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Another Texas Whistleblower is Dismissed

The Supreme Court of Texas recently dismissed another whistleblower case with a narrow reading of Texas Whistleblower Act (TWA) requirements. Although the TWA offers significant protections to a tipster reporting malfeasance,...more

Supreme Court: Voters' Initiative To End Affirmative Action Is Constitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution to prohibit racial preferences in admissions to public schools and government programs....more

Missouri Supreme Court Lowers Employees’ Burden Of Proof In Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claims

The Missouri Supreme Court expanded rights for injured workers on April 15, 2014, by virtue of its ruling in Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., No. SC 93132. Under the court’s new standard, a discharged employee alleging...more

Supreme Court Expands Scope of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protections

The Issue: My company is not publicly traded, but provides services to companies that are. Do Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protections extend to our employees? The Solution: Yes. Analysis: Enacted in the wake of...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - April 2014

Supreme Court Confirms FICA Taxes Must be Withheld from Severance Payments - Finding severance payments to be a form of “remuneration for employment,” the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Quality Stores,...more

FedEx Cannot Exclude Diabetic Applicant From Mechanic Position Based on Need to Test Drive Trucks

The Americans with Disabilities Act contains a provision allowing exclusion of disabled persons from jobs when their medical condition contradicts federal licensing requirements. In practice, this exclusion has applied most...more

Breaking News: Missouri Supreme Court Abandons "Exclusive Causation" Standard For Workers' Compensation Retaliation

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that plaintiffs claiming workers' compensation retaliation need only prove that their workers' compensation claims were a "contributing factor" to any adverse employment action. The...more

Making a Reasonable Accommodation: Walgreens and the $1.37 Question

A California federal court denied Walgreen Co.’s motion for summary judgment on April 11, 2014, in a disability discrimination case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC v. Walgreen Co., 2014 U.S. Dist....more

Sixth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of EEOC Suit Against Employer Screening Applicants Based on Credit History Information

In April 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its updated enforcement guidance concerning how, in its view, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) restricts an employer’s discretion...more

Employee Needs More Than Speculation to Support his Retaliation Claim

To prevail on a claim of retaliation under federal law, an employee must prove that he or she engaged in a “protected activity” under an antidiscrimination statute and subsequently suffered an adverse employment action. In...more

Sixth Circuit Delivers Knockout to EEOC in Another Background Check Case

The EEOC suffered a major setback on April 9th when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in the highly watched background check case of EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, et al. The Sixth...more

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Social media can be a powerful tool for employers when facing litigation, but it can also expose employers to liability when used to make employment decisions, especially when it comes to hiring new employees. For example,...more

Employment Law

Second Circuit: Inability to Sit for Long Periods Can Trigger ADA Coverage - Why it matters: Can an employee’s inability to sit for a prolonged period of time constitute a disability under the Americans with...more

Germany: When is a New Hire too old to join a Company Pension Scheme?

In Germany, all employees are mandatorily covered by the statutory pension insurance which provides the main source of income during retirement. In addition, many companies grant company pension benefits to their employees,...more

The EEOC Loses Background Check Battle In The 6th Circuit

The Sixth Circuit issued a much anticipated ruling on April 9, 2014 related to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC’s”) systemic targeting of employer background check policies. ...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Against EEOC in Credit Check Suit

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., No. 13-3408 (6th Cir. Apr. 9, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the award of summary judgment against the...more

Utah Employment Law Letter: April 2014: Title VII: To protect and serve? Harassment claim sent back to Utah court

You may have heard the term “summary judgment.” It means that if the facts of a case are so clear that only one outcome is possible at trial, a court will forgo a trial and decide the case. This process ensures that resources...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects EEOC’s Expert Evidence In Proposed Pattern Or Practice Class Action Litigation

After a string of recent cases in which the agency has been forced to pay employer attorneys’ fees for bringing frivolous claims, the most recent zinger came from the Sixth Circuit last week in EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education...more

A Check on the EEOC Attack on the Credit Check

We have written a few times about the EEOC’s closer inspection of background checks and the use of criminal records in employment decisions because of their potential adverse impact on classes of applicants. The EEOC has also...more

Testing the Boundaries of the Faragher/Ellerth Defense in Sexual Harassment Cases

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court created a defense for employers accused of permitting a supervisor to engage in unlawful sexual harassment of an employee. In two seminal cases, the Court held that an employer is not...more

Daughter’s Facebook Post Leads to Costly Breach by Father of a Confidentiality Clause in His Settlement Agreement With Former...

A recent decision by a Florida appeals court, Gulliver Schools, Inc. v. Snay, stands as a stark reminder of the perils of trying to maintain confidentiality in the age of social media where news can travel faster than the...more

EEOC Dealt Setback On Credit Check Claim

Over the last couple years, the EEOC has been taking aim at companies that use credit checks as part of the application process, arguing that excluding applicants based on credit checks has a disparate impact on minority...more

Did the EEOC Try Hard Enough to Resolve Your Case Before Filing Suit?

In March, 2014, three powerful business groups urged the U.S. Supreme Court to consider an important issue at stake for employers in Mach Mining LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—can courts review the adequacy of...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Sanctioning of EEOC for Unreasonable Lawsuit Brought Against Employer Six Years After Charge Filed

Employers involved in litigation under Title VII and related federal civil rights laws understand that a prevailing plaintiff is entitled to collect his or her attorneys’ fees. These employers may not be aware that in more...more

SCOTUS Ruling Increases Private Company Risk – Imminent Need for Business Ethics Training

In an important ruling on March 4, the Supreme Court expanded the whistleblower protections outlined in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Originally only applied to whistleblowers at public companies, the Justices decided in a...more

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