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Posts from February 2013.

Construction

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that it is not “the business of the federal courts generally to clean up the language and conduct of construction sites” and held that an employer who exhibited lewd behavior that was sexual in nature was simply construction site vulgarity and trash talking in “an environment where these characteristics abound.” EEOC v. Boh Bros. Constr. Co., LLC, No. 11-30770 at 1-2 (5th Cir. Jul. 27, 2012) (vacating the judgment in EEOC v. Boh Bros. Constr. Co., LLC, 768 F. Supp. 2d 883 (E.D. La. 2011)).

Kerry Woods, an iron worker, alleged that Charles Wolfe, his former job superintendent, sexually harassed Woods in violation of Title VII under a theory of “gender stereotyping” and that his former employer, Boh Brothers Construction Company, LLC, knew of the harassment, failed to discipline Wolfe and retaliated against Woods for making a complaint.

February 19, 2013
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Signing ContractDoes your standard contract contain an arbitration clause stating that either party to the contract “may” choose arbitration instead of litigation? If so, it may not matter that you include the word “may” to try and make arbitration optional instead of mandatory.

A case from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from September 2012 held exactly that. This case arose from a dispute over breach of a Distribution Agreement between Bellview Airlines Limited and Travelport Global Distribution Systems, pursuant to which Bellview was to distribute a computerized travel reservation system in Nigeria owned by Travelport. Travelport Global Distrib. Sys. B.V. v. Bellview Airlines Ltd., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128604 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 10, 2012).

 

February 12, 2013
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Do you have a Twitter account for your business that your employees access? Do any of your employees tweet using a Twitter handle that includes your company’s name? If so, you need to update your social media policy in order to protect your company.

PhoneDog Media (“PhoneDog”), a South Carolina based company, had an employee, Noah Kravitz, who left the company in 2010 but continued to use his Twitter name “Phonedog_Noah.” The Twitter account was linked to Kravitz’s personal email account and had 17,000 followers.

PhoneDog sued Kravitz for the loss of Twitter followers. PhoneDog told the New York Times that “The costs and resources invested by PhoneDog Media into growing its followers, fans and general brand awareness through social media are substantial and are considered property of PhoneDog Media L.L.C.” The company also stated that PhoneDog plans to fight to protect their customer lists, confidential information and brand.