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Manhattan Employment Law Blog

Could former Google engineer have a valid retaliation claim?

Previously, we began looking at the case of James Damore, the former Google engineer who wrote a 10-page memo criticizing Google’s diversity policy. As we noted, Damore was fired after filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, the agency responsible for investigating and resolving allegations of unfair labor practices.

Ordinarily, an employee can be fired for any reason at any time, with certain exceptions under state and federal law and absent any contractual agreements. This rule is known at at-will employment, and most employment contracts incorporate this rule. What makes Damore’s case potentially legally actionable is the complaint he filed with the National Labor Relations Board prior to his termination. 

These signs point to age discrimination

It seems like no matter how many laws are passed, discrimination in the workplace is still a problem for many people. Some forms, such as age discrimination, are even becoming more frequent. Part of the reason for this uptick in age discrimination is the number of baby boomers in the workforce.

Have you experienced behavior that might classify as age discrimination? Do you know what signs to look for that might prove you are a victim? If you have suffered age discrimination in a New York workplace, you might be able to take legal action and get the justice you deserve. Read further for signs of age discrimination.

Fired Google engineer believes retaliation behind his termination

One of the ongoing discussions in the technology sector, one which the industry is trying to come to grips with, is gender inequality. The fact of the matter is that men play a larger role than women in the technology industry, and the problem doesn’t appear to be getting better.

For many people, the diminished role of women in technology is really about sexism and discrimination. A Google engineer fired for penning a memo criticizing this assumption is apparently exploring the legal remedies available to him. The engineer believes that he was subjected to wrongful termination for his views and for seeking to exercise his rights as an employee. 

Is a blow to the head in a car accident really dangerous?

When you are involved in a car accident, you may not immediately register just how violent such an accident really is, especially if you only received a blow to the head and no other visible injuries.

Unfortunately, any trauma to the head can have severe effects, even if you think that yours was no big deal. Whenever someone hits their head, they risk the potential of suffering some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The importance of exploring regulatory noncompliance in truck accident cases, P.2

In our previous post, we pointed out that the trucking industry is heavily regulated. One set of truck safety regulations that has received a great deal of attention in recent years is the hours of service rules. These rules are intended to address the problem of truck driver fatigue. Although driver fatigue is not exclusively a problem among truck drivers, it is a particular concern in the trucking industry due to the long hours trucker drivers spend on the road and the pressure to maximize productivity.

The hours of service rules have increasingly come into public discussion, partly due to high profile truck accidents involving driver fatigue such as the one involving actor-comedian Tracy Morgan in 2014. Morgan’s vehicle was struck from behind by a WalMart truck operated by a driver who had been awake for 28 hours straight prior to the crash. Technically, he was in compliance with the federal hours of service rules, but he was nevertheless not in a condition to be driving. 

The importance of exploring regulatory noncompliance in truck accident cases, P.1

In any personal injury case, the plaintiff is required to present sufficient evidence to prove each element of the claim against the defendant and to support damages sought in the claim. Personal injury or wrongful death claims based on allegations of negligence generally require proof of four elements: legal duty; breach of legal duty; causation; and harm. Essentially, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant failed to abide by his or her legal obligations and thereby caused harm to the plaintiff.

Plaintiffs can run into challenges providing strong evidence for any of the elements of a personal injury or wrongful death claim, but it is particularly important to present strong evidence of breach of duty. There are a variety of ways to prove wrongdoing in truck accident litigation depending on the circumstances of each case, but one important area to pay attention to is noncompliance with safety regulations. 

NY bill would allow law enforcement to use “Textalyzer” devices

Everybody knows that distracted driving is a significant problem nationwide, despite the obvious dangers this activity entails and efforts to educate the public the risks. Texting and driving, like other forms of addiction, is a hard habit to break, even if the potential harm is clear.

States have attempted various approaches to address the problem. One of the newer approaches lawmakers in several states are looking to try is the use of a device called the “Textalyzer.” The device allows law enforcement to plug drivers’ phones to be scanned for data on usage, which would help determine whether a driver was using a cell phone while driving at the time of an accident. 

Are government crash reports admissible as evidence in personal injury litigation? P.2

Previously, we began looking at the use of government accident reports in personal injury litigation. As we’ve noted, government accident reports can have value for plaintiffs in personal injury or wrongful death litigation, but the issue of admissibility needs to be adequately addressed. Not everything written in government accident reports is necessarily admissible at trial.

In addition to the issue of trustworthiness, there is also the factuality of a report. Last time, we mentioned that only factual findings may be admitted into evidence from government accident reports, but determining the factuality of government findings is not always easy. Factual findings must be distinguished from legal conclusions, which are not admissible at trial.

Lawsuit: TSA used reorganization as pretext for discrimination

A class of some 300 current and former air marshals claims that the Transportation Security Administration used a cost-saving and reorganization plan to weed out older, more highly compensated employees in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

An initial hearing before a federal court resulted in a win for the plaintiffs, as the judge found that they had "raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the Service's preferred reasons for the closure decisions were pretext for age discrimination."

Are government crash reports admissible as evidence in personal injury litigation?

In our last post, we mentioned a recently released NTSB report which provided numerous details about a crash out in Florida last year involving a Tesla Model S. As we noted, the report shows that the driver was found to have ignored warnings provided by the Autopilot system, but the NTSB provided no definitive conclusion about what actually caused the crash.

Government reports like this one can potentially be useful in building a personal injury case, but not every aspect of these reports can be used. Government records of crash investigations may be admitted into evidence, but there are limitations as to what may be admitted from these reports. 

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