Washington DC Labor and Employment Law Blogs and Posts

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

Attorneys’ fee awards where the recovery to the client is taxable (i.e., NOT personal injury cases)

Posted on June 10, 2014 by Richard T. Seymour

There is a compelling tax reason to specify the amount of the recovery going for attorneys’ fees and expenses, in cases not involving personal injury. In other words, taking the position that “it’s none of the other side’s business” can be expensive for both sides. Continue reading

Why Does the EEOC Make Mistakes? Keeping a Fair Perspective

Posted on June 8, 2014 by Richard T. Seymour

Over the years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been routinely criticized by charging parties, plaintiffs’ attorneys, respondents, and attorneys for respondents, as to virtually every aspect of the Commission’s activities including the filing, investigation, and conciliation of charges, and the Commission’s litigation. While the problems are real and create difficulties for both sides, it is important to keep a fair perspective. Continue reading