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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Petition Seeking to Scrap McDonnell Douglas Burden-Shifting Analysis

Arguing the decades-old analysis is no longer helpful to anyone, Reginald Sprowl petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to scrap application of the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis in Title VII race discrimination and retaliation claims. On January 19, 2021, the Supreme Court rejected Sprowl’s petition and denied certiorari. Sprowl v. Mercedes-Benz U.S. Int’l, Inc., 815 Fed. … Continue Reading

School District Sanctioned for Failing to Preserve Evidence After Receiving EEOC Charge

A Maryland federal district court’s decision underscores the need to preserve evidence once notified of a potential lawsuit and the significant consequences for not doing so. In Eller v. Prince George’s Cty. Pub. Sch., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 234367 (D. Md. Dec. 11, 2020), an employment discrimination case, the court found the school district’s failure … Continue Reading

Court Excludes EEOC Determination Letter That Contained Factual Inaccuracies and Conclusions of Law

Courts regularly act as gatekeepers in determining what evidence juries are entitled to hear at trial.  In Nuccio v. Shell Pipeline Co., LP, a federal district court barred an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) determination letter because its probative value was outweighed by its prejudice. No. 19-446-WBV-DPC (E.D. La. Dec. 11, 2020).  Nuccio highlights an … Continue Reading

Emotional Support Animals on the Witness Stand?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal on the issue of whether a witness may have an emotional support animal present while testifying at trial. In Commonwealth v. Purnell, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania upheld a trial court’s ruling that an autistic minor witness could have a comfort dog with her on … Continue Reading

Court Orders Government to Turn Over Statements from Non-Testifying Informants

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently rejected the government’s argument that statements from non-testifying witnesses collected during a wage and hour investigation were protected under the government-informant privilege. Secretary of Labor v. Yianna Food Corp. d/b/a Williston Town House Diners, et al., E.D.N.Y. Case No. 17-CV-6974. Government agencies frequently … Continue Reading

Evidence of Immigration Status Blocked by Courts

Could barring evidence in court of undocumented workers’ immigration status actually prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants? It could, according to one Illinois district court judge. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan has barred evidence regarding a plaintiff’s immigration status in a case involving a claim for unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, ruling … Continue Reading
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