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BSCR attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in all aspects of employment and labor law. We have successfully defended numerous discrimination and other employment litigation matters and resolved many through successful motions for summary judgment.  We represent our clients in court, before administrative agencies such as the EEOC and NLRB, and in arbitration. In addition to representing Fortune 100 companies, mid-sized and small businesses, we also represent individuals, public and government employers throughout the United States.

We know how to try cases, but we also know how to advise our clients on how best to avoid litigation through sound business practices. Our clients come from a number of business industries, including aerospace, automotive, energy services, consumer products, construction, food and beverage, healthcare, human resources, information technology, retail, and telecommunications.

The types of matters we have handled include:
 

  • Employment discrimination claims
  • Wage and hour disputes
  • Workplace harassment claims
  • Retaliation claims
  • Whistle-blower litigation and other wrongful discharge claims
  • Disputes over non-compete agreements, and confidentiality/ trade secrets agreements
  • Disability, family and medical leave claims
  • Defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, tortious interference, invasion of privacy and negligent hiring and/or supervision claims
  • Representing employers in unfair labor practice cases, representation cases, and other NLRB matters
  • Representing employers in arbitrations
  • Representing employers before the EEOC and state fair employment practices agencies
  • ERISA litigation
  • Service letter issues
  • Separation Agreements
  • HIPAA and other workplace privacy issues

In addition, we know how to navigate the complex maze of state and federal statutes and regulations involving employment matters. Our attorneys have advised employers in crafting personnel policies, including the drafting of employee handbooks and on creating policies related to hiring and termination of employees. We also provide advice and on-site seminars about conducting employee investigations, handling terminations and minimizing the risks of litigation.

We are leaders in ALFA International’s Employment and Labor practice group. In addition, attorneys in our practice group have lectured on employment law matters before judicial and bar groups, and have published articles in professional journals.

For more information about our Employment & Labor practice contact Tom Rice or David Eisenberg at 816.471.2121.

News & Events

Michael Kopit to Speak at Kansas Bar Association's 2016 Employment Law CLE

08.25.16 | Michael Kopit is scheduled to speak at the Kansas Bar Association’s 2016 Employment Law CLE seminar on October 7, 2016 at the Kansas Law Center in Topeka, Kansas. He joins other area practitioners with employment law experience for the one day seminar covering a variety of topics and recent developments in employment law.

Law360 Article Includes Eisenberg Commentary on DOL's Final Overtime Exemption Rule

05.20.16 | avid Eisenberg was quoted in a May 18, 2016, Law360 article “Attorneys React To DOL's Final Overtime Exemption Rule” regarding the significance of the U.S. Labor Department’s issuance of the final version of the overtime exemption rule raising the minimum salary threshold to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white collar exemption. Eisenberg commented...

Eisenberg Comment Included in Law360 Article on Tyson Class Action Ruling

03.29.16 | David Eisenberg was quoted in a recent Law360 article regarding the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Mach 22, 2016 ruling in Tyson Foods Inc. v. Bouaphekeo, where the High Court held that averages and other statistical analyses could be used to show similarities between disparate class members. Eisenberg commented...

Thomas Rice Serves as Co-Chair of EPL/PL Program Hosted by ALFA International

03.18.16 | Thomas Rice is serving as co-chair of the upcoming program ”Enlightening The EPL/PL World” jointly hosted by ALFA International’s Insurance Law, Labor & Employment, and Professional Liability Practice Groups. A Steering Committee Member of the Insurance Law, Professional Liability and Labor & Employment Practice Groups, Mr. Rice is serving as co-chair on behalf of the Insurance Practice Group...

Thomas Rice Serves as Moderator For Cyber Liability and Data Breach Panel

03.18.16 | Thomas Rice will moderate a panel on cyber liability and data breaches in the workforce and related legal and ethical considerations for in-house counsel, corporate risk management and law firms. Panel members feature representatives from three different insurance companies with cyber liability expertise plus an attorney from ALFA International’s Los Angeles, California member firm...

Thomas Rice Serving as Course Book Editor for Upcoming ALFA International Program

03.18.16 | Thomas Rice is serving as course book editor for the insurance track of the upcoming program "Enlightening the EPL/PL World" jointly hosted by ALFA International's Insurance Law, Labor & Employment, and Professional Liability Practice Groups.

