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New EEOC Retaliation Stance Has Employers Seeing Red
For the first time in nearly 20 years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has proposed changes to its guidance on workplace retaliation issues, setting a standard that management attorneys say is overly broad and will make it hard to defend against retaliation lawsuits.

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Top Lawyers in the DC area!
Washingtonian Magazine names Elaine Charlson Bredehoft & Carla Brown among the best lawyers in the DC area.

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How To Hold A Holiday Party Without Inviting Legal Hassles
Holiday parties are a time-honored tradition for many companies, but such celebrations could invite bias and harassment claims, in addition to other possible legal issues. Employers and their employees alike can see these festivities as a chance to blow off some steam and get to know each other better, but sometimes people can cross the line, especially when alcohol is served. What started as a way to build camaraderie and reward employees with an end-of-the-year shindig could become another line-item on an employer’s legal bill.

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4 Tips To Keep A Jury On The Worker’s Side In A Bias Trial
Employees making scandalous sexual harassment or discrimination claims against their employers must be able to make a case that gets the jury to care about the bias they faced. Workplace Title VII cases centering on shocking claims against an employer — such as the allegations of groping and grabbing, homophobic slurs and racial epithets at the center of a recent suit against staffing firm Labor Ready Mid-Atlantic Inc. — can pose challenges to plaintiffs' attorneys looking to get a jury on their side.

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Carla Brown is appointed as a NELA Executive Board Member
At its June 2015 meeting following the NELA Annual Convention in Atlanta, GA, the Executive Board of the National Employment Lawyers Association appointed Nieves Bolanos (IL) and Carla D. Brown (VA) to a three-year term to the Board, and incumbent Board member Mark Hammons (OK) to fill a one-year vacancy.

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Former DynCorp employee entitled to full retention payment – $5,081,622 Verdict
Phoenix Consulting Group was bought by DynCorp in October 2009. The owner of Phoenix Consulting Group wanted to give a large bonus from the proceeds of the sale to the president of Phoenix, Col. Gerald York. DynCorp required the owner to provide most of the bonus in the form of a retention agreement to ensure Col. York remained at DynCorp for at least a period of 17 months. Shortly before the expiration of the 17 months, DynCorp terminated York without cause (under a purported layoff), which would have triggered the retention bonus payment.

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Title VII plaintiff wins $1.23M for retaliation
A female sales executive at a multi-state trash collection business struck out with her Title VII claim of a hostile work environment but stands to collect at least $1.23 million for a retaliatory firing under a ruling this month by a federal judge.

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Washingtonian Magazine names Elaine Charlson Bredehoft as one of the top 20 attorneys in the DC area
Elaine Charlson Bredehoft (Charlson Bredehoft Cohen & Brown). You won’t see her face on the side of a bus or plastered on a billboard, but for 23 years this Minnesotan turned Virginian has been the area’s most effective personal-injury lawyer. Specializing in employment cases, Bredehoft in 2006 won a $5-million decision from the historically stingy Virginia Supreme Court in a breach-of-contract case.

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Fired woman wins $3.5M verdict for defamatory performance evaluation
The plaintiff, Cynthia Hyland, age 45, had enjoyed a successful and lucrative 21-year career with Raytheon Corporation, and its predecessor company, Hughes Electronics Corporation. Shortly before her termination, Hyland was the senior vice-president of RTSC, a subsidiary of Raytheon, and was slated as the successor to Bryan Even, the president.

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Woman wins $3.5M for ‘defamatory' evaluation
A woman who claims she was defamed in a performance evaluation and fired as a result has won a $3.5 million verdict from a Fairfax County jury.

Companies enjoy a number of immunities when it comes to evaluating and critiquing the job performation of an employee. But the plaintiff here alleged that her boss had it in for her after she had made a number of candid and she thought, confidential, remarks about him to an executive coaching firm.

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In latest cases, high court gives, takes away
The Supreme Court of Virginia gives and the court takes away.

And we're not talking chump change.

The phrase "Reversed and final judgment" at the end of opinions issued on Jan. 13 reinstated $4 million of a defamation verdict that a judge had remitted and took away a $5.1 million verdict for a business whose store was destroyed by fire.

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Defamation - Remittitur - Former Manager - Company Losses
In this suit by an army veteran and former employee of the National Security Agency who had a top-secret security clearance, and who alleged the chairman of the board of his former employer, defendant Government Micro Resources Inc., defamed him by telling executives of his new employer, Seisint Inc., that plaintiff was responsible for $3 million in losses to GMR, the trial court erred in ordering remittitur of the $5 million jury award to plaintiff on the defamation claim, and the jury verdict is reinstated.

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Former executive succeeds in defamation suit
The plaintiff had a successful and lucrative 21-year career with Raytheon Corporation and its predecessor. Shortly before her termination, she was the senior vice-president of a Raytheon subsidiary and was slated as the successor to the president.

Raytheon brought in a recruiting company to conduct an evaluation of the president. During the process, the plaintiff was guaranteed confidentiality in her responses.

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Ex-CEO recovers for defamation after he was fired
Jackson v. Government Micro Resources,
Inc., et al.

This case involved a CEO who was terminated and suffered per se defamation after illuminating financial errors at his new company.

Alan Jackson, 62, was hired as the president and CEO of Government Micro Resources, Inc. (GMR) in July 2001.

Jackson was hired to take GMR from a low-profit margin corporate reseller to a high-end, profitable services and solutions business.

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Title VII Plaintiff Recovers, No FMLA Leave Notice Given

A federal jury in Alexandria has awarded $2.2 million to a sales manager who was terminated during her pregnancy leave.

At the core of the suit was the Family Medical Leave Act, and whether her employer, which was acquired by a national builder, had been given proper notice of her FMLA leave. That issue had the lawyers arguing the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2002 decision in Ragsdale v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. , 535 U.S. 81.

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"Labor & Employment Law 2004: Off to Work We Go - Leading Lawyers" - Legal Times
Elaine Charlson Bredehoft has a photo of a lion hanging above the desk in her Reston, Va., office. "That inspires me," she says.

Indeed, the 45-year-old Bredehoft is an aggressive plaintiffs-side employment litigator who isn't afraid to try cases. And she's had her fair share of wins in Virginia and D.C. courts on behalf of clients suing their employers.

Yet Bredehoft more or less fell into employment law when she hung out her shingle in the early 1990s. In fact, the one labor law class that she took at Catholic University's Columbus School of Law was "so boring I thought I was going to die."

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"Fired Chief Awarded $3.1 Million" - Washington Post
A federal jury awarded former Leesburg police chief Keith A. Stiles $3.1 million after finding that he was fired for blowing the whistle on a credit card scandal that ended in the resignations of two town officials. "When the verdict was read, I had emotions of graciousness and gratitude sweep over me," Stiles, 48, said yesterday. "It was a moment of healing that we've been waiting for for almost two years."

Legal experts said the jury award was unusually high for a whistle-blower case in a small town -- especially because Stiles had asked for less than $1 million.

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