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Archive for Friday, August 24, 2012

Appeals court reverses ruling in former Hallmark employee’s lawsuit

August 24, 2012

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A Kansas Court of Appeals panel on Friday reversed a ruling by a Douglas County judge and found that a former employee’s claims in a lawsuit against Hallmark Cards Inc. were subject to arbitration.

The appellate court made the ruling and ordered the case back to District Judge Michael Malone with instructions to stay further proceedings in the lawsuit and to compel further arbitration in the dispute.

According to the opinion, Jana Hague sued her employer, Hallmark, which operates a production plant in Lawrence, for breach of contract and for unpaid wages. She began suffering health problems in 2008 and took a leave of absence. Hallmark initially approved her application for short-term disability benefits but, after further review, denied the benefits. When she did not return to work, she was fired.

Court of Appeals Judge Steve Leben wrote the legal issues of the lawsuit relate to whether it would be proper for an arbitrator or a judge to determine the merits of her claims,

Hague’s attorneys argued she should have received further short-term disability benefits and that a court should award her back benefits, plus interest, penalties and attorneys fees. Hallmark had asked Malone to put the lawsuit on hold while the parties arbitrated the dispute because the company said her claims were subject to mandatory arbitration under Hallmark’s dispute-resolution program. Malone agreed with Hague’s attorneys that the company’s dispute-resolution program did not require her to arbitrate her claims.

“But what Hague has filed in court is a lawsuit, not an objection to Hallmark policies, and her agreement with Hallmark requires that legal claims be arbitrated,” Leben wrote in the Friday’s opinion.

Comments

toe 2 years, 3 months ago

No one should ever hire anyone without the employee first signing an arbitration agreement and an employer at will statement.

Keith 2 years, 3 months ago

No one should ever work for an employer that requires you to relinquish your rights as a condition of employment.

skull 2 years, 3 months ago

Good luck with that one. Conservatives are trying to rid the country of the only forces workers have to stand up for their rights. Unions and collective bargaining are the only only power workers have over the tyranny of capitalist greed.

chiefsman1966 2 years, 3 months ago

justfornow, How do you know how long she worked there? Who are you to judge where women should be anyway. I bet you have an easy job? I bet some women could do your job better than you can! People shouldn't judge, untill they know the whole story, or if they don't here it all keep thy mouth shut!!!!

UfoPilot 2 years, 3 months ago

Hallmark has a history of firing people when they get sick.

akt2 2 years, 3 months ago

The review committee must have a better understanding of her illness than the physicans that diagnosed and treated her.

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