Sepulveda v. Borne Holding Co., Inc., 2010 WL 5018534 (App. Div., December 9, 2010) – As the debate continues over the applicability and scope of individual liability under the NJLAD, the Appellate Division recently announced that the officers of a company may be individually liable for aiding and abetting the “employer” in committing discriminatory acts. When the plaintiff’s employer, Borne Holding Co. (BHC), decided to relocate, a supervisor advised the plaintiff that he was required to work on Sundays to assist. The plaintiff told the company president and vice president that his religious beliefs prevented him from working on Sundays. Neither attempted to accommodate him; rather, the vice president told him that he would be “written up,” and then the president fired him. The plaintiff sued BHC for failure to accommodate a religious belief under the NJLAD, and asserted individual liability against the president and vice president for aiding and abetting BHC’s wrongful acts. The Appellate Division held that a reasonable jury could conclude that the company officers had aided and abetted the employer because they knowingly and substantially assisted the employer in committing the wrongful act.
Massachusetts Superior Court Holds That Meal Breaks Are Compensable Unless Employees Are Relieved of All Work-Related Duties
In a decision that could spell trouble for Massachusetts employers, a judge in the Superior Court’s Business Litigation Session recently held that meal breaks count as “compensable working time,” for which employees must be paid, unless the employee is relieved of all work-related duties during the break. In reaching that decision, the court rejected the employer’s argument that the court should apply the more lenient federal standard, under which the compensability of meal breaks depends on whether the break time is spent “predominantly” for the benefit of the employer.
On December 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit seeking to fast track the DOL’s appeal of a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the agency from implementing its revisions to overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) investigation and litigation tactics have been a hot topic lately, as the agency recently announced its plan to target more employers in bigger, more costly systemic discrimination suits. As the EEOC has intensified efforts to get more bang for its litigation buck, some courts have questioned whether the agency has strayed from its statutory duty to engage in good-faith efforts to remedy discrimination without resorting to litigation.