Goldberg Segalla attorneys Caroline J. Berdzik, Madeline S. Baio, and Michael S. Katzen recently offered analysis to Law360 on a range of issues in the employment and labor sphere.
Caroline commented on the Supreme Court’s ruling in a case involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a dispute over attorneys’ fees. As Law360 notes, the Supreme Court found that a defendant need not obtain a favorable Title VII judgment to be a prevailing party — but remanded the decision of whether the EEOC must pay close to $5 million in attorneys’ fees back to the Eighth Circuit.
In doing so, the court “sends a clear signal to the EEOC that its failure to comply with its obligations in pre-suit investigations can result in a finding that a defendant is a prevailing party for purposes of being awarded attorneys’ fees under Title VII,” noted Caroline, who chairs the firm’s Employment and Labor Practice Group. “This decision is a welcome to employers and should give pause to the EEOC in terms of how it comports itself in the charge and litigation process.”
Another article examines the potential impact of the recent Supreme Court decision that set the filing period for a constructive discharge claim to begin when an employee resigns — instead of the employer’s last act of discrimination. Madeline explained that the decision will impact federal and private-sector employees alike.
“As Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor noted, the EEOC treats federal and private-sector employee limitations period as identical in operations, citing the EEOC Compliance Manual,” she told the publication. “The court’s decision makes clear that the limitation period in these kinds of cases is not triggered by the last act of alleged discrimination by the employer nor is it triggered by the last day the employee actually works.”
Mike told Law360 that the Department of Labor’s final version of its overtime exemption rule goes into effect on Dec. 1 — giving employers “an opportunity to address any other wage and hour compliance issues that may be lurking in the workplace,” he said. The rule raises the minimum salary threshold to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white collar exemption. As Mike said, “Businesses and organizations with currently exempt employees on the cusp of the annual salary level can take some solace in knowing that for the first time, employers may count nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments and commissions toward up to 10 percent of the required salary level so long as they are paid at least quarterly.”
Read the articles here: