— Posts About Jonathan Harkavy

NC Bar Association presents Jon Harkavy with 2013 McKnight Award

On January 23, 2014, the North Carolina Bar Association presented Jon Harkavy with the 2013 H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award.  Jon received the award at a lunch attended by the Officers and Members of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association.  All of Patterson Harkavy’s attorneys also attended to celebrate and congratulate Jon for his achievement.   Jon has served as the past chair of the Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section, the Labor & Employment Law Section and the Appellate Rules Committee, and is past president of the 18th Judicial District Bar.  He was the initial recipient of the Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section’s annual award, which is named in his honor.

The H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award recognizes attorneys who demonstrate the “Renaissance Lawyer” qualities embodied by Judge McKnight, former chair of the N.C. Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee who died in 2004 while serving on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.  The award seeks to recognize those North Carolina attorneys whose trustworthiness, respectful and courteous treatment of all people, enthusiasm for intellectual achievement and commitment to excellence in work, and service to the profession and community, inspire others.

For more information, please visit the Bar Association’s website.

 

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Jon Harkavy to Moderate Panel Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Julius Chambers

On Tuesday, January 21st, Jon Harkavy will moderate a forum at Elon Law School celebrating the life and legacy of civil rights icon Julius Chambers.  The forum’s panelists include the Hon. Henry Frye, former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; John Charles Boger, Dean of UNC School of Law; and Geraldine Sumter, a partner at Ferguson, Chambers & Sumter law firm.

Julius Chambers graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1962, where he was first in his class and Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.  Chambers received his masters of law degree from Columbia University in 1964, and in June of that year opened a law firm in Charlotte.  Within his first year of practice, Chambers filed countless lawsuits challenging segregation in schools, public accommodations, and hospitals across North Carolina.  Chambers went on to win landmark civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court in such cases as Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971), Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971), and Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405 (1975).

In 1984, Chambers left his Charlotte law firm to lead the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City.  After leaving this position in 1993, Chambers was named chancellor of North Carolina Central University. He returned to his law practice in 2001, where he continued to pursue work in employment discrimination, education, and civil rights.  Chambers passed away on August 2, 2013.

The forum celebrating Chambers’ life and legacy will be held on Tuesday, January 21st at 6:00 pm in the library of Elon University School of Law.  A detailed remembrance of Mr. Chambers is available on his firm’s website.

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Jon Harkavy Presents Annual Paper on SCOTUS Employment Law Decisions

On October 21st, at the 27th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law CLE held in Charleston, South Carolina, Jonathan Harkavy presented his 2010-11 annual review of the Supreme Court’s employment law cases.  His paper is entitled “Supreme Court of the United States Employment Law Commentary, 2010 Term.”  (Please download his article from here.)

 Introduction:  The 2010 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States put a spotlight on the significant – though oddly unheralded – role that employment law plays in our country’s economy and in our citizens’ daily lives. One of the nation’s keenest (and self-described “obsessive”) Court observers recently characterized this term as “straight-up dull.” Emily Bazelon, “Chamber of Pain,” The New York Times Magazine, p. 9 (August 7, 2011.) My own judgment, however, is that what the Justices did in the employment area was consequential, if not downright exciting.  Through a number of employment-related cases, a cohesive and assertive majority of the Court fashioned the law to fit its socio-economic (if not overtly political) view that the employment relationship ought to be deregulated.  In doing so, the Court continued to pursue what the Reagan revolution began and the Tea Party followers hope to complete.  But more about that later.  For Court observers of all political stripes, the 2010 Term’s smorgasbord of decisions provides a feast to be savored and debated for months to come.

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Supreme Court Expands Wage and Hour Retaliation Claims

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of an employee last week in Kasten V. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp, which involves a retaliation claim based on verbal complaints of wage and hour violations.

The plaintiff, an employee at Saint-Gobain, complained verbally several times about the placement of the time clock at Saint-Gobain being unlawful.  The time clock was placed beyond the area where workers were required to dress in protective clothing thus they were not paid for the time they donned and doffed their protective work gear.  A lower court ruled in a related case that the placement of the time clock was indeed a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In this case, the Court considered the use of the phrase “filed any complaint” and whether it allowed for a complaint about a violation to be filed orally or if it strictly limited complaints to be filed in writing.  Justice Breyer thoroughly defined the word “file” and “filed” only to conclude that what really mattered was the spirit of the text.  Breyer found that the intended purpose of the FLSA was to protect employees many of which, at the time the law was written, were illiterate and incapable of filing complaints in writing.  The Court concluded that employees may file complaints orally if the complaint is “sufficiently clear and detailed [enough] for a reasonable employer to understand it.”  The Court, however, did not address an equally important issue about whether a complaint must be filed with a government agency, not simply an employer, to fall within the standards of the FLSA anti-retaliation provision.

This case is a partial win for employees, granting them further protection against employment discrimination under the FLSA.  (More coverage here.)

UPDATE: Jonathan Harkavy’s commentary on this case can be found here from his overview of the Supreme Court’s employment law decisions during their 2010 session.

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Harkavy Presents 2009-10 Annual Supreme Court Review of Employment Law Cases

At the 26th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law CLE held in Asheville, North Carolina, Jonathan Harkavy will present his 2009-10 annual review of the Supreme Court’s employment law cases.  His paper is entitled Supreme Court Employment Law Decisions, 2009 Term.

Introduction: The 2009 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States illustrated in unmistakable fashion the central role that workplace regulation plays in the lives of our citizens. The Court’s determination of a broad range of employment-related issues maintained its focus on employment law that began several terms ago. Not only do this term’s decisions affect a variety of policies and rules applicable to workers, employers and benefit providers, but the Roberts Court’s unabashed interest in doctrinal development, revealed by a deeper look at its decisions, also is reshaping the employment relationship itself and altering how work-related disputes are to be resolved.  Read more…

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Burton, Hank, Mike, and Jonathan Recognized as North Carolina “Super Lawyers”

Four of Patterson Harkavy’s attorneys have been named North Carolina “Super Lawyers” for 2010 in a recent study by Law & Politics magazine.  The findings are published in the February 2010 edition of the North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine.

Patterson Harkavy’s 2010 North Carolina “Super Lawyers” are:

  • Burton Craige — Personal Injury: Medical Malpractice
  • Hank Patterson — Workers’ Compensation
  • Michael Okun — Labor & Employment Law
  • Jonathan Harkavy — Alternative Dispute Resolution

In addition, Jonathan Harkavy was named to the list of the Top 100 attorneys in North Carolina.

Law & Politics conducts a regional survey of lawyers who have been in practice for at least five years, asking them to nominate the best attorneys they’ve personally observed in action.  In addition, the magazine’s attorney-led research department reviews nominees’ credentials based on a set of evaluation criteria.  To ensure a diverse and well-balanced list, the research staff considers factors such as firm size, practice area and geographic location.

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Okun and Harkavy Recognized as Among Legal Elite in Employment Law

In its January 2010 issue, Business North Carolina recognized lawyers as being among the “Legal Elite” in various areas of the law.  Michael Okun was recognized as one of the “Legal Elite” in employment law, and Jonathan Harkavy retained recognition in the “Legal Elite Hall of Fame” in employment law.

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Harkavy Named 2010 Greensboro Best Lawyers Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year

Best Lawyers, a peer-review publication, has named Jonathan Harkavy as the “Greensboro Best Lawyers Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year” for 2010. Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting peer-review surveys in which lawyers evaluate their professional peers. Jonathan has been recognized by Best Lawyers every year since its inception.

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Jonathan Harkavy Presents 2008-09 Annual Supreme Court Review of Employment Law Cases

At the 25th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law CLE held in Charleston, South Carolina, Jonathan Harkavy will present his 2008-09 annual review of the Supreme Court’s employment law cases.  His paper is entitled Supreme Court of the United States Employment Law Commentary, 2008 Term.

Summary: The 2008 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States, forged in volatile economic times and framed on a changing political palette, not only reaffirmed the Court’s interest in employment-related cases, but also revealed a growing institutional confidence in shaping employment law. While a fully coherent approach to employment disputes continued to elude the Court, it was not for lack of trying, as the Justices decided nearly a dozen cases treating some aspect of the employment relationship. Notably, these cases, many of which were determined by closely divided votes, mirror a deep philosophical fracture portrayed more broadly across the spectrum of the Court’s work. All in all, therefore, the 2008 Term was one of high interest for both the employment bar and the general public, as well as one of considerable consequence for workers, employers, and labor organizations.

Read more…

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Jonathan Harkavy Presents 2007-08 Annual Supreme Court Review of Employment Law Cases

At the 24th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law CLE held in Asheville, Jonathan Harkavy presented his 2007-08 annual review of the Supreme Court’s employment law cases.  His paper is entitled Supreme Court of the United States Employment Law Commentary, 2007 Term.

Summary: The 2007 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States provided fresh and persuasive evidence of the centrality of work in our lives and the significance of employment law in our jurisprudence during this first decade of the new century. Nearly one out of four civil cases on the Court’s opinion docket involved disputes concerning some aspect of employer-employee relations. How the law regulates and affects the employment relationship thus continued to find detailed, if not fully coherent, expression in the Court’s opinions during the 2007 Term. This paper first reviews the term’s decisions arranged largely by subject matter. The italicized paragraphs preceding and following the cases offer some personal commentary on the decisions and their likely impact on workers, employers, and their lawyers, and more generally on our employment laws. Following this term’s cases are brief summaries of the grants of certiorari in employment-related cases for the 2008 Term. The paper concludes with a brief observation about the structure of federal employment law in the wake of the Court’s recent decisions.

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