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Staples Announces $38 Million Class Action Settlement

Published by on November 21, 2007

Staples, Inc. announced a $38 million settlement of a wage and hour class action in California involving 1,700 assistant managers who were allegedly misclassified as exempt from overtime pay.  The company had previously estimated the potential liability in the case in SEC filings as up to $150 million.  The settlement is subject to court approval. (h/t Wage Law for the initial read on this story) ...

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Court Holds That Vacation Pay Is “Wholly Contractual”

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In an opinion dated November 15, 2007, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that employer liability for vacation pay upon termination is "wholly contractual."    The court stated that "when employers choose to offer paid time off as a benefit, employers and employees can contract for the circumstances under which employees are entitled to paid time off and payment in lieu of paid time off, so long as the contract provisions are not prohibited by or otherwise in conflict with a statute." The c...

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New FLSA Opinion Letters

Published by on November 20, 2007

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) publicly released several Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) opinion letters today.  The two most interesting letters deal with cattle industry Field Inspectors and court reporters.  In the first letter, the DOL found that because a cattle industry Field Inspector generally spent the majority of his time managing his assigned district and supervising staff (and was paid on a salary basis over the minimum amount), he met the requirements of section 541.100(a) ...

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Federal Study Suggests That Employers Win Small Number of Employment Discrimination Claims On Summary Judgment

Published by on November 19, 2007

(h/t Workplace Prof Blog) An initial report by the Federal Judicial Center on summary judgment practice across the federal district courts suggests that between 9% - 14% of all employment discrimination cases are actually terminated on summary judgment (Table 12).  The report shows that between 34% and 38% of all defendants file a motion for summary judgment in employment discrimination cases.  (Table 7).  In employment discrimination cases, the defendant was the moving party on summary ...

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OSHA Issues Final Rule On Personal Protective Equipment

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On November 15, 2007, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment; Final Rule (72 Fed. Reg. 200 at 64341).  The final rule becomes effective on February 13, 2008, and must be implemented by May 15, 2008.  The rule requires employers to pay for personal protective equipment, with several specific exceptions outlined in the regulation.  Some excerpts: "In this final rule, OSHA is requiring employers to pay for the PPE us...

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Podcast: The Week in Review

Published by on November 16, 2007

The week in review podcast for the second week of November.  This week's employment law topics from Virginia and beyond include:  practical pointers; 4th Circuit case update; class actions; legislative developments in the area of sexual orientation discrimination; and the jury verdict or attorneys' fee award of the week. The podcast is based on the articles posted in the blog.

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Jury Verdicts

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Here is a collection of recent articles about employment law jury verdicts and fee awards:  PA -- Court awards $45.7 million in attorneys' fees in rest break class action against Wal-Mart (Law.com, Nov. 16, 2007).  CA -- Jury awards BART mechanic $1.27 million in racial harassment case (sfgate.com, Oct. 18, 2007). AL -- Male dockhand at grocery wins $250,000 for sexual harassment (Sand Mountain Reporter, Oct. 18, 2007). ...

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