Michael Kopit to Speak at Seminar on Employment Law Updates

02.11.16 | Michael Kopit joins a panel of attorneys speaking on employment law updates on March 8, 2016. The seminar includes updates ranging from wage/hour issues and recent NLRB decisions to FMLA/ADA issue and ACA requirements. Kopit will be speaking on...

Eisenberg Comment Included in Law360 Article on High Court ERISA Ruling

05.20.15 | David Eisenberg was quoted in a recent Law360 article regarding the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 18, 2015 ruling in Tibble v. Edison International, where the High Court vacated a Ninth Circuit ruling that plaintiffs’ claims of alleged imprudent 401(k) plan investments were time-barred...

Law 360 Article Includes Eisenberg Comments on High Court's Pregnancy Bias Ruling

03.26.15 | David Eisenberg’s commentary on the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s March 25, 2015 ruling in Young v. United Parcel Services Inc. was included in a Law 360 article entitled Attorneys React to High Court Pregnancy Bias Ruling.

Eisenberg Comments on High Court Ruling on Retaliation Suits

06.26.13 | David Eisenberg's commentary on the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court's June 24 ruling in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar was included in a Law 360 article (Lawyers React to High Court Ruling on Retaliation Suit) regarding the significance of the ruling, which requires workers bringing Title VII retaliation claims to show their employer would not have taken action against them had they not filed a complaint. . .

Eisenberg to Serve as Course Book Editor for Upcoming ALFA EPLI Seminar

04.27.12 | BSCR attorney David Eisenberg is serving as the Course Book Editor for the 2012 ALFA International EPLI Seminar to be held in New York in June. The EPLI seminar is jointly sponsored by the Insurance, Labor & Employment and Professional Liability Practice Groups. . .

Eisenberg to Participate on ALFA International Client Seminar Panel

09.23.11 | At the 2012 ALFA International Client Seminar, David Eisenberg will appear on a panel that will discuss "Class Actions after Wal-Mart v. Dukes." The seminar, hosted by the Labor & Employment Practice Group, is scheduled for March 8-11, 2012 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ.

Rice to Co-Chair ALFA Joint Practice Group Seminar

07.20.11 | Thomas Rice is the program co-chair for the June 2012 ALFA seminar to be jointly sponsored by the Insurance, Professional Liability and Labor & Employment practice groups.

Eisenberg to Speak on Employment Discrimination Law

05.04.11 | On May 11, David Eisenberg will be one of four attorneys speaking at a full-day seminar on Employment Discrimination Law in Overland Park, Kansas. David's portion of the seminar will cover best practices for avoiding discrimination and retaliation claims. . .

Rice and Eisenberg Serve as Regional Editors for State Employment Law Compendium

05.04.11 | Tom Rice and David Eisenberg are currently serving as a Regional Editors for the next edition of the ALFA State Employment Compendium. The Compendium will cover laws and significant developments on topics selected by the ALFA Labor & Employment practice group and will be published in advance of the 2012 ALFA International Client Seminar, at which the Labor & Employment group will be featured presenters. . .

Rice Speaks at ALFA Labor & Employment Seminar

12.01.10 | At the November 2010 ALFA Labor & Employment meeting in Dana Point, CA, Thomas Rice spoke on the topic of "Staying Ahead Of The Game: How Employers Can Cope With Changing Laws And Increased Regulatory Scrutiny".

Eisenberg Co-Chairs ALFA Labor & Employment Program

07.01.10 | David Eisenberg served as Co-Chair of ALFA International's program titled "Employer Liability: Stemming the Rising Tide", in New York City, June 16-18. The program was attended by 180 lawyers and insurance professionals, and was co-sponsored by ALFA's Labor & Employment and Insurance Practice Groups. . .

Results

Dismissal with Prejudice obtained for Municipality and Police Officers

BSCR obtained a dismissal with prejudice for a municipality and two of its police officers in a suit alleging a violation of 42 USC 1983 (Retaliation for Exercise of First Amendment rights related to union activity); violation of 42 USC 1985 (Conspiracy to Retaliate); Tortious Interference with a Business Expectancy; Conspiracy to Tortiously Interfere with Business Expectancy; Libel; and Conspiracy to Commit Libel. . .

BSCR Obtains Summary Judgment for Construction Client

BSCR obtained summary judgment on behalf of a General Contractor, Subcontractor, and Subcontractor’s Employee, on a multi-million dollar claim made by an ironworker who claimed to have been injured on a universty project. . .

