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Workplace Bullying Costs State $3 Million

  A California state jury has handed down a $3 million award to a Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) employee in a case alleging harassment by supervisors.  John Barrie, a staff services analyst at Caltrans, alleged his supervisors harassed him by intentionally triggering his allergies through exposure to chemicals such as perfumes and cleaning solutions. … Continue Reading

Former Big League Pitcher Awarded More than $1.5 Million for Wrongful Termination

A New Jersey jury in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Camden County has awarded former Major League Baseball pitcher Mitchell Williams $1,565,333 in a wrongful termination action he filed against MLB Network, Inc. Mitchell Williams v. The MLB Network, Inc., et al., No. L-3675-14. Williams, nicknamed “Wild Thing,” played professional baseball from 1986 … Continue Reading

Jury Awards $6.45 Million To Two Plaintiffs for Hostile Work Environment Claims

A jury in the Northern District of Illinois has awarded two plaintiffs $6.45 million in damages, $6 million of which was allocated to punitive damages, clearly signaling that, regardless of statutory caps, juries do not look favorably upon employers who ignore employee complaints of sexual harassment. In Davis v. Packer Engineering, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-07923, Danya … Continue Reading

Trial Court Finds Nothing Reasonable about Employee’s ADA Accommodation Request

A plaintiff’s demand that her supervisor adopt a less overbearing management style was an unreasonable accommodation request under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal district court in Florida has found. Hargett v. Florida Atlantic Univ. Board of Trustees, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154822 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 8, 2016). The plaintiff, who suffered from epileptic … Continue Reading

Jury Waiver Unenforceable For Inadequate Notice of Claims Covered

A New Jersey appeals court has declined to enforce a jury waiver as to statutorily protected whistleblower rights because the provision at issue failed to state adequately the right being surrendered and the claims that were affected. A former employee argued that the jury waiver in his employment contract did not preempt his statutory right … Continue Reading

Third Circuit: No Direct Evidence Needed for Mixed-Motive Jury Instruction in FMLA Retaliation Cases

A former employee alleges that he was terminated because he exercised his right to take intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. His former employer asserts that his FMLA leave had nothing to do with his termination. Rather, the employer claims, he was let go simply because his position was eliminated. At trial, … Continue Reading

Using Electronically Stored Information in Employment Trials

          In employment litigation, evidence now admitted during most trials routinely includes electronically stored information (ESI), including email communications and documents the receipt of which is often acknowledged with a mouse click. Trial counsel must know how to authenticate such ESI to ensure the court will allow it into evidence. Counsel also should be aware of … Continue Reading
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