The slow season of employment law news continues, which makes this a perfect time to roll-out the occasional Quick Takes post to discuss interesting nuggets and updates to recent posts.
- The Statewide Grievance Committee, on the day before Christmas, issued a formal reprimand to Maureen Duggan for "fraud and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice". Ms. Duggan, as you may recall, wrote an anonymous letter complaining about the former state ethics chief, Alan Plofsky. Ms. Duggan was also ordered to attend nine hours of ethics training.
- Meanwhile, you might also be wondering what ishappening with the employment complaint filed by that former ethics chief against the state? The short answer is, nothing. The parties finished their briefing on the summary judgment motion back in June 2008 and the case is still awaiting a decision. In the meantime, the parties filed a status report with the court on December 10th (download here), essentially saying the same thing.
- The Second Circuit recently reinstated an age discrimination claim, overturning a district court decision granting the employer’s summary judgment. It’s yet another example of the relatively high burdens that employers have to win a case before trial. Wait a Second has the details of Carras v. MGS 782 Lex, Inc., 2008 WL 5273278 (2d Cir. Dec. 19. 2008):
The 62 year-old plaintiff was fired from his job as Chief Financial Officer of a shoe importing company. The defendant argued that plaintiff was fired for cost-cutting reasons. The district court thought the jury could only find that cost-cutting was the real reason, not the plaintiff’s age. But the plaintiff produced evidence that he was willing to work for a lower salary and that the corporate vice president repeatedly told the president that plaintiff was too old and that the president capitulated to the vice president’s wishes that plaintiff be terminated. Management had also openly joked about plaintiff’s age on several occasions. Plaintiff was also replaced by a 26 year-old.
- Will the Employee Free Choice Act pass in the new Congress? World of Work blog suggests that EFCA is not a done deal.
- A new blog, Minding the Workplace, made its debut this month. Written by Suffolk University Law Professor, David Yamada, the target audience of the blog is workplace dignity, bullying and psychological health topics. It’s worth taking a look at for a different perspective on the issues.
- The New York Law Journal today reports on a new Second Circuit case that enacts a less deferential standard of review under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act where the plan administrator is conflicted because it both evaluates eligibility and pays benefits. In McCauley v. First Unum Life Insurance Co.
Coming tomorrow: A Year-End Wrap Up…