Blog Posts

You've Got Mail - Service of Process by Mail is Satisfactory under the Hague Service Convention

05.30.17 | The United States Supreme Court ruled on May 22, 2017, that the Hague Convention, on the service of judicial documents abroad, permits service by mail if the receiving country has not objected to service by mail and service by mail is authorized under otherwise-applicable law.

The Daubert Standard - Coming Soon to a Missouri Court Near You

03.31.17 | Earlier this week, Governor Eric Greitens signed Missouri HB 153 into law. HB 153, which supplants Missouri’s existing expert witness standard with that set forth in Federal Rules of Evidence 702, 703, 704 and 705, effectively submits expert testimony in most civil and criminal case to the analysis set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

Federal Judges Blow Their Stacks Over Boilerplate Objections

03.27.17 | Within a two-week period, two federal judges issued strongly worded orders denouncing the common practice of asserting boilerplate objections to written discovery.

Employees: Yes, You Can Owe Duties To Your Co-Employees

03.22.17 | The Missouri Court of Appeals rules that a worker may owe an independent duty of care to a co-worker, which is separate and distinct from her employer’s non-delegable duties.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: A Practical Guide to Reducing the Risk of a Data Breach

12.19.16 | Most organizations collect and store personal or sensitive information about their clients and employees. Protecting sensitive or private information should be a priority for all organizations, regardless of their size. Threats to information security arise from...

Mere Designation of an Expert Witness Does Not Waive the Work Product Doctrine Protections

11.02.16 | A Missouri plaintiff did not irrevocably waive the protections of the work product doctrine simply by designating an expert witness and then withdrawing the designation without disclosing the expert’s analysis or conclusions.

Employer's Non-Delegable Duties and Co-Employee Liability

10.04.16 | Employees acting negligently within the scope of employment are not granted immunity under the Worker’s Compensation Act; they remain liable if plaintiff establishes that a co-employee breached a personal duty of care.

Procedural Confusion: Should Parties Suffer When Circuit Courts Don't Follow the Rules?

08.04.16 | Three years ago, the Missouri Supreme Court handed down a decision concerning when and how an employer had to challenge an employee’s alleged untimely filing of a complaint under the Missouri Human Rights Act. Ever since, that decision has created consternation and confusion for practitioners, who hoped that this issue might be clarified in a Court of Appeals, Western District case.

Employers Know That Instructions Matter

07.15.16 | The Missouri Supreme Court reverses and remands an employment discrimination and retaliation case, in favor of employer-defendant, due to prejudice resulting from an improper submission of a jury instruction.

Constructive Discharge Claims: When Does the 45-Day Period for Initiating Contact with the EEOC Begin to Run?

06.08.16 | On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Green v. Brennan in order to resolve a split among the Circuits on whether, in an action for constructive discharge, the 45-day limitation period for the employee to initiate contact with the EEOC begins to run after the employer’s last discriminatory act, or at the time of the employee’s resignation.

Success in Tackling the "Reptile Theory" of Trucking Accident Litigation With a Motion to Dismiss and Strike

05.25.16 | A recent order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas may be beneficial to defense practitioners fighting the so-called "reptile theory" of plaintiff’s litigation, frequently aimed at trucking companies, which attempts to put the company on trial rather than litigating the circumstances of a particular accident. A targeted motion to dismiss and strike, focused upon the broad, boilerplate complaints that allege hiring, training, qualification, and supervision practices by the company and alleged violations of the FMCSA and FMSCR, may help to limit the scope of discovery and evidence sought in furtherance of the “reptile theory.”

U.S. Department of Labor Raises the Minimum Salary Threshold to Qualify for the FLSA "White Collar Exemption"

05.18.16 | On May 18th, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its final overtime exemption rule, raising the minimum salary threshold to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act's white collar exemption to $47,476 per year. The regulation takes effect on December 1st. Between now and then, employers have an important decision to make for their white collar employees whose earnings are near the new threshold.

Missouri Implements Ban the Box on Applications for State Government Jobs

04.20.16 | On April 11th, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed an executive order requiring that state departments, agencies, and boards and commissions under the executive branch remove questions about criminal history from the initial job applications of prospective employees.

When Plaintiff's Counsel Wants to Speak with Your Former Manager

03.03.16 | We are often asked by clients if there is anything they can do to keep Plaintiff’s counsel from speaking with managers who are no longer with the company. A recently published Missouri Informal Advisory Opinion on Legal Ethics (Opinion 2013-01) addresses this subject.

