Uncategorized Archives - Parks Chesin & Walbert
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College Admissions: Georgetown’s Decision & What It Could Mean for Employment Law

In September, Georgetown University announced preferential admissions status would be given to descendants of slaves that were used to benefit the University (specifically 272 slaves that were sold to help keep Georgetown afloat financially in 1838). The preference granted would be akin to the preference given to children and grandchildren of alumni. The preference was announced along with a number of initiatives as a means to atone for the University’s past reliance on slave labor and upon the recommendations of a committee commissioned last year.

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Sexual Assault Cases: Biased Against Male Students?

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education, under the instruction of the Obama Administration, sent a letter to colleges and universities across the country clarifying (and in the opinion of many, expanding) the schools’ obligations under Title IX to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and assault on campus. Many incidents of sexual assault on campus are – rightly or wrongly – adjudicated by colleges and universities rather than courts of law. The changes introduced in the “Dear Colleague” letter are making waves in communities across the country.

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What It Means to be an At-Will State

The default presumption for an employer/employee relationship across the United States is “at-will”. What does “at-will” mean? In an at-will relationship, employment can be terminated at any time and for any reason. This is a two-way street. While the employer can fire an employee at any time, so too can an employee resign his or her employment whenever they choose, without providing any notice or reason. At-will employment can be controversial. On one hand, employees are free to take up employment and leave when they prefer. Employers can dismiss their workers as and how business requires. Yet in a relationship in which only one party (the employer) has the upper hand- the consequences for a vulnerable employee left without a salary or security can be devastating. It is contrary to our sense of decency that careers can simply be taken away on a whim.

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Baby Boomers in the Workplace: What’s the Impact?

The baby boomer generation is defined as those born between 1946 and 1964. Today, baby boomers make up the older side of the workforce, ranging from ages 52 to 70. Many companies owe their entire existence to baby boomers, but with todays technology-driven work force the baby boomers livelihoods are being threatened.

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The EEOC and Money

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (known as the EEOC) is in trouble again for its aggressive behavior. In CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, the court held that the defendant was entitled to payment of its attorney’s fees due to the EEOC’s failure to satisfy its pre-suit obligations. In this sexual harassment case filed by the EEOC (on the behalf of a large number of employees), the court held that the decision to award fees was not a material part of the claim as a whole. This judgment was due to the EEOC’s procedural mistakes.

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NFL Players Sue Attorneys Who Allegedly Got Them a $1 Billion Settlement

The National Football League (NFL) has been under intense scrutiny over the safety of the game, the debilitating head trauma current and retired players suffer, and what can be done to improve safety and to take care of injured players both past and present. Former NFL players, including Junior Seau and Frank Gifford, even donated their brains for the cause. Many players have been diagnosed with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) — a disease linked to repetitive head injuries. Will Smith’s recent movie Concussion dealt with the topic. In addition, a huge lawsuit involving retired NFL players resulted in a $1 billion dollar settlement. The settlement covers around 20,000 former players.

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A Diverse Court for a Diverse Citizenry

Some of our country’s greatest legal minds sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. When a nominee for our nation’s highest court is announced (as was the case in March of this year) much time is spent discussing the background of the nominee, including which school he or she went to or what publications she has authored. What sometimes gets lost in the conversation is the nominee’s core background and why that matters.

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Demand Letters: How to Handle Them

Demand letters are formal notices that may be written by private individuals as well as lawyers. The term itself stems from the fact that the letters essentially require recipients to rectify an apparent wrong. Accusations that are made in demand letters include the need to pay a sum of money, or to perform a commitment that has been previously agreed in a contract. The reasons for demand letters are wide ranging and people receiving them might feel understandably threatened.

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