Archive for November, 2011

In many instances these days, employees are forced under threat of termination, to sign non-compete agreements. In many cases, even if signed, they may never be enforceable if the employee elected to go to another company. Make sure and have an employment law attorney check out your non-compete and advise you on your rights since non-compete laws vary greatly from state to state.

In the event, though, that you are a high-level employee, which access to confidential information, your former employer will probably seek to enforce the non-compete agreement. As is the case with Martin Collins and Ford Motor Company.

Ford Motor Co. is suing Martin E. Collins, a former executive it says is violating a non-compete agreement. Ford hired Collins as general sales manager for Ford and Lincoln in March; he began work May 2 at Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn. Collins managed the entire dealer distribution network for Ford and Lincoln, and provided “ongoing feedback to senior Ford management regarding sales performance, sales trends and progress toward program and budget goals,” according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Wayne Circuit Court and since moved to U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Ford claims Collins agreed to a confidential information/non-compete agreement prohibiting him from working for a competitor for two years. Collins told Ford he had acquired no confidential information during his tenure at the company.

If you are given a non-compete to sign or have questions about one after resignation or termination, feel free to contact Scott M. Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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As we have blogged on many occasions, discrimination against an employee based upon a disability whether in the hiring process or during performance of the job, is generally illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Apparently the Federal Transportation Services Administration was so busy perfecting their pat down searches that they forgot these laws apply to them.

Air force veteran Michael Lamarre applied for a transportation security officer position with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2008. As part of the interview process for the position, Lamarre had to undergo a medical screening. It was during this screening that he disclosed his HIV status.

Despite receiving a letter from his physician that stated Lamarre “is capable of meeting the [TSO] job requirements safely, efficiently and effectively with respect to [her] medical specialty and this candidate’s medical condition and/or diagnosis,” the TSA notified Lamarre in 2009 his HIV status resulted in medical disqualification. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, Lamarre fought the decision, claiming discrimination.

In September 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a law that protects the rights of the disabled, was amended to explicitly cover HIV-positive individuals.

If an employee’s HIV symptoms or medications are interfering with the job requirements, the ADA allows for the employee to request what is known as a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is a reasonable change in the work environment or the way a job is performed that allows the disabled person to fill the position.

There are also statutes in many states that prohibit discrimination based upon being HIV positive.

If you believe you have been discriminated against based upon HIV or some other disability, feel free to speak with Scott Behren or the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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A refusal to accomodate pregnancy required lifting restrictions or termination in response to pregnancy complications, may be the basis for a discrimination claim under state laws and the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

An African-American pregnant nurse has filed a lawsuit against her employer claiming she lost her job after provided her employer with a doctor’s note stating that she could not lift more than 50 pounds.

Claiming violations of her civil rights and violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Jackie Lewis filed suit against Senior Living Properties, doing business as Overton Healthcare Center, on Oct. 25 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Lewis was employed by Overton Healthcare Center in Overton since September 2004 as a certified nursing assistant.

On Aug. 15, she informed her employer of her pregnancy, according to the lawsuit. Lewis states she had been to the hospital that day and could not report for work. She also missed work on Sept. 1 due to complications of her pregnancy, but claims she submitted the proper excuse from her doctor.

Ten days later, she was reassigned to a position which would require lifting on her part.

As a result, she submitted a note from her doctor limiting her lifting to no more than 50 pounds. The next day, Lewis’ employment was terminated, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost wages, insurance benefits, emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental pain and anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, punitive damages, emotional distress, embarrassment, disappointment, indignation, shame, despair,

If you believe you have been the subject of pregnancy discrimination, file a charge with the EEOC or go to an employment law attorney that handles these types of matters such as Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm.

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