"Excusable neglect" is a real standard requiring real evidence (Updated 01.04.2016)

01.04.16 | While a Kansas court may grant relief from a final judgment based on excusable neglect, it is an abuse of discretion to grant that relief when the party seeking that relief has failed either to explain what facts constituted excusable neglect or to provide any evidence to support that claim.

The "Realities" Of Third-Party Harassment Claims Under The MHRA

12.02.15 | The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District, applying a modified economic realities test, held that AutoZone, Inc., the parent corporation of AutoZoners, LLC, was not Plaintiff’s employer for purposes of the Missouri Human Rights Act. However, the Court found that Plaintiff made a submissible case for sexual harassment, which lead to its decision to uphold the jury’s rulings in favor of Plaintiff for her hostile work environment claim, the trial court’s decision in refusing to reduce the award of compensatory damages and the jury’s award of punitive damages against AutoZoners, LLC. The case was ultimately remanded on the issue of attorneys’ fees.

DWI in Missouri Is Irresponsible but Not a Crime of Moral Turpitude

11.19.15 | On November 17, 2015, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District ruled for the first time that a misdemeanor first offense for driving while intoxicated did not qualify as a crime of moral turpitude.

The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision continues to spawn plenty of litigation

11.05.15 | In the case of Sharpe Holdings, Inc., et. al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, which enjoined the government from...

Missouri Supreme Court Grants New Trial for Former Kansas City Chiefs Employee in Age Discrimination Case

11.02.15 | On October 14, 2010, 61 year old Steven Cox was fired from the Kansas City Chiefs. He was replaced with a 37 year old. Litigation ensued and presumably concluded, with a decision in the Chiefs’ favor. The Missouri Supreme Court, however, threw a penalty flag, and granted a new trial in the case. Read more to find out why.

The Missouri Court of Appeals Upholds a Significant Award of Punitive Damages in an Employment Discrimination Case

07.28.15 | Recently, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, upheld a $2 million punitive damages award against an employer in a disability discrimination case brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act...

The Eastern District of Missouri continues the trend of invalidating employee-employer arbitration agreements

07.14.15 | In Bowers v. Asbury St. Louis Lex, LLC d/b/a Plaza Lexus, et al., the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District, in a race discrimination lawsuit, issued its latest ruling on employer-employee arbitration agreements.

Hobby Lobby Decision continues to resonate

04.21.15 | On March 9, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari at the request of the University of Notre Dame on another matter arising from the Affordable Care Act, and remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, with instructions to reconsider its ruling in light of the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

The Eighth Circuit Provides Clarity on Outside Sales Exemption and Waiver Requirements under FLSA

04.01.15 | The Eighth Circuit recently analyzed the application of the “outside sales” and “administrative” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the context of promotional workers. Also, the Court was asked to decide, for the first time, what constitutes a valid waiver of an employee’s rights under the FLSA.

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Reaffirms Requirement of Substantial Evidence of Pretext in Employment Retaliation Claims

03.24.15 | Eighth Circuit affirms summary judgment for Employer on a retaliation claim, absent evidence of pretext.

Employers Beware: The Missouri Court of Appeals Strikes Another Blow Against Enforcement of Employee Arbitration Agreements

03.16.15 | It is time for Missouri employers to re-evaluate their employment agreements to see if the arbitration clauses, or the agreements as a whole, are still enforceable. Notwithstanding the U.S. Supreme Court’s repeated endorsement of the enforceability of arbitration agreements, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District has elevated to a whole new level the Missouri courts’ hostility toward arbitration clauses in employment agreements, in the case of Jimenez v. Cintas Corporation.

Kansas Governor Rescinds Executive Order That Had Prohibited Discrimination Against State Employees Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

02.16.15 | In an action that has drawn significant national media attention, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback issued an Executive Order rescinding an Executive Order signed eight years earlier by then Governor Sebelius, which had prohibited discrimination against state employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Whistleblower Protection for TSA Employee

02.03.15 | A former federal air marshal’s communication of TSA decision to terminate missions, despite a hijacking threat, was protected under the whistleblower statute because it was not a “specifically prohibited disclosure.”

Columbia, Missouri Enacts Ban-the-Box Ordinance Applicable to Both Public and Private Employers

12.19.14 | This is the first ban-the-box ordinance in Missouri that applies to private employers.

