HUMAN RESOURCES and EMPLOYMENT

Disability Discrimination

  • Sanctions Won: Our lawyers represented a coal mining company in a case in which the plaintiff, a current employee, alleged that she was being unlawfully harassed because of her age and disability and that the company was failing to accommodate her disability. Due to ongoing discovery disputes, the firm filed a motion to compel, which the court granted and in which the court ordered sanctions against the plaintiff’s counsel in an amount equal to the company’s costs in preparing that motion. The case settled shortly thereafter for a release of the company’s right to collect the sanctions.
  • Making Law in the Circuit: We represented a large international employer in a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a current employee. The employee alleged that the company failed to accommodate her medical condition which required, among other things, frequent bathroom breaks. The firm was able to secure admissions at the plaintiff’s deposition that she believed her performance was far superior to the generally positive ratings she had received from her supervisors. On summary judgment, the employer successfully convinced the court that since self-assessed performance was so overwhelmingly above expectations that she was not entitled to a reasonable accommodation as a matter of law.
  • Moonlighting Proven: Our lawyers represented a coal mining company in a disability discrimination case filed by a current employee. After securing evidence that the employee had been moonlighting while on a claimed medical leave of absence, David Michael was successful in having the case dismissed and in defeating the employee’s request for review (appeal).
  • Retaliatory and Wrongful Discharge

  • Falsifying Medical Records: We represented an aggregate and stone mining company in a retaliatory discharge case. David Michael successfully argued to the appellate court that the plaintiff falsified medical records and failed to establish the company terminated him for any other reason than his failure to return to work after he had recovered from a workers’ compensation injury.
  • Admitting Speculation: Our lawyers represented a truck trailer manufacturer in a retaliatory discharge case brought by a former employee who suffered numerous work-related injuries. At the plaintiff’s deposition, David Michael was able to secure an admission that the plaintiff was simply speculating that the company terminated her employment in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Accordingly, the court granted the company’s summary judgment motion.
  • Statute of Frauds: The firm represented a graduate school in child development in a wrongful discharge case. The plaintiff argued that he had been granted a two-year employment contract and was wrongfully terminated only 11 months after it began. The court granted the firm’s motion to dismiss, finding that the alleged employment contract was not in writing and, therefore, was unenforceable under the Statute of Frauds.
  • Other Matters

  • Defamation: In a departure from its normal position as defense counsel, our lawyers successfully represented a long-time friend of the firm in an arbitration case alleging defamation against his prior employer associated with its filing of a false Form U-5. After winning $333,000 in the arbitration, David Michael successfully defended that judgment from attack at the trial court, before the appellate court and in front of the Supreme Court.
  • DOL Action: The firm represented a “turn-around” specialist after several high-ranking former employees sued for compensation and benefits under their employment agreements. David Michael successfully convinced the Department of Labor to dismiss the case.
  • Discrimination: We represented an airline in a race discrimination, workers’ compensation and retaliatory discharge case involving an employee who was terminated for excessive absenteeism. In this case, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the airline. 

    We represented a tool manufacturer in an age discrimination/discharge case. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the company, finding that the plaintiff was unable to produce evidence that the discharge was based upon his age.
  • Misappropriation of Trade Secrets: Paul Carroll and David Michael represented a recruiting company in an action against a former employee for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of his employment agreement and breach of his fiduciary duty of loyalty. The matter was resolved upon entry of a permanent injunction barring the former employee from utilizing any confidential or trade secret information from his former employer.
  • Wage and Hour Class Claims: David Michael and Ellen Chapelle represented an employer in Indiana in a class action brought pursuant to the Indiana Wage Payment law. Using a procedural device under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the firm was able to resolve the case prior to the certification of class.