Friday, April 17, 2009


The employment law story of the week is courtesy of Overlawyered and OnPoint. The Poplar Bluff, Missouri, library has agreed to pay a former library assistant $45,000 to settle her religious discrimination claim. She resigned after refusing, on religious grounds, to participate in an event promoting the publication of a new Harry Potter book. OnPoint provides additional details:

Library director Jacqueline Thomas had offered to let Smith help out behind the scenes at the Harry Potter celebration “in a way that Plaintiff’s church community would not know she had participated.” Smith alleged she was “constructively discharged” from her job after she “vehemently objected to participating in Harry Potter Night in any role.”

“Plaintiff has a bona fide religious belief stemming from her Christian identity and membership in a Southern Baptist church that she sincerely believes prohibits her from being involved in promotion of the worship of the occult, especially to children,” the complaint said.

Rush Nigut, of Rush on Business, on the efficacy of non-solicitation agreements, as compared to broader non-competition agreements.

Teri Rasmussen at Ohio Practical Business Law provides a very helpful FAQ on Ohio’s new Business Docket, which is being given a test run in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, and Lucas counties. Of particular interest to employers, this new docket covers non-competition and trade secret cases, but not other employment disputes such as discrimination claims.

Molly DiBianca at the Delaware Employment Law Blog discusses DuPont’s decision to use voluntary unpaid leave to try to stem the need for layoffs.

Michael Maslanka at Work Matters reports on a case which held that that an employee’s intent to become pregnant (such as telling a supervisor you want to start a family) is protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

The Evil HR Lady has some advice on whether an employee who is not entitled to FMLA leave under the statute could otherwise obtain leave rights through misstatements by management.

Ginni Garner at COSE Mindspring gives the top 10 trends in the employee screening industry.

The Washington Labor & Employment Wire has information on the choice to head the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Finally, Bob Sutton’s Work Matters illustrates how not to do a layoff with a real-life example.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus.

For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or