Bass Berry & Sims Labor Talk

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Board Launches New Webpage Discussing Employee Rights

Posted in Labor Board Proceedings and Practice, Union Organizing and Collective Bargaining

On June 18, the Labor Board (“Board”) announced the creation of a new webpage describing the rights of employees to act together for their “mutual aid and protection, even if they are not in a union.” Many employers may see this as the latest example of “we’re from the government and we’re here to help… Continue Reading

Cat’s Paw Theory: What Is It? Why Should I Care?

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice

Some recent court rulings have referred to the “cat’s paw theory” of liability for discrimination. Employers should be aware of these recent decisions because: Employers can be held liable under this theory, even if there is no evidence that the ultimate decision-maker acted in a discriminatory manner; Supervisors who wrongly influence a termination decision can… Continue Reading

Termination Notice Referring to Disability Considered Direct Evidence of Discrimination

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

A Tennessee federal judge recently ruled that a termination notice referring to an employee’s “long-term disability” was direct evidence of discrimination and retaliation.  The Court granted the employee judgment as a matter of law under the ADA. The employee, Coffman, had been off work on an extended medical leave.  She had exhausted her FMLA leave… Continue Reading

Last Chance Agreements – Asking for Waiver of Discrimination Claims Perilous

Posted in Employment Agreements/Non-Compete Policies and Practice, Union Organizing and Collective Bargaining

Some employers use last chance agreements (“LCA”), particularly in union settings, to allow hourly employees “one last chance” to improve performance.  In return, the employee waives the right to use the union’s grievance and arbitration process if later termination is due to continued failure to improve performance or due to another policy violation.  Employers will… Continue Reading