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Whistleblower Awarded $80,000 in Punitive Damages

A recent case, Peasley v. Regis Corporation, resulted in a jury awarding $80,000 in punitive damages to the plaintiff, a hair stylist named Valerie Peasley. The claim was filed under the Maine Whistleblower Protection Act....more

Employment Law - June 2015 #2

Joint Employers Can Be Liable for Employee Misclassification in California: Why it matters - Liability under the California Labor Code extends to joint employers that are aware of a willful misclassification of an...more

Employers, You’ll Never Pooh-Pooh The GINA Again.

On Monday, a federal jury in Atlanta awarded two hourly warehouse workers $2.2 million in a lawsuit brought under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The controversy started when Atlas Logistics Group Retail...more

Whistleblowing: An Employer’s Guide To Global Compliance

In This Issue: - Foreword - A Summary Across Five Continents - Law and Sanctions - The Legislative Framework: Whistleblower Protections Across the Globe - Global Differences: The Cultural...more

Infographic: Whistleblowing Laws - A snapshot of whistleblowing laws around the world

For every business there is a risk that corruption or inadequate systems will lead to dangerous or criminal behavior. Often employees are the first to suspect something is wrong, and employers need to manage the potential for...more

Second Circuit Tackles “Whistleblower” Protection Under Dodd-Frank

Last week, the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, a case that places squarely before the Court the question of who is a “whistleblower” within the meaning of the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and...more

6 Ways for Car Dealers to Avoid a $540,000 Sexual Harassment Jury Verdict

Many dealers took notice of the recent sexual harassment jury verdict against a Massachusetts Lexus dealer, in which a jury awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against the dealership although it awarded only $40,000 in...more

KONE Inc. to Pay $85,500 to Settle EEOC Retaliation and Breach of Mediation Agreement Lawsuit

Elevator Manufacturer Refused to Hire Applicant in Retaliation for a Previous Discrimination Complaint, Federal Agency Charged - MEMPHIS, Tenn. - KONE Inc., a manufacturer and servicer of elevators and escalators, has...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms $250K Victory to SOX Whistleblower and Provides Broad Interpretation of SOX

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit in Rhinehimer v. U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. affirmed a $250,000 jury verdict in favor of a former financial advisor for U.S. Bancorp Investments (“USBII”) who alleged that he had been...more

Successor Liability for Discrimination Claims

Since most businesses are organized in a corporate form, the typical defendant in an employment discrimination lawsuit is a corporation. If a corporate defendant is dissolved during the course of the lawsuit and has few or...more

OSHA Updates Whistleblower Manual, Focusing On Damages And Settlement Agreements

On May 21, 2015, OSHA—which has responsibility for investigating and enforcement under 22 whistleblower retaliation statutes—released an updated edition of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual (the Manual), the first such...more

Legislative Update: Mandatory Double Damages for OT Violations Bill Passes; Other Bills Await Votes

We’re nearly at the end of the legislative session and the bills are coming fast and furious. Late Friday, the General Assembly passed a bill (Senate Bill 914) that mandates (rather than allows) double damages to be...more

Judge Awards Nearly $75,000 to Victim of Pregnancy Discrimination in EEOC Suit Against United Bible

Houston Home and Community Services Organization Unlawfully Fired Pregnant Employee Pursuant to Illegal No-Pregnancy Policy, Federal Agency Charged - HOUSTON - A federal judge has awarded a pregnancy discrimination...more

Today's Immigration Debate Impacts California Employment Law and Litigation

A year ago, the California Supreme Court limited damages in employment discrimination claims brought under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) when an employer discovers it employed an unauthorized worker....more

FMLA’s New Definition of “Spouse” Halted in Four States

The Department of Labor’s revised definition of “spouse” under the FMLA was recently struck down in Texas. On March 26, 2015, in Texas v. United States, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas...more

California Supreme Court Makes It Harder For Prevailing FEHA Defendants To Recover Their Costs

Under section 1032(b) of the California Code of Civil Procedure, “a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding” unless some statute expressly says otherwise. It has been...more

Asking Supervisor to Stop Harassment Qualifies as Protected Activity Under Title VII

A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling may concern employers, since it gives a broad definition to Title VII retaliation claims. On April 22, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court in ruling that informal...more

OSHA Publishes New Whistleblower Investigations Manual

OSHA released an updated version of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual (CPL 02-03-005) on May 21, 2015–the first update since September 2011. The manual now reflects procedures for investigating MAP-21 whistleblower...more

Bad News, Good News: Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Sometimes Need Not Show He Was Qualified, But May Never Recover Punitive...

In a decision to be officially released on May 19, 2015, the Connecticut Appellate Court has addressed two interesting issues in the state law of employment discrimination, one of which is of considerable importance (and...more

H2H Enterprises / Huddle House #670 to Pay $15,000 to Settle EEOC Racial Harassment Lawsuit

Restaurant Managers Created a Racially Hostile Work Environment For Black Employee, Federal Agency Charged - PINE BLUFF, Ark. - H2H Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a/ Huddle House #670 in Pine Bluff, Ark., will pay $15,000 to...more

Prevailing FEHA Defendant Not Entitled To Litigation Costs Unless Plaintiff’s Lawsuit Lacked Objective Basis

The California Supreme Court in Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District affirmed the asymmetrical nature of litigation costs awards in discrimination lawsuits under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - May 2015

EEOC Conciliation Efforts Subject To Limited Judicial Review - In Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, the United States Supreme Court held that the conciliation efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are...more

McPhee Electric and Bond Brothers to Pay $120,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Construction Contractors Refused to Hire Applicant Because of His Dyslexia - NEW YORK - McPhee Electric Ltd., a construction company with offices in Connecticut, and Bond Brothers, Inc., a construction management and...more

Quick Hits: Transgender Workplaces; Proving Emotional Harm; “Digital Natives”; Labor History in Schools

With Twitter, I’ve been doing less “recap” posts of late. Why? For the simple reason that you can get all of the posts I’ve read of late on Twitter....more

April Whistleblower News Digest | Consider Targeted Anti-Retaliation Training as part of Your Ethics and Compliance Training...

If April showers bring May flowers, then May is going to be a veritable hurricane of whistleblower-related fines (and also pollen). Our first three items come to us from the SEC, with awards and fines galore, most notably the...more

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