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Actions Speak Louder than Words: Jury Awards $185 Million in Punitive Damages in Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

On November 17, 2014, a San Diego federal jury of five men and three women awarded Plaintiff Rosario Juarez $185 million dollars in punitive damages in her pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against her former employer AutoZone...more

The $185 Million – Yes – $185,000,000 Single Employee Discrimination Case

On November 17, a federal jury returned a verdict against AutoZone in favor of a single plaintiff for the insane amount of $185,000,000.00 in punitive damages. The plaintiff alleged gender and pregnancy-related harassment,...more

Reinstatement Available as a Remedy Nearly Ten Years After Last Day Worked

Although reinstatement in the Human Rights context is considered a unique and uncommon remedy, the Ontario Divisional Court recently refused an application for judicial review of a decision of the Ontario Human Rights...more

2014 Global Ethics Benchmarking Report Reveals Workplace Retaliation On The Rise

We recently released our 2014 Global Ethics Benchmarking Report, an annual report that contains a thorough analysis of the previous five years of whistleblower hotline reporting data, that gives the market insight into...more

More Focus on Employer Background Checks

The focus on employment background checks is not going away. A few weeks ago I wrote about Dollar General’s $4 million dollar settlement of a class action lawsuit based on alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act...more

Juries and the EEOC Take Aim at Pregnancy Discrimination

Back in the summer, we wrote about the Equal Opportunity Commission’s release of its updated enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination claims under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Under the PDA, discrimination based...more

ALERT: Danger Zone - Employer Hit with Huge Pregnancy Discrimination Act Verdict

In a stunning employment verdict, a California jury awarded $185 million in punitive damages and $873,000 in compensatory damages to a former AutoZone store manager who claimed the auto-parts retailer mistreated her based on...more

Revealing Whistleblower’s Identity is Retaliation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that revealing a whistleblower’s identity is prohibited retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in Halliburton, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board, United States...more

EEOC’s Recent Challenges to Corporate Wellness Programs

In its third lawsuit targeting a wellness program, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sought to enjoin Honeywell International, Inc. (Honeywell) from requiring employees who do not participate in...more

EEOC Attacks Another Wellness Program

EEOC Files Lawsuit and Motion for TRO and Injunction. Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota to prevent Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell)...more

Publix to Pay $6.8 Million for Alleged FCRA Violations

Publix Super Markets Inc. has agreed to pay $6.8 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over the supermarket chain’s background check procedures. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must provide prior...more

Federal Judge Rejects EEOC's Attempt to Block Honeywell's Wellness Program

Last week, EmployNews reported a lawsuit filed against Honeywell by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission challenging a new wellness program the agency alleged violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the...more

The Old (Law) is New Again: Plaintiffs Increasingly Using Old Pennsylvania Law to Challenge Background Check Decisions

In a climate of increased national scrutiny regarding employer use of criminal background screening, plaintiffs are turning to a provision in the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA), 18 Pa.C.S. §...more

Federal Judge Denies EEOC’s Petition for Temporary Restraining Order; Allows Employer to Penalize Employees Who Decline to...

Last week, we blogged about the EEOC’s recent litigations involving employee wellness programs, including the Honeywell case where the EEOC sought to prohibit Honeywell from penalizing employees who decline to participate in...more

Court Denies EEOC’s Requested Preliminary Injunction to Block Wellness Plan Biometric Testing

On November 3 U.S. District Court Judge Ann Montgomery gave Honeywell International a victory in Round One of the EEOC’s legal challenge to Honeywell’s wellness program, by refusing to grant the EEOC preliminary restraints...more

The High Cost of Whistleblowing

In a number of recent posts, we have highlighted the SEC’s whistleblower program, which offers awards of 10%-30% of the money collected where a whistleblower provides high-quality, original information that results in an SEC...more

EEOC Asks Court To Halt Biometric Testing Features of Corporate Wellness Program

On October 27, 2014 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asked the U.S. District Court in Minnesota to temporarily restrain Honeywell International’s wellness program from performing biometric testing on employees. The...more

EEOC Sues Honeywell for Biometric Screening Requirement in Wellness Plan

Last month’s EmployNews reported on two new lawsuits filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission challenging alleged excessive financial penalties included in employer-sponsored wellness plans. On Monday, the EEOC...more

Inter Partes Review Not Stayed, Despite Looming Patent Ownership Trial

Symantec Corp. v. RPost Commc’ns Ltd. - Addressing a motion to stay an inter partes review (IPR) by the patent owner, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB, the Board) denied the...more

California Court Finds Lack of Evidence Undermines False Claims Act and Retaliation Claims

The Southern District of California recently issued a favorable ruling for employers under both the False Claims Act and California’s retaliatory discharge provision codified at California Labor Code section 1102.5. The court...more

BREAKING: EEOC Seeks Court Order To Halt Honeywell’s Biometric Testing

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a petition yesterday in federal court in Minnesota to stop Honeywell International, Inc., from requiring that employees (and spouses, if the employees have family health...more

A PIP of a Discharge Claim

If you put an employee on a performance improvement plan (“PIP”), can he resign, sue on some theory or other, and collect damages as though he had been discharged? Two employees in Texas tried it. The employees contended that...more

With Prejudice: Judge Dismisses FCA Claim and Orders Sanctions Against Attorney

On October 16, 2014, United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah McCarthy of the Western District of New York issued a Report and Recommendation to District Judge William Skretny in which he recommended dismissal with prejudice...more

Wal-Mart Stores East Will Pay $72,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Retailer Refused to Reasonably Accommodate Applicant With End-Stage Renal Disease, Federal Agency Charged - BALTIMORE - Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., will pay $72,500 and provide significant equitable relief to settle a...more

And You Thought a One-Third Contingency Was High

On Tuesday a federal court in Illinois awarded fees of $200,000 to attorneys for a whistleblower in a False Claims Act action. Not impressed? Well, consider this: the whistleblower got a little less than $30,000. Figured...more

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