On February 25, 2016, Governor Robert Bentley signed House Bill 174 which nixed the local minimum-wage ordinance passed by the Birmingham city council on August 18, 2015. The bill then became Alabama Act 2016-18, which is entitled the Alabama Uniform Minimum Wage and Right-to-Work Act.
An Alabama staffing firm (sometimes called a temp agency) has recently come under fire for employment discrimination. News reports allege that the firm honored requests for whites-only temporary workers. These reports indicate that, sometimes, the client would use code words like “country boys” to request white employees. In its defense, the firm has responded that it does not honor such requests.
In a case of first impression, Quigg v. Thomas County School District, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the burden-shifting framework (known as “McDonell Douglas”) established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 for cases involving mixed-motive discrimination claims. Instead, the Court adopted a less stringent standard, allowing claims to proceed where the plaintiff is able to show that (1) the defendant took an adverse employment action against the plaintiff and (2) a protected characteristic was a motivating factor for the adverse employment action.
In an earlier post, I explained about how two U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals had adopted the new primary beneficiary test to determine whether or not an intern should be paid. In that post, I suggested that two courts “leaned” in different directions on this issue, primarily because of the interns in one case were performing work that didn’t appear to be related to their education whereas the interns in the other case were performing work that appeared to be related to their education.
In a previous post, I addressed the subject of unpaid interns and how two circuit courts of appeal had enunciated a new “primary beneficiary test” in addressing litigation of this issue.