General Business Labor & Employment Civil Rights

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Sixth Circuit Rejects “Definitively, Specifically” Standard for SarbOx Whistleblower Claims

The Sixth Circuit this week rejected the “definitively and specifically” standard that had required a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower’s “reasonable belief” to closely track each element of the legal cause of action for the fraud...more

Uber’s ADA Conundrum

When you think of Uber (or similar companies like Lyft and Sidecar) you probably think of a transportation company. You request a ride on the company’s app and a driver (in his own vehicle) picks you up. The nature of the...more

Ninth Circuit Again Clarifies that Arbitration Is Creature of Contract: Employee's Agreement to Abide by Company Manual Is...

The court’s opinion instructs that employee agreements to arbitrate may be obtained through written acknowledgments referencing company manuals. Arbitration remains a preferred forum for many employers, yet courts are...more

Knowingly or Not? When Does an Employee Agree to Arbitrate?

There was a time, not so long ago, when federal courts refused to enforce arbitration agreements in Title VII cases, rendering arbitration agreements in the employment context virtually meaningless. Then, in 1991, Congress...more

Economic Downturn Week, Part II – The Golden Gate Bridge and Employment Separation – Hotlines and Whistleblowers During Layoffs

I use the Golden Gate Bridge as an entrée to my continued discussion on the series on steps that you can use in your compliance program if you find yourself, your company or your industry in an economic downturn. Whether you...more

Emergence of Transgender Status Issues in Workplace Raises Compliance Questions for Employers

Transgender issues have been grabbing headlines in recent months—perhaps most notably with Bruce Jenner’s televised announcement about his gender transition. Beyond the bright lights of pop culture, a wave of litigation and...more

Expanded Whistleblower Protections Impact Confidentiality Policies and Agreements

All employers should review their confidentiality policies and agreements to ensure adequate protections for whistleblowers in the wake of recent actions by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the National...more

Ninth Circuit Reinforces that Arbitration Agreements Will be Enforced

Ashbey was employed from December 1996 until November 2010, when he was discharged. He started with Archstone as a service technician and was promoted to regional service manager. In 2009, Ashbey signed a document titled,...more

Legal Help with Labor and Employment Disputes

Scenario No. 1: One of your key employees e-mails you to tell you the stress of the job has given her medical problems, and that this situation is made worse by the breakup of her relationship with one of your managers. You...more

The Recent SEC Attack on Confidentiality Agreements: What Employers Need To Know and Do Now

Introduction - • Employers typically impose confidentiality restrictions to protect trade secrets and confidential information, including when conducting internal investigations and in employee separation...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2015

In this Issue: - Is a Volunteer an Employee For Discrimination Law Purposes? - Don’t Use “Just Cause” Except In Union Contracts - Are Courts Getting Tough On Disability Claims? - Legal Briefs and...more

Senn Interview, Part II – A Discussion of the Decision to Self-Disclosure

In today’s post, I continue to explore my recent interview of Mara Senn, a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington DC. Senn is a white-collar practitioner who whose practice includes representing companies in...more

CFTC Whistleblower Awards On The Horizon

In a recent interview with Law360 (subscription required), Chris Ehrman, the Director of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Whistleblower Office, predicted that the number and size of the CFTC’s whistleblower...more

Dodd-Frank of the North? Incentive-Based Whistleblower Program Coming to Canada

It will be of significant interest to US corporations that make securities filings with the Ontario Securities Commissions (“OSC”), that on February 3, 2015, the OSC published “Staff Consultation Paper 15-401”, which sets out...more

The Cost of Buying Silence – Non-disclosure Provisions Run Afoul of Federal Agencies

There’s an inherent tension in requiring an employee to sign an agreement restricting his or her ability to discuss activity in the workplace. On one hand, employers with confidential business practices and trade secrets need...more

Bridging the Week - May 2015

CME Group Summarily Suspends Trading Privileges of Two Traders Without Hearing for Alleged Spoofing and Non-Cooperation - Less than two weeks after civil and criminal charges were filed by the Commodity Futures Trading...more

Senate Approves Auto Industry Whistleblower Bill

Under the “Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act” (the Bill), which the U.S. Senate approved on April 28, 2015, whistleblower protections and bounties would be available to individuals who report motor vehicle defects. In...more

Hospitals Are Still In The OFCCP's Crosshairs

On February 12, 2015, U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) underscored its intent to continue to scrutinize hospitals, including nonprofit hospitals. The OFCCP found that Lahey Clinic...more

"Full and final settlement of any and all claims" – not so, says the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal

The Alberta Human Rights Tribunal (“Tribunal”) released a decision this month that considered whether the terms of a Release Agreement constituted a valid and enforceable settlement of an employee’s allegations of human...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

The SEC announced that a compliance professional has been awarded $1.4 million to $1.6 million for reporting misconduct inside his firm to the SEC. The SEC recently noted that it has paid $50 million to 17 whistleblowers, out...more

Court Offers Good Privilege News for Draft Form 10-K Filings

Courts disagree about the attorney-client privilege protection's applicability to draft documents whose final version will be publicly disclosed. Public companies naturally worry about this issue's impact on their draft...more

King Arthur Week – The Green Knight and the Protection of Whistleblowers – Part IV

We continue our King Arthur themed week with an exploration of one of the most interesting characters in the Arthur canon, The Green Knight, so called because his skin and clothes are green. The meaning of his greenness has...more

SEC Grants Compliance Officer $1.4 to $1.6 Million Whistleblower Award

On April 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is awarding a compliance officer between $1.4 million and $1.6 million for voluntarily providing the SEC with information that contributed to a successful...more

SEC Makes Whistleblower Award in Connection With Retaliation Case

The SEC announced a maximum whistleblower award payment of 30 percent of amounts collected in connection with In the Matter of Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. and Candace King Weir, File No. 3-15930 (June 16, 2014), the...more

Closely Watched Weist SOX Whistleblower Case Dismissed

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently ruled that an employee’s SOX whistleblower retaliation claim failed as a matter of law because no causal connection existed between his complaints and termination and the employer...more

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