Lack of Consideration Could Lead to Lack of Protection

Author: Brynn Stylinski, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Discrimination and equal pay have been brought back into the public eye through recent celebrity revelations of huge disparities between the salaries of actors and actresses and the boycott of the Oscars by several stars. These issues have long been a part of our society, however, and courts have attempted to navigate protective legislation such as Title VII in many different ways over the years. Earlier this year, the Seventh Circuit addressed the case of a Mexican-American woman who believed Continue reading “Lack of Consideration Could Lead to Lack of Protection”

When is it legal for an employer to discriminate in their hiring practices based on a Bona Fide Occupation Qualification?

Author: Stephanie Scott, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Although it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on the individual’s sex, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows employers an exception when employment discrimination is based on a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ). Courts have upheld discrimination on the basis of sex for some BFOQ that impact employee safety, but even then exceptions apply. Continue reading “When is it legal for an employer to discriminate in their hiring practices based on a Bona Fide Occupation Qualification?”

Should States Preempt Local Governments from Passing Higher Minimum Wage Ordinances?

Author: Stephanie Scott, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

 While the federal government sets a minimum wage that is the nationwide “floor,” many state legislatures have passed their own laws requiring a minimum wage above the federal minimum. Recently, individual cities and localities have further tried to account for inflation and higher-cost living expenses by passing local minimum wages above the state and federal minimums. Continue reading “Should States Preempt Local Governments from Passing Higher Minimum Wage Ordinances?”

Is geographic location relevant when “caring for” a family member under the Family Medical Leave Act?

Author: Stephanie Scott, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.[1]  However, courts have struggled to interpret what “caring for” a family member must consist of under the FMLA. Particularly, limitations on the geographic locations Continue reading “Is geographic location relevant when “caring for” a family member under the Family Medical Leave Act?”

Concerted Activity in Social Media: The Future of Labor Activity

Author: Brynn Stylinski, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

In today’s world of social media, employee interactions regarding their employers are becoming increasingly more public. Conversations that previously would have taken place in a private home or around the water cooler now take place online and may take many different shapes. Instead of a simple exchange of words, an interaction regarding one’s employer might include a re-tweet, a “like,” or a share. This poses a problem for those who must evaluate whether such activity is protected under the terms of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Continue reading “Concerted Activity in Social Media: The Future of Labor Activity”

Look Policies: Can employers discriminate based on their physical attractiveness?

Author: Stephanie Scott, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Companies with mandatory grooming or appearance standards for their employees have been under fire from society, celebrities, and the law for many years. One of the companies most known for discriminating against unattractive or overweight applicants is Abercrombie & Fitch. Consumers have been outraged that the company only hires conventionally attractive people, requires those employees to follow a strict “look policy” Continue reading “Look Policies: Can employers discriminate based on their physical attractiveness?”

Green v. Brennan: Choosing the Appropriate Standard for Limitation Periods

Author: Chris Gant, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

 You have probably heard the old saying that “timing is everything.” This statement is true in many aspects of life. For example, a well-timed joke can be the difference between laughter and awkward silence. In law, the time at which a cause of action begins to accrue can be vital to a plaintiff’s case. If a plaintiff’s timing is off, the claim may never reach adjudication on the merits. In an upcoming decision, Green v. Brennan, the Supreme Court will resolve a federal circuit split Continue reading “Green v. Brennan: Choosing the Appropriate Standard for Limitation Periods”

To Employ(ee) or Not to Employ(ee): Are Uber Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors?

Author: Gabriel Fletcher, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Uber drivers in the state of California are challenging Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) in a class action suit, arguing that they should be classified as employees instead of independent contractors.[1] The classification of Uber’s drivers will dictate the drivers’ rights and eligibility for employment related benefits. Continue reading “To Employ(ee) or Not to Employ(ee): Are Uber Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors?”

The Gender Advancement in Pay Act: The GAP Act Leaves Some Holes

Author: Brynn Stylinski, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

On September 22, 2015, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte submitted the Gender Advancement in Pay Act (GAP Act) to the Senate.[1]  The GAP Act proposes an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended by the Equal Pay Act, in order to provide greater protections to women earning unequal pay to their male counterparts.[2] Continue reading “The Gender Advancement in Pay Act: The GAP Act Leaves Some Holes”

 Deflated Again: The Court Got It Wrong in “Deflategate”

Author: Gabriel Fletcher, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 2011, the National Football League (NFL) Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has the power to punish players for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game of professional football. The NFL accused Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, of being generally aware that his team’s equipment staff engaged in deflating footballs below the NFL’s specified football inflation range. The deflated footballs were said to give Brady and the Patriots a competitive advantage because deflated footballs are “easier to catch, grip, and throw;” particularly in inclement weather.[1] Continue reading ” Deflated Again: The Court Got It Wrong in “Deflategate””