs against her. The defendant, the Fontainebleau Corporation, originally won the case by summary judgment, but the Fourth Circuit Court reviewed the case and found that should instead […]

Senate Approves Whistleblower Bill for the Auto Industry

The U.S. Senate passed the first-ever piece of whistleblower legislation specific to automotive safety April 28. The proposed measure provides incentives to whistleblowers within the auto industry to come forward about known safety issues. It was developed in the wake of the controversies surrounding Takata air bags and General Motors ignition switches over the last […]

OSHA Requests $39 Million in New Funding for 2016 Fiscal Year

The 2016 Fiscal Year budget proposals set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor indicate that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has requested an additional $49 million for its 2016 budget. That money would go toward hiring 90 new full-time employees, 60 of whom would specifically be dedicated to federal enforcement tasks. Of […]


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