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New Difficulty With Settlements at the New York State Division of Human Rights

The New York State Division of Human Rights’ (NYSDHR or the Division) standard stipulation of settlement document does not always include all of the terms that an employer would want when agreeing to pay a monetary settlement...more

Federal Jury Awards $4.7 Million in Workplace Bullying Case

An employee of a Brooklyn, New York clothing store was awarded $4.7 million by a federal jury after being repeatedly bullied by a co-worker and ultimately physically attacked. The award was for assault, emotional distress,...more

What’s Happening with Whistleblowing?

This summer the SEC and the Wall Street Journal have reported several noteworthy items concerning the SEC’s whistleblower program, one of the most controversial components of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010....more

Massachusetts Enacts Domestic Violence Leave for Employees

On August 8, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill relating to domestic violence. Among other provisions, the law creates a new category of job-protected leave for employees. Massachusetts employers with 50 or...more

Agencies Issue Final Rule on the Recovery of Contractor Whistleblower Legal Costs

On June 25, 2014, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued a final rule that establishes when government contractors and subcontractors may recover...more

Discrimination – Vicarious Liability Gets More Expensive

The full bench of the Federal Court in Richardson v Oracle Corporation Australia (Richardson) has cited changing community standards as a basis for significantly increasing awards for general damages (ie damages for...more

Illinois "Bans the Box" With Governor Quinn's Signature

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, Governor Pat Quinn signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, making Illinois the fifth state to ban a private employer from requiring disclosure of a criminal history until an...more

Effective July 1, 2014: New Tennessee Laws

New Tennessee laws took effect on July 1, 2014, including changes to the workers' compensation system, caps on damages in suits under the State's statutory employment discrimination laws, and protections for employers hiring...more

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal on Enforceability of FLSA Collective Action Waivers

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied a request to review the issue of whether the Fair Labor Standards Act grants employees a non-waivable right to bring a collective action and thus, renders arbitration agreements with...more

Unauthorized Work Status Does Not Bar Discrimination Claims

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court held that an undocumented worker who was wrongfully terminated in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) may be awarded lost pay...more

Appeals Court Upholds Jury Verdict and All Relief Awarded Against A.C. Widenhouse in EEOC Race Harassment Case

Trucking Company to Pay $243,000 for Subjecting African-American Employees to Racial Slurs and Nooses, Retaliation - WASHINGTON - In the latest of a series of successes in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity...more

Developments in Tennessee, Alabama, and Federal Employment Law

Effective July 1, 2014, a new law (T.C.A. § 29-39-104) changes the exposure for Tennessee employers subject to the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) and the Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”). The law limits...more

SEC's Enforcement Action Against Hedge Fund Adviser for Retaliation Against a Whistleblower Highlights Challenges Employers Face

After repeated warnings over the last few years that it had both the authority and willingness to do so, on June 16, 2014, the SEC brought its first enforcement action for retaliation against a whistleblower under the...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - June 2014

No Liability for Off-the-Clock Work Absent Employer Knowledge - A California appeals court refused to hold Kaiser Foundation Health Plan liable for alleged off-the-clock overtime about which it lacked knowledge. In...more

Sanity Prevails: The Tale of a 90% Reduction to a Punitive Damages Award

In the May 2014 Ontario Court of Appeal decision in the case of Boucher v. Wal-Mart, the $1,150,000 in punitive damages previously awarded to Boucher by a jury was reduced to $110,000. The decision represents a good monetary...more

Settlement Agreements: Forgetting Costs May Cost You in California

DeSaulles v. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, No. H038184 (May 2, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently considered the issue of whether one of the parties in a litigation can be considered to be...more

New Tennessee Law Limits Scope of Employment Discrimination

Tennessee has drastically changed the legal landscape of employment discrimination litigation under state law. For claims arising after July 1, 2014, plaintiffs will no longer have the ability to seek unlimited compensatory...more

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Issues First Whistleblower Award

On Monday, May 19, 2014, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued its first award to a whistleblower under its Dodd-Frank bounty program. ...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2014

Editor's Overview - This month our authors explore two important areas of ERISA's fiduciary duties applicable to single employer and multiemployer plans. First, Neal Schelberg and Aaron Feuer comment on a growing trend...more

Even The Doctor Is Not Immune

A federal jury recently awarded $350,000 in punitive and compensatory damages to three former employees of Endoscopic Microsurgery Associates, a Baltimore-area medical practice, who were subjected to unwanted sexual advances...more

The 2014 Colorado Legislative Session in Review

The 2014 Colorado legislative session adjourned on May 7, 2014. The legislature tweaked several pre-existing employment laws but steered away from major changes to the employment relationship in Colorado. Below is a summary...more

California Employment Law Notes - May 2014

Male Employee's Sexual Harassment Claims Should Not Have Been Dismissed - Lewis v. City of Benecia, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1519 (2014). Brian Lewis, a heterosexual man, sued his former employer (the City of Benecia)...more

Should Employers Sue to Recover Attorney’s Fees After Winning a Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, the usual answer is no. After being sued by an employee for discrimination without a scintilla of evidence to support the claim, clients often ask “Can we countersue the employee for attorney’s fees?”...more

Whistleblower retaliation exposes Playboy to $6 million liability

A federal jury recently ordered Playboy Enterprises to pay $6 million to a former accounting executive who was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for blowing the whistle internally on what she perceived was improper...more

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