Iowa Employment Law Blog

Iowa Employment Law Blog

Alert and inform about legal issues, risks, and solutions relating to employees

Published By Patrick D. Smith

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Are You Facing a Reduction in Force? Make Sure the Release is Valid or You May Pay Severance and Still Get Sued for Age Discrimination.

Posted in Age Discrimination, Human Resources Compliance, Litigation and Trials

In 1990 Congress enacted the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) out of concern that employees terminated  as part of a Reduction in Force (RIF) did not fully understand the rights they were giving up in exchange for the payment of severance benefits.   Under OWBPA, a severance agreement entered into with a terminated employee over… Continue Reading

Recent 8th Circuit Case Likely to Encourage Continued Migration of Age Discrimination Claims to State Court

Posted in Age Discrimination, Litigation and Trials

We have discussed in this blog before the migration of discrimination claims to Iowa state courts rather than federal courts.   The trend is driven by a number of factors, including the recognition in 2005 of the right to a jury trial under the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA) and the greater propensity of federal courts… Continue Reading

Whatever Happened to…Jack Gross?

Posted in Age Discrimination, Litigation and Trials, U.S. Supreme Court

Remember Jack Gross? Back in 2003 he claimed a demotion from his management job at West Des Moines based FBL Financial Services constituted age discrimination.   A federal jury in the Southern District of Iowa agreed and awarded him $47,000 in damages. From there his case had a remarkable journey: first stopping in St. Louis at the Eighth Circuit,… Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Once Again Reviews Age Discrimination Burden of Proof–This Time Under ICRA

Posted in Age Discrimination, Litigation and Trials

Age discrimination cases tried in the Southern District of Iowa continue to generate controversy over how juries should be instructed about the plaintiff’s burden of proof.   First it was Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., tried in the Southern District and ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2009.  Then it was the… Continue Reading

Gross v. FBL Remand: Eighth Circuit Considers Additional Issues

Posted in Age Discrimination, Litigation and Trials, U.S. Supreme Court

On November 30, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion on the remand of  Gross v. FBL Financial Group, Inc.   We have discussed the Gross case in several previous posts (here, here, and here).  The case has particular local interest because it was tried in the Southern District of Iowa, appealed… Continue Reading

An Interesting Interview with Jack Gross

Posted in Age Discrimination, U.S. Supreme Court

Des Moines Register columnist Marc Hansen writes about an interview he had with Jack Gross, the plaintiff in Gross v. FBL Financial, Inc., decided by the U.S. Supreme Court last June.   Mr. Gross was in Washinton, DC last week to testify before the Senate Judiciary committee that is considering amendments to the ADEA that would effectively overrule the Gross decision. … Continue Reading

Weekly Web Roundup: October 2, 2009

Posted in Age Discrimination, Human Resources Compliance, Social Networking, Wage and Hour

More signs this week that the federal government is ramping up enforcement of employment laws.  The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division is seeking a $22 million budget increase for 2010, and is seeking to hire 50 new attorneys.   Law Memo Employment Law Blog reports that the EEOC has been very active recently in filing lawsuits.   The Agency  filed 32 lawsuits against employers… Continue Reading

Layoffs and Age Bias

Posted in Age Discrimination

Conventional wisdom in the world of layoffs and reductions in force has held that older workers are more at risk for layoff because they generally earn higher salaries than their younger colleagues.  However, in this downturn, employers’ concern about the high cost of age bias claims may have put the jobs of younger workers more at… Continue Reading