Employer's Stated Concern over Health Costs for its Older Employees Can Serve as a Proxy for Age Discrimination

12.03.14 | Eighth Circuit reverses summary judgment against terminated employee, where employer had asked its insurer for premium deductions because its “oldest, sickest” employers were no longer with the company.

Court of Appeals Affirms Denial of Sigma-Aldrich's Request for Injunctive Relief Against Former Employee

11.20.14 | St. Louis life science company’s non-compete clause is ruled overbroad in scope, and information for which protection was sought was not truly “trade secret”.

New Kansas gun law affects employers and premises owners

11.14.14 | Recently enacted Kansas law changes the rules for business owners who wish to restrict firearms on their premises.

Federal Court Rejects EEOC's Attempt to Enjoin Corporate Wellness Program on ADA and GINA Grounds

11.11.14 | U.S. District Court refuses the EEOC’s attempt to block the implementation of Honeywell’s employee wellness program, which provides incentives for its employees to take advantage of health screenings.

Are FedEx Delivery Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors? The Kansas Supreme Court Applies the 20-Factor Test, and Rules They Are Employees

11.06.14 | The Kansas Supreme Court, in Craig v. FedEx Ground Package System, clarifies the standard for determining whether workers are employees or independent contractors

The Missouri Supreme Court Invalidates an Employment Contract Arbitration Clause for Lack of Consideration

10.30.14 | The Missouri Supreme Court recently sustained the trial court’sdenial of an employer’s motion to compel arbitration in the case of Carla Baker v. Bristol Care, Inc. d/b/a Bristol Manor, et al., No. SC93451.

The Missouri Supreme Court Rules That Parties May Have a Duty as a Joint Employer With Its Contractors Pursuant to the Missouri Minimum Wage Law

09.19.14 | Individuals and businesses relying upon contractors to provide labor services may be exposing themselves to liability if these contractors fail to pay their employees in accordance with the Missouri Minimum Wage Law.

EEOC Guidelines Expand Accomodation Requirements for Pregnant Employees

08.28.14 | The EEOC expands "reasonable accommodation" rights of pregnant employees.

An Employee Who Refuses to Comply With the Employer's Legitimate Requests for Information and FMLA Leave Policies May Forfeit FMLA Protection

08.12.14 | The FMLA offers significant protections to eligible employees. However, FMLA rights do not shelter an employee who refuses to comply with her employer’s reasonable requests for information, and that refusal may even be grounds for termination. In some circumstances, even if the requests are somewhat related to the FMLA leave, the employer may be protected from an FMLA interference claim.

NRLB General Counsel Authorizes Complaints against McDonald's Franchisees, also naming McDonald's USA as a Joint Employer

07.30.14 | NLRB General Counsel fires a shot across the bow of McDonald’s and other national franchisors.

Reasonable Accommodations Are All About Enabling Employees To Work, Not To Not Work

07.16.14 | The Tenth Circuit addresses the duration of sick leave, as a “reasonable accommodation” for an employee with a disability.

The Hobby Lobby decision is already being felt in other cases.

07.09.14 | The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Hobby Lobby decision on June 30 and it is already having a ripple effect. On July 3rd, the Court issued an injunction on a case pending in the lower Federal Courts simplifying the paperwork needed to claim a religious exemption under the Hobby Lobby decision. The female members of the Court issued a dissent to the order.

The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision - What it does and does not do

07.01.14 | Closely-held or family owned companies whose owners have strong religious beliefs may be able to exclude certain contraception-related benefits from their employee health benefit programs. The federal government has available "less restrictive" means of assuring that employees get access to such care at no additional cost, than an outright mandate that all employers provide those benefits.

In a differential etiology, experts need not rule out all possible causes

06.23.14 | Experts are not required to rule out all possible causes when performing the differential etiology analysis if the experts have properly ruled in the alleged cause.

Missouri Appellate Court Invalidates Arbitration Agreement Not Signed by Employer

06.03.14 | Employers need well-drafted contractual agreements to compel arbitration with their employees for sexual harassment and discrimination claims. In Baier v. Darden Restaurants, et al., 420 S.W.3d 733 (Mo. App. W.D. 2014), a Missouri appellate court held that an arbitration agreement was not enforceable when an employee signed a document stating that all employment disputes would be arbitrated, but the employer did not sign.

