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Employment Law - July 2014 #2

High Court’s Fall Docket Includes Major Employment Issues - Why it matters: While the 2013-2014 U.S. Supreme Court term may be over, the justices have granted certiorari in two major employment cases slated for the...more

FCC Regulations On Phone Call Captioning Held To Be Arbitrary and Capricious

On June 20, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated two FCC regulations on phone call captioning technology designed for the hearing impaired, holding that the rules were made arbitrarily and capriciously in violation...more

Now I Have to Allow Insubordination and Verbal Abuse Too?

Several weeks ago, in both a tongue-in-cheek and concerned fashioned, we wrote about a federal court decision that concluded an employer had to tolerate an employee’s admitted theft as a reasonable accommodation for her...more

Inclusive Communities Project case summary

On March 24, 2014, the Fifth Circuit was the first Circuit to directly adopt HUD’s new disparate impact rule. Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Dep’t of Hous., 2014 WL 1257127 (5th Cir. Mar. 24, 2014). Now, a challenge...more

OSHA and the NLRB Offer Safety Whistleblower Plaintiffs a Second Bite of the Apple by Resurrecting Untimely Whistleblower Claims

In our last Workplace Safety & Health blog post, we discussed proactive steps employers can take should the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) arrive with a union representative or community activist to...more

Employers Defending Against SOX Whistleblower Actions Should Prepare for a Long Ride

Employers defending against Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower retaliation claims should be prepared for a long and potentially onerous litigation process, even if the claims lack merit. A recent district court decision...more

Money Manager Sues SEC to Stop Administrative Action in $1.5 Billion CDO Case

A money manager and his firm recently sued the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming that the agency violated their constitutional rights by bringing an administrative proceeding for securities claims in connection with...more

Ventress III Provides Another Tool for Airlines: Ninth Circuit Says Federal Aviation Act Preempts Pilot’s State Law Employment...

On March 28, 2014, the Ninth Circuit strengthened its Federal Aviation Act (the “Act”) preemption jurisprudence, holding that state law claims for retaliation and constructive termination are preempted under the Act when they...more

California Supreme Court Allows Whistleblowing Doctor To Sue Before Exhausting Judicial Remedies

Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals, S205568 (February 20, 2014): The California Supreme Court recently held that a physician, who claimed that a hospital terminated his staff privileges in retaliation for raising...more

Workplace Bullying – Past Behaviour Relevant In Fair Work Commission's New Jurisdiction Update

The Fair Work Commission's anti-bullying powers came into force on 1 January 2014 (see our previous update here). In a recent decision (Application by Kathleen McInnes [2014] FWCFB 1440), the Full Bench of the Commission has...more

Second Circuit Weighs In On Tort Litigation During Pending EEOC Proceeding

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a plaintiff’s filing of a charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) does not toll the statute of limitations for...more

Can SOX Go Overseas? The Debate Continues

The continuing controversy over whether retaliation claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ("SOX") cover activities outside the United States continues to play out in the courts and administrative bodies. The two leading cases...more

On a “Clear and Convincing Day”: The Administrative Review Board Gives Employers Some Helpful Guidance

As we have discussed in earlier posts, the Administrative Review Board (ARB) has, over the last couple of years, issued a number of opinions signaling a decidedly employee-friendly interpretation of the whistleblower statutes...more

Court Rules No Violation of Public Safety Officers Bill of Rights During Internal Affairs Administrative Interviews

Officers Not Entitled to an Attorney During an Administrative Investigation Under POBRA - Overview: Police officers sued the City of Los Angeles for violations of their civil rights and under the Public Safety Officers...more

“Failure To Conciliate” Not A Defense To EEOC Lawsuits, Seventh Circuit Holds

Breaking ranks with every other federal appellate court to address the issue, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that an employer cannot defend a lawsuit brought by the EEOC by contending that the...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Failure to Conciliate is Not a Defense Available to Employers in Litigation with the EEOC

In EEOC v. Mach Mining, LLC, the Seventh Circuit became the first federal circuit to foreclose an employer's ability to use the implied affirmative defense that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to...more

Indiana Court Finds Employee’s Attempt At Humor Was Not Protected Religious Expression

Ronald Ogle worked as a Community Employment Specialist for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (IDWD). On November 10, 2012, he forwarded to his coworkers an email that included a picture of a barbeque restaurant...more

Texas Federal Court Gives SOX Whistleblower Another Big Bite At The Apple

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently ruled that a plaintiff had the right to a de novo review of her SOX whistleblower claims in federal district court even though she had already participated...more

Weekly Law Resume: Labor Law – Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Required

Aaron MacDonald v. State of California, et al. - Court of Appeal, Third District (August 27, 2013) - In this case, the Third District of the Court of Appeal acknowledged and clarified the question that troubled many...more

You've Got Mail! The EEOC's Latest Investigation Tactic Could Be Coming to Your Corporate Inboxes

In the past few years federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have intensified their investigation and enforcement tactics....more

Lawsuit for a Retaliatory or Discriminatory Firing under the Labor Code May Not Be Filed Until After Fired Employee Completes...

After complaining about a supervisor smoking in the office, an employee of the State Assembly was fired. Believing the firing was motivated by his complaint, the employee filed a lawsuit against the Assembly, claiming...more

Employee Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies Before Suing Employer

In MacDonald v. Superior Court, the court held that an employee must exhaust statutory administrative remedies before filing suit against an employer. MacDonald worked for the State of California and the California State...more

Punitive Damages Not Available Under Cook County Human Rights Ordinance

The Illinois Supreme Court recently held that the Cook County Commission On Human Relations (the “Commission”) acted beyond the scope of its authority when it awarded punitive damages to a prevailing complainant in connection...more

Employment Newsletter - June 2013: The Impact of Federal-State “Worksharing Agreements”

A New Jersey decision issued earlier this year highlights the importance of a little-known but highly effective employer defense to claims brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. In Cornacchiulo v....more

Additional Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Requirements for Industries Governed by Federal Transportation Laws

The requirement for an employee to exhaust administrative remedies may go beyond filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and state employment agencies. Industry-specific exhaustion...more

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