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PTO Paid Time Off Clock Vacation Hours Leave 3d Illustration

Tennessee Court of Appeals: Vacation is a Matter of Policy

By Cary Schwimmer |

In Michelhaugh, et al. v. Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, Case No. B8LA0053 (August 11, 2020), the Tennessee Court of Appeals addressed a dispute over how and when vacation time was earned. A Department of Energy contractor, Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (“CNS”), had replaced another contractor, Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services (“B&W”). CNS hired B&W’s… Read More »

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Law concept: newspaper headline Breach Of Contract

Tennessee Supreme Court Highlights Significance of At-Will Disclaimers

By Cary Schwimmer |

In Keller v Casteel, et. al, Case No. E2017-01020-SC-R11-CV (June 12, 2020), a municipal firefighter was terminated after pleading guilty to a criminal charge. While the lawsuit’s claim was violation of constitutional due process based on a property interest allegedly created by the City’s personnel manual, rather than breach of contract, the Court applied… Read More »

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Discrimination mind map, social concept for presentations and reports

Employees May be Fired for Falsifying Discrimination Allegations

By Cary Schwimmer |

In Carrethers v McCarthy, Case No. 19-5712 (May 28, 2020), the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Tennessee, confirmed that an employer legitimately may fire an employee if it honestly believes that the employee falsified allegations of misconduct. Carrethers, a civilian employee, had repeatedly accused her supervisors and other coworkers of… Read More »

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Defamation Law and gavel on a table.

Speak No Evil (or Anything Else) About Current or Former Employees

By Cary Schwimmer |

Supervisors and employees should know that saying things about the quality or conduct of a current or former employee can result in a defamation suit against the employer and/or the speaker if the speaker’s comments harm the person being asked about. Recently, in Wallace v. Leidos Innovations Corp. and Mantello, Case No. 19-5512 (March… Read More »

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Wheelchair Crossing Street Medallion, Union Square, San Francisco

Employer’s “Honest-Belief” About ADA Plaintiff’s Ability to do the Job Prevails

By Cary Schwimmer |

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of their jobs with or without reasonable accommodation. One of the most difficult decisions for an employer is whether an employee with a disability can perform his or her job duties with or without accommodation…. Read More »

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Word cloud for Employment discrimination

The “Honest-Belief” Rule

By Cary Schwimmer |

“Mistakes Happen”, began the opinion of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Tennessee, in Smith v. Towne Properties Asset Management Co., Inc., Case No. 19-3681 (March 4, 2020). “But not every mistake amounts to actionable employment discrimination”. Smith worked for Towne Properties which managed apartment complexes. Smith was a community… Read More »

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Employment Discrimination Based on Bankruptcy

By Cary Schwimmer |

Can an employer terminate an employee because he or she has filed for bankruptcy, reasoning that the employee is irresponsible? Can an employer refuse to hire an applicant for a finance-related position because they have gone through bankruptcy, concluding it is too risky to have such a person in the job? The answer to… Read More »

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A Court’s Excellent “TIPS” Primer

By Cary Schwimmer |

Lawyers who conduct union avoidance training for management always include “TIPS” — the acronym for the four things an employer can’t do to employees when there is pro-union activity going on in the company: THREATEN, INTERROGATE (including soliciting grievances from employees), PROMISE (including impliedly promising to fix what solicited grievances pertain to), and SURVEIL. … Read More »

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Bonding on the golf course

Don’t Golf During Intermittent FMLA Leave

By Cary Schwimmer |

Employee abuse of intermittent FMLA leave is a continual problem for many employers.  When an employee seeks intermittent FMLA leave for their own health condition, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Certification of Health Care Provider form requires the provider to specify the need and schedule for follow-up treatments, and the reason, frequency, and duration… Read More »

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Labor union word cloud

6th Circuit – Employer’s Statements Regarding Consequences of Unionization were Lawful

By Cary Schwimmer |

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) guarantees employees the right to form, join or assist labor unions and to collectively bargain through unions.  NLRA Section 8(a) makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed in” Section 7…. Read More »

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