In January, a New York federal district court denied a retailer’s bid to dismiss a former regional manager’s lawsuit alleging that workplace rumors spread by three female co-workers that she showed her breasts to the company’s CEO by wearing a revealing blouse without a bra and that her subsequent termination shortly after she complained about the gossip constituted hostile work environment sex discrimination and retaliatory discharge. Baez v. Anne Fontaine USA, Inc., No. 14-cv-56621 (KBF), 2017 U.S. LEXIS 1630 (S.D.N.Y. Jan . 5, 2017).
D.C. Court of Appeals Highlights Importance of Offers of Proof in NLRB Representation Hearings Under Expedited Election Rules
A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in connection with an employer’s challenge to a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” of “Board”) representation election in which the Board certified a “wall to wall” bargaining unit provided clear evidence of just how critical it is for employers to make detailed “offers of proof” concerning issues the Board will not allow them to litigate under the amended election rules which took effect in April 2015.
As we reported last week, the U.S. District Court refused to dismiss a challenge to OSHA’s controversial 2013 Fairfax Memorandum, which allowed for the participation of union representatives in OSHA safety inspections at workplaces where the union did not represent the workers. We asked at the time whether the Trump Administration would continue to defend that change in policy. This week, we saw the first concrete evidence suggesting that OSHA is at least reconsidering and may at a minimum drop its defense of the practice.
Court Refuses To Dismiss Challenge To OSHA Practice Allowing Unions To Accompany OSHA Workplace Investigations
A United States District Court in Texas has refused to dismiss a law suit challenging OSHA’s practice of allowing union representatives and organizers to serve as “employee representatives” in inspections of non-union worksites. If the Court ultimately sustains the plaintiff’s claims, unions will lose another often valuable organizing tool that has provided them with visibility and access to employees in connection with organizing campaigns.
Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation 2017 ONSC 135 (CanLII)
The saga continues. This case returned to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for consideration after a hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada. Forty-seven individual plaintiffs in this action, representing approximately 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorian villagers, are suing Chevron and Chevron Canada to attempt to enforce a US$9.5 billion judgment. The enforcement proceedings first came before the Ontario Court where a motions judge – Justice D.M. Brown (now on the Ontario Court of Appeal) – held that the Ontario Court had jurisdiction to recognize and enforce the Ecuadorian judgment but on his own motion stayed the proceedings. The Ontario Court of Appeal over-ruled Justice Brown’s imposition of a discretionary stay but upheld his decision on the jurisdictional issue. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal.
Our colleagues Jeremy M. Brown, Steven M. Swirsky and Laura C. Monaco, at Epstein Becker Green, have a post on the Management Memo blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the retail industry: “F17 and the General Strike Movement – Best Practices for Addressing Political Activity in the Workplace.”