In this month's Costa Mesa, California employment lawyers newsletter, Howard Law attorney Vincent Howard reviewed key California and federal labor and employment law developments from 2011--hot topics that our Riverside, California employment lawyers blog covered over the course last year, including GINA's final regulations, the Supreme Court's ruling in the Walmart v. Dukes sex-discrimination lawsuit, and Charlie Sheen's wrongful termination lawsuit against Warner Brothers and Chuck Lorre, among others.
GINA's Final Regulations Take Effect
After the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) voted unanimously in late 2010, the final regulations that implement the employment provisions of GINA (Title II), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, took effect in early 2011. Title II of GINA represents the first extension of the EEOC's jurisdiction since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and makes it illegal for employers to engage in genetic testing or discriminate against employees based on genetic make-up.
Third Party Retaliation Limits Case Decided by Supreme Court
In January of last year, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thompson v. North American Stainless, a retaliation ban limits case, stating that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a company can be sued for retaliation by terminating an employee's fiancée. The case arose after a former female engineer with North American Stainless, who was engaged to a metallurgic engineer at the company--claimed to have experienced gender-based discrimination and filed a complaint with the EEOC. The female engineer's fiancée was fired three weeks after her EEOC sex-discrimination complaint was revealed, whereupon the fiancée filed his own third-party retaliation claim. As Vincent Howard reported in our California employment attorney blog, the highest court decided that third-party victims of retaliation are covered by federal protections.
Charlie Sheen Sues for Millions
One of the highest-profile employment lawsuits from 2011 that garnered massive media attention was filed by Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen in March, who sued Warner Brothers Studio and Chuck Lorre, the executive producer of Two and a Half Men, in a $100 million dollars lawsuit--for wrongful termination, breach of contract, retaliation and other Los Angeles, California labor and employment charges. Sheen's contract was reportedly terminated for health issues that allegedly led to his inability to perform his duties for the television show, for public tirades against Lorre, and for alleged substance abuse and destructive behavior. Sheen and Warner Brothers reportedly finalized a multi-million dollar settlement in September.
Continue reading "2011 Labor and Employment Law in Review: GINA, Charlie Sheen, Walmart v. Dukes" »