Employment Law

Federal Law Does Not Prevent Employee’s Defamation Claims:
An employer and certain colleagues argued that the Federal Labor Management Relations Act should stop an employee’s action for defamation under the “preemption” doctrine. The Act governs actions alleging violations of contracts between an employer and a labor organization and interpretation of Collective Bargaining Agreements. Our client won an arbitration decision in which it was determined that the employer violated a Collective Bargaining Agreement and ordered that the employee’s candidacy for tenure be freshly considered. This suit for defamation followed and the defendants moved to dismiss our client (the employee’s) complaint. That preliminary motion has been denied as the court has found that determination of the defamation claims does not require interpretation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, thus federal labor law does not apply to this case. (United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, C.A. 12-0043 – L , document 15, September 19, 2012).

Major Employment Dispute Settled:
John Reilly and Associates is pleased to announce the major settlement of an employment dispute for one its clients. This matter involved several claims by our client against a large employer located in the Northeast. In this case, we were able to obtain a six figure settlement in less than a year’s time without filing suit. Although the details of the settlement and the identity of the Parties are and must remain confidential, we can report that our client is very pleased and feels fully vindicated by this settlement (Posted April 27, 2012).

Employment Discrimination (Sexual Harassment): 
Settlement:Some rather unsavory conduct on the part of a store manager that caused us to file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“M.C.A.D.”) on behalf of a client presenting claims of sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace. This was not the first claim against the manager and he was eventually fired. In an effort to move the matter forward we received a “right to sue” authorization from M.C.A.D. and began a court action in Massachusetts. We pleased to report that after conducting discovery and during mediation the matter has been settled in an amount that must remain confidential but has made our client quite happy. It is amazing that after all the publicity about harassment of this type it continues to occur time and again. United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Sorry but the names of parties and terms of settlement must be withheld due to the confidentiality agreement – nearly all such cases are limited from disclosure in this was as a condition of settlement). (Posted in January, 2011).

Arbitrator Nixes Unfounded Claims of Medical Group for Lost Profits Supposedly Due to Physician Leaving Its Practice:
In an American Arbitration Association proceeding taken by a medical group against our client (a physician who left her employment with them to work as an emergency room doctor at a local hospital), an arbitrator has ruled that the group cannot recover anything for either its alleged “lost profits” or its purported “expenses” for its remaining physicians having to take extra patient “calls.” Our client did not take any patients from the group when she left and the group was unable to present anything more than speculation, causing the arbitrator to conclude that it had totally failed in its attempt to prove that it suffered losses. The group claimed it had lost about $450,000 which our client refused to pay. (No. 11 166001734 08) (Posted, November 13, 2009) Superior Court action has ensued (Gray v. Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inc., et al) (C.A. No: PC09-1511).

Employment Discrimination:
Settlement: We have reached a confidential settlement in an employment discrimination case involving claims of racially-related slurs that created a hostile work environment. While the names of the parties and exact nature of the resolution of the matter cannot be revealed, it is noteworthy that the United States Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (“EEOC”) did not feel that our client presented any actionable complaints. When this occurs, the EEOC (and/or state agencies such as the Rhode Island Human Rights Commission or the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) issue letters that authorize complainants to proceed to court. It is also important to remember that, generally speaking, legal fees and the costs of obtaining a recovery in a case of this type are not taxable but that the Internal Revenue Service considers all other amounts received by the claimant as being fully taxable with the exception of amounts paid for physical injury. Due to changes in the law, court decisions and IRS rulings, seeking proper advice from your Attorney and/or a taxation professional about your particular situation is always important and we recommend that this should be done at all times. (June, 2007).