15
Apr

Recently, the Washington Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether the collective-bargaining statute for Washington State employees protects employees’ “concerted activities” from employer interference, restraint, or coercion.[1]  “Concerted activities” are those jointly undertaken by employees in an attempt to improve their working conditions.[2]  In this case of first impression, the court held that the concerted activities of Washington’s public employees are not protected. The case involved two emails sent by Department of Corrections officer Phyllis Cherry ...

13
Nov

In the past, some defendants in class actions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 have attempted to deprive courts of subject matter jurisdiction by making a pre-class certification offer of judgment to the class representative in full satisfaction of his claims.  This was done on the theory that a defendant could moot the class representative’s claims by giving him everything he was demanding and thereby get rid of the entire class action since no class had yet been certified. The ...

29
Aug

On June 24 the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar.  Though it did not garner the attention of the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases, the Nassar decision will have substantial impact on employees bringing claims for retaliation under Title VII. In Nassar, the issue before the Court was what standard of causation to apply for claims of employment retaliation brought under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-(3)(a).  The Plaintiff/Respondent argued that the ...

23
May

Stock options are a popular way for emerging companies to provide incentive pay to employees.  For some companies, however, stock option plans may not be feasible or may present tax or corporate difficulties that render them problematic.  For these companies, a phantom stock plan may be an attractive alternative. Generally, a phantom stock plan is an agreement whereby a company grants (or sells) to certain employees a contract right to fictional shares of stock (“phantom stock”) and agrees to pay the ...