Retaliation

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds SOX Whistleblowers Not Required to Show Retaliatory Intent (US)

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided in Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, et al. that employees bringing whistleblower claims against their employer under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) need not prove that, in taking adverse action against them, their employer intended to retaliate against them due to their protected whistleblowing activity. The … Continue Reading

Amendments to California Anti-Retaliation Laws Facilitate Employee Lawsuits

Soon it will be easier for California employees to establish a prima facie claim of retaliation in violation of California law. On October 8, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 497 into law. Also referred to as the Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Protection Act, the legislation amends California Labor Code Sections 98.6, 1102.5 and … Continue Reading

A tip for your trouble – new rules for employers on treatment of gratuities and service charges (UK)

Employers in the hospitality, leisure and service sectors should be aware that the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 has now completed the parliamentary process and will be coming into force at some point in 2024, most likely May.    This particular piece of legislation has been a long time coming – the suggestion was … Continue Reading

Summer State/Local Law Round-Up, Part 1 of 2 (US)

Now that we’re almost half-way through 2023, it’s time again to review the developments in state and local labor and employment laws. State legislatures and city councils continue to be very busy making new laws and amending existing laws. In fact, due to the large number of updates, we are splitting our post into two parts. … Continue Reading

Knew this would happen – entirely predictable problems with new working patterns Bill (UK)

Last week the government voiced its support for the new Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill, the endeavour of MP Scott Benton to combat “one-sided flexibility”, where “workers are on stand-by for work which never comes”, it says in the BEIS press release.  This is a belated by-product of the Taylor Good Work Report in … Continue Reading

Belgium finally transposes the Whistleblowers Directive – fashionably late, but worth the wait?

Roughly a year late, but here we are then: Belgium has finally transposed the Whistleblowers Directive into national law. The Act of 28 November 2022 on the protection of reporters of breaches of Union or national law discovered within a legal entity in the private sector sets out the rules for companies in the private … Continue Reading

Dancing to the EU’s tune – why its Whistleblowing Directive may still affect you (UK)

The 27 remaining EU member states have until 17 December this year in which to introduce domestic legislation implementing the Whistleblowing Directive from 2019.  With scarcely four months to go, how are things going? Very slowly in most cases, it seems.  No doubt Covid has taken parliamentary time and resource away from this issue across the … Continue Reading

A Timely Redux: Walking The Tightrope: Dealing With Employees’ Different Viewpoints On COVID-19, Racial Justice, and Partisan Politics (US)

In June 2020, we added a post to Employment Law Worldview addressing the complicated situation employers are in when employees express – sometime respectfully, sometimes not – different, and indeed, opposite views on COVID-19 issues (e.g., legitimate public health emergency versus hoax or “plandemic”), racial justice (“Black Lives Matter” versus “All Lives Matter”), and politics … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Relaxes Procedural Path for Title VII Litigants, Ruling EEOC Charge-Filing Process Not Jurisdictional

On January 23, 2019, we reported that the Supreme Court had agreed to review a decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ft. Bend County v. Davis, which would answer conclusively whether the pre-filing administrative exhaustion requirement is jurisdictional (meaning that failure to fully exhaust administrative remedies would bar litigation) or non-jurisdictional and thus … Continue Reading

Can An Employer’s Disclosure Of An Employee’s Lawsuit In A Required SEC Disclosure Constitute Prohibited Retaliation? (US)

If you’re a fan of unusual employment law cases, the saga between SigmaTron International, Inc. and its former employee, Maria Gracia, has been the gift that keeps on giving for the past eight years.  Four years after filing her first lawsuit against SigmaTron (in which she eventually won over $300,000), Ms. Gracia sued her former … Continue Reading

U.S. EEOC Announces Four-Year Strategic Plan

On February 12, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for FY2018 – FY2022 (SEP).   Congress requires federal administrative agencies such as the EEOC to develop strategic plans every four years and publish their plans on their website.  The EEOC’s plan serves as a framework for the agency in … Continue Reading

The Japanese layoff that didn’t “fly”

