Court nixes temp restraining orders for bias complaints

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Employees’ attorneys have come up with a unique way to interfere with an employer’s right to fire employees. Workers who fear that they’re on the verge of being fired are seeking temporary restraining orders (TRO) to stop the discharge.

Fortunately, not all judges are going along with the ploy.

Recent case: Karen was a psychiatrist who treated prisoners. Due to illness and disability, she took lots of leave. When discussions about reasonable accommodations broke down, she feared she would be fired. She filed a disability discrimination lawsuit—and asked a court to bar her termination pending the outcome of the litigation.

The court refused. It reasoned that Title VII provides for back pay should she win her case. Therefore, Karen wouldn’t have suffered irreparable harm if she had been fired. Since that’s the standard for a TRO, she was out of luck. (Kirby v. Brown, et al., No. S-13-0021, ED CA, 2013)

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