Tag Archives: Litigation

INTERESTING UPDATE: “Manufacturing” Law: Courts Join the States to Fill the Void

In a May 16 Blog Post, I reviewed several cases dealing with the question of whether Title VII’s ban on discrimination “because of . . . sex” included a ban on discrimination “because of sexual preferences.”  I summarized three recent decisions by the United States Courts of Appeal – the Eleventh Circuit holding Title VII … Continue Reading

“Manufacturing” Law: Courts Also Move to Fill the Void

Last month, I wrote that in the absence of significant Congressional action on the labor and employment front, states and cities are increasingly willing to take steps to improve employment protections.  Some courts appear willing to join in – challenging longstanding precedent and finding protections and safeguards not previously recognized. Four separate decisions in the … Continue Reading

States (and Cities) Rush In Where Congress Fears to Tread

Some manufacturers may interpret the “Epic Fail” of Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act as a sign of stability in the labor and employment landscape.  After all, one thing which the new Administration and Congressional Republicans had in common was their seven-year pledge to repeal “Obamacare.”  When compared to the divergent views on other … Continue Reading

Surpassing Even My Expectations, Predictions Come True

Last month, in my “Manufacturing Law Predictions for 2017: Labor and Employment” posting, I wrote:  “Expect at least some high-profile workplace ‘raids’ to round up undocumented workers and substantial fines on the employers which have hired them.”  On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it had concluded the round-up of 680 undocumented workers … Continue Reading

Manufacturing Law Predictions for 2017:  Labor and Employment

As has been our tradition, January is the time to predict the big developments in the coming year which will impact on manufacturers.  Notwithstanding my “Lawyer’s Shrug,” here is my take on 2017. Minimum Wages.  Even though President Trump ran on a populist platform to raise wages for American Workers, I believe it unlikely Congress … Continue Reading

The 2017 “Manufacturers’ Lawyer’s Shrug”

I am a really big fan of the NPR radio show, “Car Talk,” where two Boston auto mechanics took callers’ questions and tried to answer them.  Since the November 8 election, I have freely adapted one of their signature phrases – I call it the “Manufacturers’ Lawyers’ Shrug.”  Basically, when I attend any event and … Continue Reading

How Secure is that Government Order? Recent Case Law Says Not Very

Many manufacturers have found themselves in the position of negotiating an order with an environmental agency over environmental conditions at a site. Oftentimes, these orders are the result of extensive negotiations, and they set the regulated entity on a long and detailed path of investigation and/or remediation. The environmental agency issuing the order often wants … Continue Reading

EEOC Retaliation Guidance Ups the Stakes for Manufacturers

I ended my January 21 “employment law predictions” post by writing, “One thing I can count on as these ‘Years of Change’ continue, [I]  expect something unexpected.”  The EEOC made that prediction come true the same day when it published for comment a wholesale revision of its policy guidance on retaliation claims under federal civil … Continue Reading

Never too Late for Some 2016 Employment Predictions!

  While we are still saying “Happy New Year” (I checked and was told that January 21 was still “not too late” to wish good tidings for 2016), and as we get ready for the Great East Coast Blizzard of 2016, I thought it would be a good time to add my own predictions for … Continue Reading

DOJ to Increase and Strengthen Criminal Worker Safety Prosecutions

With the new year comes a new focus on increasing criminal prosecutions against employers for worker safety violations.  In the end of December, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a plan to deter workplace safety violations through more stringent criminal prosecution.  Under the new plan, the DOJ will work … Continue Reading

CERCLA Update: Court Reverses Divisibility Ruling

Earlier this year, we reported on a case that seemed to breathe new life into the divisibility defense under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).  Under CERCLA, a party that causes or contributes to contamination, or even just owns contaminated property, can be held liable for the entire cleanup.  In May 2015, … Continue Reading

Can Air Emissions Lead to CERCLA Liability?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and remediation of a release of a hazardous substance.  Typically, we think of a “release” as spilling or dumping on land, or discharging to water.  A … Continue Reading

The Background Check Conundrum: “Manufacturing” a Problem (Pun Intended)

I am a longtime advocate of pre-employment criminal background checks.  So I have watched with resigned acceptance as the EEOC, over 100 states and cities across the United States, and other public advocates have fought to limit the use of an applicant’s criminal history in all but limited circumstances.  New York City’s recently enacted “ban … Continue Reading

Heralding Wholesale Changes for Manufacturers, Labor Board Revamps “Joint Employer” Test

Just in time for Labor Day, the National Labor Relations Board handed organized labor a great gift and potentially disrupted the business and labor relationships of thousands of American manufacturers. On August 27, 2015, a divided Labor Board ruled 3-2 that Browning-Ferris Industries was the “joint employer” of workers supplied by a third-party.  Browning-Ferris Industries, … Continue Reading

Superfund Divisibility Defense Gets New Life

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, is a federal law under which contaminated sites are identified and evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA designates certain sites for cleanup and pursues potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to investigate and remediate those sites. Liability under CERCLA is joint and … Continue Reading

“Light Duty” Work Assignments in Doubt: Supreme Court Adopts New Pregnancy Discrimination Standard Affecting Manufacturers

The United States Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, (U.S. Sup. Ct., March 24, 2015), in which the Court set forth a new standard for litigating pregnancy discrimination claims and arguably injected considerable uncertainty into “restricted duty” or “light duty” work programs. Factual Background Peggy Young worked for … Continue Reading

Employee Separation Agreements: Is Your Company’s Agreement A Target For The EEOC?

When manufacturers determine that it is necessary to let go of an employee there is often an assessment of risk and a decision about whether a severance package should be offered in exchange for a separation agreement that contains a general release and waiver of claims against the company.  Given the recent trend in litigation … Continue Reading

Looking Forward to 2014 For Manufacturers – Part III (Corporate Compliance/Litigation)

From a corporate compliance/litigation perspective, my watchlist includes 3-D printing (“additive manufacturing”) and the rise of consumer class actions particularly in the area of food and beverage and nutritional/dietary supplements and the impact those cases might have on all manufacturers and distributors. 3-D Printing / Additive Manufacturing: Almost every day, I see some sort of article … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Roundup – Part II

The Manufacturing Law Blog provides timely commentary on issues of importance to manufacturers and distributors.  Contributors from the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP are corporate compliance and litigation attorney, Jeff White; environmental, health and safety attorney, Pam Elkow;  and labor and employment attorney, Nicole Bernabo. As Part II of our U.S. Supreme Court roundup, this … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court Roundup – Part I – The Definition Of “Supervisor” Is Clarified For Purposes Of Title VII Liability

The Manufacturing Law Blog provides timely commentary on issues of importance to manufacturers and distributors.  Contributors from the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP are corporate compliance and litigation attorney, Jeff White; environmental, health and safety attorney, Pam Elkow;  and labor and employment attorney, Nicole Bernabo. Our U.S. Supreme Court roundup posts will discuss select employment cases decided this term that … Continue Reading
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