As I wrote in this space last year, layoffs for economic circumstances exist under Japanese law, but are exceedingly difficult to achieve without constituting wrongful dismissal. One major international airline is learning this the hard way. Three years ago, the airline terminated three Japan-based employees in connection with the closing of its call center in … Continue Reading

Two US Federal Agencies disagree as to whether Title VII as a matter of law, reaches sexual orientation discrimination

This past May, 2017, The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted en banc (meaning all the judges on the Second Circuit will hear the case instead of a three-judge panel) a review in Zarda v. Altitude Express, the case of a New York skydiving instructor who was fired from his job because … Continue Reading

Managing Political Speech In The Workplace

In the current political environment, employers and employees alike may be wondering – what, if any, political conversation in the workplace is acceptable or appropriate?  Tones of “freedom of speech,” “freedom of association,” on one hand, intersect with tenors of “workplace harassment” or simple annoyance, on the other.  Although like the political debates themselves, the … Continue Reading

NLRB Rules That Barring A Former Hotel Employee Who Sued Her Employer From The Premises Is An Unfair Labor Practice

On May 16, 2017, a two-member majority (Members McFerran and Pearce) of the National Labor Relations Board held that it was an unfair labor practice for the Grand Sierra Resort &Casino (GSR) to bar a former employee from its premises after she filed a class and collective action lawsuit against the employer.… Continue Reading

EEOC Pilots New Online Inquiry and Intake Program in Five Major US Cities

On March 13, 2017, the EEOC launched a new Online Inquiry and Intake System, making it easier for employees to seek assistance from the agency regarding claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The new system is available to individuals who live within one hundred miles of the EEOC’s offices in Charlotte, Chicago, New Orleans, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Expands Reach of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protections

Adding to an existing split among the federal appeals courts, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on March 8, 2017 that employees who make internal reports about suspected violations of the federal securities laws and other anti-fraud statutes are covered by the “whistleblower” protections of the Dodd-Frank Act (Dodd-Frank), even if … Continue Reading

2nd Circuit Sharpens Its Claws – Broadening Scope of Cat’s Paw Theory

Earlier this week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals revived plaintiff Andrea Vasquez’s wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuit against her former employer, holding that under the “cat’s paw” theory, the retaliatory intent of any company employee – not just supervisory personnel – can be imputed to the company. The “cat’s paw” theory traces its roots … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Long-Awaited Retaliation Guidance

On August 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final “Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues,” which replaced the Agency’s nearly-20-year-old 1998 Compliance Manual, Section 8: Retaliation.  As the title clearly implies, the guidance primarily sets forth the Agency’s evolving interpretations of the law of retaliation.  It also focuses on the … Continue Reading

Considerations for employers when setting up an external whistleblowing hotline

This post is the product of an interview with Grant Stevens, Head of Sales, Expolink Europe Ltd http://expolink.co.uk/   What are the main considerations for employers when setting up an externally-managed hotline for the first time? Like any worthwhile venture, whistleblowing hotlines benefit from forethought and planning. A great deal will depend on the size … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit clarifies: Demanding a supervisor cease harassment is a protected activity

On April 22, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that clarifies that, for purposes of Title VII retaliation cases, an employee’s demand that a supervisor stop his or her harassing conduct constitutes protected activity under the statute. Affirming the findings of several district courts in the circuit, the appeals court held that … Continue Reading

EEOC Internal Memo Reveals LGBT Discrimination Remains Enforcement Priority

On February 3, 2015, the EEOC’s Director of the Office of Field Programs issued a memorandum to the agency’s district directors regarding the handling of LGBT-related discrimination claims. Although Title VII does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of an employee’s identification as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, the memorandum states that the EEOC … Continue Reading

EEOC Charge Filing in 2014: Number of Charges Down, Retaliation Claims Up

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released its annual statistical report  detailing charge filing activity in 2014.  The EEOC, the federal administrative agency which investigates and prosecutes claims of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under a number of employment and civil rights statutes, reported 88,778 charges filed in 2014, down from 93,727 charges filed … Continue Reading
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