9th Circ. 'Willful' Ruling Could Extend Beyond FMLA Context

Law360 (December 9, 2020, 11:10 AM EST) -- On Nov. 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit applied the Fair Labor Standards Act's important willfulness standard in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The court's importing of this standard could have far-reaching implications.

It signals the federal appellate courts' desire to articulate a unified standard for willfulness across various discrimination statutes. Such a unified standard may be a welcome form of judicial consistency for employment law practitioners.

In Olson v. U.S., the plaintiff alleged that the Bonneville Power Administration, or BPA, violated the FMLA by willfully interfering with her rights under...

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