Articles Posted in Third Circuit Employment Law 101


A few weeks ago, I blogged here about a federal agency — one that rhymes with EEOB — reaching a 7-figure settlement with its workers of alleged Fair Labor Standards Act overtime violations involving comp time.

Last week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion, in which it addressed another tricky situation involving overtime offsets.

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School lunch

How was your Thanksgiving? Survive Black Friday? (In case you’re wondering about a gift for me, noYes. Heck, yes (asking for a friend)).

Me? I almost left my kids on the North Pole as I counted the minutes until Monday. But, overall, I enjoyed a few days off.

Now, it’s back to work. *** Sips mai tai *** So, let’s talk about the Fair Labor Standards Act. As wage and hour claims generally continue to spike, I’m going to get into the weeds a bit and talk about meal breaks. Specifically, when do non-exempt employees get paid for meal breaks?

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Brussels Airport Company employees (11993150334)

Last week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals daintily dabbed the Cheez Whiz from their cheeseteak holes and voted provolone out of Philadelphia took up the issue of whether a company with which a staffing company places temporary workers can be sued for discrimination.

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[Editor’s Note: The employer in this post is a client; although, I did not represent this client in this case].

Yesterday, in Jones v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, for the first time ever, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that a suspension with pay is not an “adverse employment action” under the substantive discrimination provision of Title VII. (The Court did not address the issue of whether a suspension with pay is an adverse employment action under the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII).

The Third Circuit’s holding is in line with several other circuits across the country.

Chalkboard eraser, Waldorf School, East Lexington MA.jpgBack when I first started this blog, when I believed that my blogging success would translate into Aston Martins and beach homes, rather than “Can you please email me a copy of your FMLA PowerPoint?”, I had a series of “Third Circuit Employment Law 101” posts. Well, I don’t think I’ve done a “101” post for nearly 5 years. Time to break that streak.

Oh, hold on a sec, I need to respond to another PowerPoint-request email…

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Yep, in this precedential opinion, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals created a Family and Medical Leave Act loophole that could protect “the most frivolous leave requests.”

Folks, if your business is covered under the FMLA, and you’ve ever had to deal with a questionable medical certification for an employee’s serious health condition, read on…

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Happy Monday, everyone.

Glad to see I didn’t break some of your content filters on Friday with my filthy NLRB post. But, hey, just another day in the interesting life of an employment lawyer / HR professional, amirite?

Today, I bring you a very simple lesson, courtesy of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, from right here in my backyard. That lesson is this:

When you terminate an employee, do not write “Health Reasons” on the employee’s termination form. Continue reading

What the hell are you talking about, Eric? Why would we make an independent contractor sign a release of employment claims before starting work for our company?

So glad you asked. Although, I’m not sure I like your tone.

*** takes pills ***

Many years ago, Allstate Insurance restructured its business, where it decided to longer have employees; only independent contractors. So, it offered its employees a bunch of options. One option was a severance; another was the ability to convert to independent contractor status. Either way, the individual had to release all past and presented employment-related claims agains the company.

When the EEOC got wind of the conversion option, they cried retaliation.

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Trial is over!

I’m coming atcha live and direct from the bloggerdome with a sweet defense verdict in my pocket. Yup, yup!

[cue music]

[cue music]

And what do I come back to? A precedential Third Circuit opinion discussing an employee’s right to return to work from FMLA.

I’ll cover that for you after the jump…

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