You can’t use your old employer’s trade secrets, even if you’re not competing.

Collelo v. Geographic Services, Inc., ___ Va. ___ (January 13, 2012) Geographic Services, Inc. (“GSI”) subcontracts with various United States government prime contractors, including the Boeing Company (“Boeing”), to perform what is known as “geonames” work. Geonames work involves entering data into a spreadsheet, sometimes thousands of items, referring to a map feature. Once all […]

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If you work for the state report fraud at your peril – part 2.

In February 2010 we blogged about Ligon v. County of Goochland and noted that sovereign immunity is a complete bar against many suits filed by public employees against their employer. Here is another example, with a slightly better outcome for the plaintiff: In Huang v. The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, et al., Case No. […]

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If you’re a member of a protected class, you probably shouldn’t work for a religious institution.

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission et al., ___ U.S.___ (2012). Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School employs two types of teachers, which Hosanna designates as “called” teachers and “lay” teachers. A called teacher must complete training that includes theological study, and upon completion of his or her training is designated a “Minister […]

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You can put your arms around your co-worker, just don’t be rude about it.

Balas v. Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-347 (E.D. Va. January 18, 2012). Plaintiff Karen Balas sued her former employer, Huntington Ingalls Industries, alleging sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), retaliatory termination under Title VII, wrongful discharge, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional […]

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If you don’t know the ropes then you may be left high and dry.

Victoria Tillbery v. Kent Island Yacht Club, Inc., No. 10-1730 (4th Cir. Jan. 19, 2012) (unpublished).   Victoria Tillbery was a waitress at the Kent Island Yacht Club, Inc. On April 22, 2009, she complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) by filling out an online questionnaire. Ms. Tillbery stated in the questionnaire that she […]

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Before you make the plaintiff’s lawyers work extra hard, be sure you can afford to pay them if they win.

Coles v. Deltaville Boatyard, Case 3:10-cv-491 (E.D.Va. Dec. 19, 2011). In this case, the federal district court in Richmond awarded over $62,000 in fees and costs to the plaintiff as the “prevailing party” where the plaintiff had been awarded only $2,000 in trial, a result the court initially called “de minimis.” The underlying case is […]

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