“[T]he district court compared [Plaintiff] to similarly situated employees within the same protected class—i.e., those with religious observances. But, the proper comparators are ‘similarly situated employees outside the protected class.’” Davis v. Fort Bend County, 2014 WL 4209371 at *6 (5th Cir. 2014) (Prado, J.) (emphasis added) (citing McCoy v. City of Shreveport,
Nicole M. Conger
We asked Nicole M. Conger, a Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to provide her extroverted answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more reasoned on the cognizance and finesse that Ms. Conger exudes.
1. What do you like most about being an employment lawyer?
Client interaction. I love being a lawyer because it gives me the opportunity to use the law to make someone’s life better. It also allows me to immerse myself with others by following my own instinct. I could not ask for more.
2. What is the most important issue to you of being an advocate?
America is a society based on law and justice. The most important issue of being an advocate is listening and using creativity to make this ideal a reality for clients, however small.
3. What is the most satisfying part of working for Rob Wiley, P.C.?
Establishing a career with someone who is 100% dedicated to his attorneys and the growth of our law firm. Mr. Wiley is exceedingly business savvy and demonstrates his profound knowledge of labor and employment law with every client interaction, marketing strategy, and relationship that he engages in.
4. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?
Clients who have a strong personnel record. I think that a good performance history shows the jury and judge what an admirable employee that person was to the employer.
5. What would you say to HR of a company about how to treat employees?
I would advise the Director of Human Resources or CEO to use the Golden Rule. That is, treat employees and others the same way that he or she would like to be treated. I cannot underline how important it is to empathize with others.
6. Besides Rob Wiley, P.C., what is the most interesting job that you have had?
I worked at Banana Republic and Barneys New York throughout undergrad. Working in retail with normal customers who have immediate issues to high-end clientele with ongoing desires really made me understand how to respond to different personalities in each situation.
7. What personality trait do you like most about yourself?
I am extremely compassionate. I think it is so important to let other people know that you appreciate them.
8. What makes you laugh?
Great company and friends.
9. Where do you like to travel?
Anywhere that has a beach! Australia is actually on my bucket list because I think it is gorgeous.
10. What’s the best part of living in Austin?
Austin is arguably the country’s best for outdoor activities and recreation. The Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs, and Deep Eddy are just a few of the highlights. The fun factor cannot be beat: In the self-proclaimed live-music capital of the world, music, food, people and businesses emerge and flourish!
Nicole M. Conger is a Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Rob Wiley, P.C. She graduated summa cum laude from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2006. Ms. Conger went on and received her law degree magna cum laude from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2011.
The availability of a volunteer to cover an employee’s shift precludes an employer from asserting an undue hardship as a result.
“[P]laintiff arranged for a substitute who voluntarily agreed to work [Plaintiff]’s shift that Sunday…. With a volunteer substitute available, [Defendant] would not have had to incur any cost requiring an employee to substitute for [Plaintiff], nor would [Defendant] necessarily be left short-handed.” Davis v. Fort Bend County, 2014 WL 4209371 at *7 (5th Cir.…
An employee’s bona fide religious belief does not require an inquiry into the nature of the activity itself.
“A showing of sincerity, however, does not require proof that the July 3rd church event was itself a true religious tenet, but only that [Plaintiff] sincerely believed it to be religious in her own scheme of things.” Davis v. Fort Bend County, 2014 WL 4209371 at *4 (5th Cir. 2014) (Prado, J.) (citing Moussazadeh …
Global statement that company did not fire any employee for complaining about wages is not a legitimate non-retaliatory reason.
“Defendants cite the following global statement in both declarations: ‘SDT did not fire anyone for complaining about not getting paid for all time worked.’ Neither [Defendant] mentions [Plaintiff] by name, nor do Defendants identify any other evidence to establish the basis for [Plaintiff’s] termination. The Court finds this evidence insufficient to establish a legitimate, non-retaliatory…
Employer is not entitled to summary judgment when it provided an accommodation and subsequently limited or eliminated the accommodation.
“Instead of giving [Plaintiff] light duty, [Defendant] provided the grocery department an additional thirty hours to allow [Plaintiff] to schedule employees to help him…. In spite of the additional hours, when sales were slower than anticipated, [Plaintiff] was instructed to cut hours…, resulting in the department being understaffed, leaving [Plaintiff] with no help and forcing…
For the purposes of Title VII retaliation claims, employer removing employee of supervisory responsibilities may be viewed as an adverse employment action.
“It is undisputed that, prior to [Plaintiff]’s reassignment, he held the position of Branch Chief…, and that, in this position, he supervised a staff of approximately fifteen, consisting of attorneys, paralegals, and a secretary. It is also undisputed that, after [Plaintiff]’s February 2006 reassignment to the position of staff attorney for the Superfund legal branch,…
Fact issue exists over whether Defendant’s decision to end assignment of Plaintiff employed by third party based on unlawful motive satisfies employment relationship requirement of Texas employment discrimination laws.
“[W]e agree with Ochoa that the evidence establishes a fact issue as to and that these opportunities were denied or interfered with based on unlawful criteria… After Ochoa reported sexual harassment to Johnson, he discussed Ochoa’s sexual harassment allegations with … Guerra … Guerra then directed Johnson to end Ochoa’s assignment at UTEP on the…
An independent contractor may be considered an “employee” for purposes of analyzing a Title VII claim when several factors are considered.
“Plaintiff alleges that the workers are ‘hourly employees’ who ‘supply no materials or tools of their own’ and ‘are directly supervised, directed and controlled by [Owner] and [Supervisor]. These allegations, taken as true, are sufficient to overcome the instant motion to dismiss.”
Stewart v. Caton, 2013 WL 4459981, at *9 (E.D. La. Aug. 13, 2013)…
A single act of harassment by a supervisor need not be severe and pervasive to create a hostile work environment, especially when an employer relies on unbinding authority.
“In determining if conduct is ‘severe and/or pervasive,’ the Court should consider the totality of the circumstances, ‘including the frequency of the discriminatory conduct, its severity, whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance, and whether it unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance.” Stewart v. Caton, Civ. No. 13-823, 2013…
Terminating an employee within twenty-four hours of filing an initial Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC is evidence of retaliation by an employer.
“In her complaint, Plaintiff alleges that she engaged in a protected activity when she filed a charge with the EEOC, that she was terminated immediately, and that her filing of the charge caused her termination. Given the proximity of the termination to the charge, it is reasonable to infer at this stage of the litigation…