Civil Remedies Labor & Employment Civil Rights

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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

Employers Who Prevail in FEHA Cases Cannot Recover Costs Unless the Employee’s Claims Are Frivolous, Unreasonable, or Groundless

In Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fires District, (No. S213100, en banc, filed 5/4/15) (Williams), the Supreme Court of California held a prevailing defendant in an action under the California Fair Employment and...more

Tiny’s Organic Settles EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

Wenatchee Fruit Grower to Pay $17,500 for Firing Supervisor Who Is Pregnant With Twins - SEATTLE - Wenatchee fruit grower Tiny's Organic will pay $17,500 and implement preventative measures to settle a pregnancy...more

Whistleblower Files Lawsuit Against JC Penney

A former part-time employee of department store JC Penney filed a retaliation claim, saying they were fired after alerting authorities that the retailer was overcharging its customers. This is just the most recent bad news...more

Protected Title VII Conduct Can Be As Simple As Telling Your Boss to Stop Harassing You

The Sixth Circuit recently ruled “a demand that a supervisor cease his/her harassing conduct constitutes protected activity covered by Title VII,” so that employees who tell a boss to stop harassing them are protected from...more

New DOL Rule Redefining “Spouse” Temporarily Placed on Hold

A new Department of Labor rule defining “spouse” for purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) was to take effect March 27, 2015, but on March 26, a federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction staying...more

EEOC Transgender Case In Detroit Will Go Forward

As our readers know, the EEOC filed two lawsuits last fall against private employers, alleging discrimination against transgender individuals: one case against a medical practice in Florida, and the other against a funeral...more

Anatomy of a (Big) Employment Verdict: Lessons from the Robertson Case

Last week, a federal jury in Pittsburgh awarded a former manufacturing employee, Sandra Robertson, over $13 million in damages in a gender discrimination and retaliation claim against her former employers, Hunter Panels LLC...more

$6 Million Verdict for SOX Whistleblower Leads to Malpractice Suit Against Defense Counsel

Playboy Enterprises is suing its former defense counsel Sheppard Mullin after being hit with a $6 million jury verdict in a SOX whistleblower case, the highest jury award in a SOX case to date. In Zulfer v. Playboy...more

Patterson-UTI Drilling Pagará $14.5 Millones Para Resolver Demanda de Discriminación por Origen Nacional/Raza

Agencia Federal Resuelve Demanda que Alega que Empleador Toleraba Discriminación en Plataformas de Perforación, Castigaba a Víctimas por Quejarse - DENVER - Patterson-UTI Drilling Company LLC, una empresa de perforación...more

Patterson-UTI Drilling to Pay $14.5 Million to Settle Claims of Race/National Origin Discrimination

Federal Agency Resolves Lawsuit Alleging Employer Tolerated Discrimination on Drilling Rigs, Punished Victims for Complaining - DENVER - Patterson-UTI Drilling Company LLC, a Snyder, Texas-based multistate oil drilling...more

EEOC Consent Decrees are its Most Powerful Enforcement Mechanisms

The vast majority of settlements between an employer and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) take the form of a court-approved consent decree. This document is a public record designed to highlight and...more

Washington Jury Awards “Perceived” Whistleblower $1 Million

In a jury verdict issued on March 26, 2015, a supervisor for the nation’s largest ferry system was awarded $1 million because the jury concluded that his employer demoted him as an act of retaliation in violation of the...more

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