In Taylor v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, the Washington Supreme Court recently held that obesity is always an “impairment” under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”). The court held that the WLAD is more expansive than the Americans with Disabilities Act and expressly refused to follow some federal court decisions that found obesity to be a disability only if it is caused by a separate underlying physiological disorder.
Anna Matsuo's practice focuses on advising and counseling employers on a wide range of employment issues and defending employers in litigation before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
Anna defends employers against a range of employment claims, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, and wage and hour violations. She also provides preventive counseling to employers including advising on compliance issues, preparing employee handbooks and policies, advising on personnel matters including hiring and firing, and drafting employment contracts.
Before joining the firm, Anna practiced at national and regional law firms where she represented management in employment litigation.
Posts by: Anna Matsuo
Effective May 10, 2020, New York City employers may no longer test prospective employees for marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. This bill- which is the first of its kind in the country- makes such testing an unlawful discriminatory practice under the New York City Human Rights Law. READ MORE
In Chance v. Kraft Heinz Foods Company, a Delaware state court recently held that a private cause of action exists under the state’s Medical Marijuana Act (DMMA) and confirmed that the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not preempt the DMMA. The court’s holdings add to a recent trend of employee-friendly cases dealing with employment claims brought by medical marijuana users. READ MORE
A federal court in Connecticut recently granted summary judgment to a prospective employee on an employment discrimination claim brought under Connecticut’s Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (PUMA). The case, Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Co., LLC, d/b/a Bride Brook Nursing & Rehab. Ctr. (D. Conn. Sept. 5, 2018) adds to an evolving area of litigation regarding employees who use medical marijuana pursuant to a valid state-approved program. READ MORE
On September 6, the SEC issued awards totaling more than $54 million to two whistleblowers who provided critical information and continued assistance to the agency in an enforcement action. This large award follows another composite mega-award of $83 million to three whistleblowers in a single enforcement action on March 19, 2018.
The September 6 award of $39 million to one claimant constitutes the second-largest award in the SEC whistleblower program’s history. The agency awarded the second whistleblower $15 million. Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, stated that whistleblowers “serve as invaluable sources of information, and can propel an investigation forward by helping [the SEC] overcome obstacles and delays in investigation.” READ MORE