Punitive Damages Part 1: Don't Get Caught Flat-Footed

04.29.14 | A Kansas plaintiff may amend their pleadings to assert punitive damages up until the day of the pretrial conference.

Workers' Compensation + Retaliation = Missouri Supreme Court adopts the "contributing factor" standard

04.22.14 | A man who sued his former employer, alleging he was discharged in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim, appealed on the basis that the trial court used a jury instruction with the wrong standard. In a 5-2 decision written by Judge George W. Draper III, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected the 'exclusive causation' standard and replaced it with the "contributing factor" standard. On remand and in future cases, the jury must determine whether the plaintiff's filing of a workers' compensation claim was a "contributing factor" to his or her discharge.

Kansas abolishes assumption of the risk defense.

04.21.14 | Based on its adoption of a statutory scheme of comparative negligence, Kansas has abolished common law assumption of the risk as a bar to recovery. Simmons v. Porter, 298 Kan. 299, 312 P3d 345, 355 (Kan. 2013).

Pick your poison: Plaintiffs Must Choose Either Respondeat Superior or Direct Negligence Against Employers after a Commercial Motor Vehicle Collision

03.27.14 | When a motor vehicle collision involves a commercial vehicle, plaintiffs often sue the commercial driver's employer through respondeat superior, whereby employers are strictly liable for the negligence of their employers.

A mundane lesson from an important decision, or, the importance of presenting evidence

03.20.14 | The plaintiff has the burden of proving standing, which is a jurisdictional issue that can be raised at any time.

Supreme Court holds that the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act apply to employees who work for contractors of public companies

03.05.14 | The Supreme Court resolves a split in authority, and opts for a broader reading of who may bring a whistleblower claim under SOX.

No Signed Settlement Necessary, Except When It Is

02.25.14 | In Kansas, the parties bind themselves to an enforceable settlement, even though the parties contemplate subsequent execution of a formal instrument. However, when the parties specifically condition a contract on it being reduced to writing and signed, there is no enforceable contract until such act is accomplished.

Tenth Circuit Reinstates Chemical Worker's Disability and Family Medical Leave Act Retaliation Claims

01.23.14 | Plaintiff furnished sufficient evidence to show that the employer's claim that he was fired for safety violations was a pretext for discrimination

Supreme Court to Rule on Challenges to the "Contraceptive Mandate" of the Affordable Care Act

12.19.13 | The high court is expected to resolve a circuit split on whether the owners of privately held secular companies, who oppose offering contraception-related benefits on religious grounds, may challenge these mandatory coverage requirements under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Why Kansas Employers Should Utilize Statutory Assignment to Litigate Against Third Parties Who Injure Their Employees

12.11.13 | Employers must carefully monitor injured workers' potential claims against third parties who caused workplace injuries, and proactively manage the litigation process.

Two Recent Decisions Threaten to Erode Protections for Employers Against Negligent Hiring, Training and Retention Claims

10.30.13 | Companies who employ drivers may be exposed to greater liability in Missouri courts. In McHaffie v. Bunch, 891 S.W.2d 822, 824 (Mo. banc 1995), the Missouri Supreme Court held that once an employer has admitted to respondeat superior liability for an employee driver's negligence, it is improper to allow a plaintiff to proceed against the employer on any other theory of imputed liability, such as negligence in employee hiring, retention, or training.

Missouri Supreme Court Creates Procedural Hurdles for Employers Seeking to Defend Untimely Claims

09.25.13 | The Missouri Supreme Court has repeatedly interpreted the Missouri Human Rights Act in a manner that makes it easier for plaintiffs to pursue claims, and harder for employers to defend them, than under similar federal anti-discrimination statutes. (See our March 20, 2013 report titled Burden of Proof in Retaliation Cases.) Here, once again, the Missouri Supreme Court diverges both from federal precedent and prior Missouri precedent, making it more difficult for employers to dismiss untimely discrimination complaints that are filed under the MHRA.

Wrongful Termination in Missouri: Whistleblower Claims and the Public Policy Exception to Employment-at-Will

09.11.13 | Missouri adheres to the rule prevailing in most jurisdictions that in the absence of a contract between an employer and employee for a definite term or a contrary statutory provision, an employee can be terminated at any time with or without cause or for any reason, provided the termination does not run afoul of a federal or state anti-discrimination statute. Amaan v. City of Eureka, 615 S.W.2d 414 (Mo. 1981).

