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Employment law roundup

Newsweek purports to discern a renewed boom in workplace suits, though the strength of its evidence for that proposition is open to question (Jennifer Barrett, "'I Have Never Seen Such a Fever Pitch'" Jul. 21). In one remarkable bit of stimulation to the employment litigation sector, a California court of appeals has ruled that a litigant can turn an age discrimination claim into a lawsuit under the state's famously broad unfair-competition statute, s. 17200, on the grounds that an employer who commits age discrimination gains an unfair competitive advantage over employers that don't (Alexei Oreskovic, "Nestle Ruling Paves Way for New Work Discrimination Cases", The Recorder, Jun. 16). The EEOC has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Mormon employee who says he was fired for refusing to drink alcohol, prompting blogger Michael Fox to observe that "one of the fascinating things about employment law is how almost any issue that could arise in the workplace, seems to ultimately lead to a possible claim of some sort". ("Fired for not drinking, suit alleges", Jewish World Review, Aug. 3; Employer's Lawyer, Aug. 26). And the EEOC has gotten its hand slapped by a court after overreaching in one of those much-publicized "noose" racial harassment cases (EEOC v. Asplundh Tree Expert Co., 11th Circuit, Aug. 7 (PDF), via Employer's Lawyer, Aug. 7).

(Cross-posted from Overlawyered, where it ran Sept. 2, 2003)

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.