Washington DC Employment Law Attorney Blog and Posts

One Defendant Compels Arbitration, Others “Wait and See”

Posted on August 29, 2015 by Richard T. Seymour

When a plaintiff sues a company or agency and its officials, and only the company or agency compels arbitration, does the arbitration-losing plaintiff get a “second bite at the apple” in the lawsuit, against the officials? Or do the officials get a low-risk chance to get out of the lawsuit without ever getting to the merits? And what happens if plaintiff wins the arbitration? Read the blog post for the answers. Continue reading

Do You Have a “For Cause” Employment Contract?

Posted on July 13, 2015 by Richard T. Seymour

Employees usually have the most rights under an employment contract that either says the employee will be employed for a specific period of time, or says the employer is restricting its ability to fire the employee to specific circumstances, such as “for cause,” with a definition of the term. Employers trying to recruit high-level managers, or persons with hard-to-find skills, find “for cause” agreements a powerful tool in persuading the desired prospects to leave what they were doing and sign up with the employer.

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What Does It Mean to Be an “At Will” Employee?

Posted on July 8, 2015 by Richard T. Seymour

“At will” is a legal phrase that means the employer has the right to fire an employee at any time, for any reason, including a senseless, mean, spiteful, or arbitrary reason, as long as the reason is not unlawful. An “at will” employment can be ended at the will of either the employer or the employee. An employment contract that has no definite duration, and that has no limitation on the employer’s ability to fire the employee, is normally “at will.” Continue reading

Common-Sense Suggestions to the EEOC

Posted on June 20, 2015 by Richard T. Seymour

The EEOC has extremely important tasks in receiving and handling charges of employment discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, but is following self-defeating procedures and failing to solve longstanding problems. Some common-sense changes would work far better for the Commission, the charging parties, and employers, and would make the Commission’s limited resources more productive. Here are my ideas. Continue reading

Ah, Winning Argument! How Did I Lose Thee? The Many Ways to Waive Claims or Defenses.

Posted on January 25, 2015 by Richard T. Seymour

There are often winning arguments in lawsuits, but sometimes a claim or defense is still lost because the attorney did not think of the argument in time. Courts often find that an argument was made too late, and so a claim or defense was waived and the case is lost. Continue reading

What is the Proper Role for Dispositive Motions in Arbitration?

Posted on December 21, 2014 by Richard T. Seymour

To achieve speedy resolutions, and to resolve matters as cost-effectively as possible, arbitrators should be careful in allowing the filing of dispositive motions. They make sense for gateway issues, but not for issues going to the substance of the merits. Allowing such motions generally would lengthen the time required to resolve cases, and multiply discovery to the magnitude needed in Federal courts. When trials are held on affidavits, the parties need a lot of depositions because that may be their only opportunity to examine the other sides’ witnesses. Ruling out trials by affidavits in the bulk of cases allows the promise of arbitration–faster, cheaper and fair resolutions–to be realized. Parties need to know at the outset what will and will not be allowed, so they that can cut their discovery needs. Continue reading