Articles Posted in Employment Law

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Plaintiff, a state employee, filed an action against the State Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals (MHRH) alleging that MRH violated the Rhode Island Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (WPA) when it placed him on administrative leave with pay and required that he undergo an independent medical examination (IME). The superior court found in favor of Plaintiff. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court, holding that the decision of the MHRH to place Plaintiff on paid administrative leave with the requirement that he undergo an IME was not an adverse employment action, and therefore, as a matter of law, the MHRH did not “discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate” against Plaintiff in violation of the WPA.View "Russo v. State, Dep’t of Mental Health, Retardation and Hosps." on Justia Law

Posted in: Employment Law

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Defendant hired Plaintiff twice when Plaintiff was sixty-seven years old for brief periods of employment. When Plaintiff was sixty-eight, Defendant rehired her as a titles and registrations clerk. When Plaintiff was seventy-two years old, Defendant terminated her employment. Plaintiff filed an action against Defendant for unlawful age and disability discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment Practices Act. The superior court granted summary judgment for Defendant on both employment discrimination claims. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial justice did not err (1) in finding that Defendant met its burden of producing a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for Plaintiff’s dismissal, and (2) in holding that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that those reasons were merely pretextual.View "Bucci v. Hurd Buick Pontiac GMC Truck, LLC " on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a member of a union, filed a complaint against Defendant, her former employer, alleging that during her employment she was subjected to a hostile work environment on account of her race and color and that she was wrongfully terminated. Defendant filed a motion to stay proceedings, arguing that the proper forum for resolution of Plaintiff’s claims was binding arbitration as required by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the union and Defendant. A hearing justice granted Defendant’s motion to stay and ordered that the matter be resolved through arbitration. Plaintiff appealed, arguing that the hearing justice’s decision was in error because the CBA’s arbitration provision did not preclude her from asserting her statutorily created rights under the Rhode Island Civil Rights Act (RICRA) and Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) in a judicial forum. The Supreme Court vacated the order of the superior court, holding that the CBA’s general arbitration provision, which contained no specific reference to the state anti-discrimination statutes at issue, did not constitute a clear and unmistakable waiver of Plaintiff’s right to a judicial forum in which to litigate her claims arising under the RICRA and the FEPA. Remanded.View "Weeks v. 735 Putnam Pike Operations, LLC" on Justia Law