Hunter, Smith & Davis Attorneys Speak at January SHRM Chapter Meeting

January 2019

Attorneys Steve Darden, Mike Lattier and Mike Eastridge presented a “2019 Legal Update” on labor and employment law matters at the January 24th meeting of the Northeast Tennessee Chapter of SHRM.

As is customary with the January meeting, HS&D attorneys covered recent developments and likewise offered predictions about things that are likely to occur in the new year. Mike Lattier focused on important case decisions under the FMLA and under sexual harassment / discrimination. A recurring theme of Mike’s presentation was that court decisions often emphasize the expectation that supervisors will be suitably trained regarding the laws that apply in the workplace, and failure to do so can lead to adverse court decisions for employers.

Mike Eastridge covered recent developments in immigration law including the considerable surge in ICE enforcement activity in 2018, I-9 audits and workplace investigations. Mike also explained how federal court decisions relating to efforts to restrict or eliminate DACA, Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) and asylum cases had indirect impacts on employment authorization for workers.

Steve shared information about a recent jury verdict in Florida in which a $21 million punitive damages award was made by the jury to a devout Catholic employee who was required to work on Sunday, contrary to her religious beliefs. In comparison, the back pay award was less than $40,000.00. Steve also addressed the Equal Pay Act and likewise made some predictions about developments likely to occur at the National Labor Relations Board.

The Labor and Employment Team at Hunter, Smith & Davis consists of: Bill Bovender , Steve Darden , Mike Eastridge , Mike Forrester , Greg Haden , Joe Harvey , Mike Lattier , Chris Owens and Leslie Ridings . Contact any member of the team with your labor and employment law needs.

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