Recent Suit by the EEOC Makes Clear that the Genetic Information Discrimination Act (GINA) Applies Whenever an Employer Asks For Employees' Family History

09.04.13 | The EEOC recently filed a lawsuit against The Founders Pavilion, Inc., alleging that the company violated the Genetic Information Discrimination Act (GINA). In the suit, the EEOC charges that a New York nursing and rehabilitation center violated federal law when it asked for applicants' family medical history as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam.

Tenth Circuit Applies U.S. Supreme Court Dukes and Comcast Decisions, and Decertifies Class Actions Based on Lack of Commonality

08.13.13 | The rigorous standards for class certification enunciated in recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions are being applied in the federal Circuit courts. Wal-Mart v. Dukes and Comcast require strong proof of "commonality" and other FRCP Rule 23 elements, at the class certification stage, even if this overlaps with the merits of the case.

U.S. Supreme Court rules on burden of proof in Title VII retaliation cases, and "supervisory" status for purpose of determining potential employer vicarious liability

06.25.13 | Two important decisions that can limit the scope of employer liability in Title VII cases; less clear how helpful these decisions will be in cases brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act.

Kansas Supreme Court: Private parties cannot contractually shorten the statute of limitations for retaliatory discharge when the employee claims she was fired for exercising rights under the KS WCA

06.12.13 | When the reason for termination falls within the "public policy" exception to the employment-at-will doctrine, parties cannot contractually shorten the two-year Kansas statute of limitations for commencing a retaliatory discharge action

New Supreme Court Ruling on "Chevron deference" may impact future labor and employment law developments

05.30.13 | In the future, courts may be obliged to give broader deference to EEOC, NLRB, and U.S. Department of Labor interpretations of the agencies' own authority. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in City of Arlington v. FCC, - U.S. - , No. 11-1545 (U.S. May 20, 2013) involved the validity of a Federal Communications Commission ruling on the regulation of wireless towers and antennas. . .

Eighth Circuit Disallows New Evidence from FLSA Plaintiffs, First Proffered in their Summary Judgment Opposition Papers, and Grants Summary Judgment

05.10.13 | When a plaintiff, in his summary judgment opposition papers, attempts to first introduce information that should have been part of his Rule 26 disclosures (or supplements to them), defendant should move to strike.

Kansas Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Determining if an Injury Arose "Out of and in the Course of Employment", for Purposes of Workers Compensation Benefit

04.17.13 | The Kansas Supreme Court has recently clarified the legal standard for determining if an employee injury at a company-sponsored social event arose "out of and in the course of employment", thus making the employee eligible to receive Workers Compensation benefits.

FLSA Arbitration Clause that includes Class Action Waiver Held Enforceable by Eighth Circuit

04.03.13 | In Owen v. Bristol Care, Inc., 702 F.3d 1050 (8th Cir. 2013), the Eighth Circuit recently held that an arbitration agreement that included a class action waiver provision was enforceable under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In so ruling, the Eighth Circuit squarely rejected the NLRB's holding in D.R. Horton that such waivers are unenforceable because they violate employee rights under Section 7 of the NLRA.

Burden of Proof in Retaliation Cases

03.20.13 | Employers around the country are eagerly waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the appropriate standard of proof for Title VII retaliation claims, in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar . What does this mean for Missouri employers? Less than you might think.

Chiefs Rally (in the courtroom)

03.11.13 | In the wake of the Chiefs' recent courtroom setback in which their arbitration agreement with employees was held unenforceable (see post Kansas City Chiefs Start the Season 0-2), the Chiefs recently went to trial in an age discrimination case filed by a 61-year old maintenance manager with 12 years of service. . .

Kansas City Chiefs Start the Season 0-2

03.04.13 | On February 26, 2013, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District ruled on the cases of two former Kansas City Chiefs employees who had been terminated, and had filed complaints of age discrimination. In one case, the day after she was hired, the employee (a Community Relations Director) was directed to sign an agreement requiring that any dispute. . .

Non-Compete Agreements in Missouri: The Missouri Supreme Court (Once Again) Explains it All

12.21.12 | Those of us who practice employment law find ourselves, with increasing frequency, dealing with the preparation and negotiation of employee non-compete agreements, and the handling of disputes concerning such agreements. A "non-compete agreement" is any restrictive covenant entered into between employer and employee that restricts post-employment activities of the employee. . .