General Business Labor & Employment Civil Rights

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Fenwick Employment Brief - March 2015

Recent Cases Provide Helpful Reminders Regarding Best Practices (and Pitfalls) with Employment Arbitration Clauses - Scrutiny of mandatory, pre-employment arbitration agreements continues before California state and...more

2015 Employment Law Issues Tournament: Sweet Sixteen Results and Recaps

The Sweet Sixteen has come and gone and it was glorious. Streamed live over our new Apple Watches, 16 employment law issues battled it out for the right to move onto the Elite Eight, which will be held next week at Sixth...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - March 2015

In This E-Note: - Expanding Eligibility: Is Your FMLA Policy Ripe for Misinterpretation? - New Year’s Resolution Continued: The Multi-State Non-Compete Agreement - The Corporate Board: The False Claims...more

Workplace Harassment Prevention: Are You Doing Enough?

Do you have a comprehensive workplace harassment prevention program in place? During our recent webinar, “Workplace Harassment is Evolving: Is Your Prevention Program Keeping Pace?,” we asked attendees whether they had a...more

Lessons From the Kleiner Perkins Trial: Stopping Discrimination Against Women

In recent weeks much media attention has been paid to an important case against a well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Since late February, the technology sector venture capitalist...more

3 New Developments in Whistleblower Retaliation (Hint: Preventing Retaliation Takes More Than an Anonymous Whistleblower Hotline)

I find the ethics and compliance industry full of paradoxes. First, it has a reputation for being dry, dull… full of ‘heretofores’ and ‘thou-shall-nots’. But I think it’s anything but dull. Whistleblowers, bribery,...more

Show Me The Money: Yes, Even Corporate Officers Can Collect Dodd-Frank Bounty Awards

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced a whistleblower bounty award of between $475,000 and $575,000, its 15th under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. While the SEC’s order is scant on detail, it does disclose that the award...more

Must Gluten-free Be Free? What You Should Know About Celiac Disease and the ADA

Restaurants nationwide are beginning to offer gluten-free alternatives to regular menu items. This is welcome news to those long suffering from celiac disease, a chronic and serious immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein...more

Beschäftigung von Arbeitnehmern nach Erreichen des Renteneintrittsalters

Das Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG) hat am 11. Februar 2015 - 7 AZR 17/13 entschieden, dass die Befristung des Arbeitsverhältnisses nach Erreichen des Renteneintrittsalters nicht ohne weiteres sachlich gerechtfertigt ist....more

DOL Issues its Final Rule for SOX Whistleblower Complaints

On March 5, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Final Rule implementing protections for employees of securities companies and their subsidiaries, as well as employees of national credit-rating agencies. The Final...more

NY Whistleblower Bounty Program On The Horizon?

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced his plans to propose legislation that would create a whistleblower incentive program at the state level. The proposal, titled the Financial Frauds Whistleblower Act,...more

First SEC Whistleblower Award To Former Company Officer

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced an expected award of $475,000 to $575,000 to a former company officer “who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that resulted in an SEC enforcement action...more

New York AG Set to Propose Whistleblower Legislation

On February 26, New York AG Eric Schneiderman announced that he intends to propose state legislation to reward and protect employees who report information about misconduct in the banking, insurance, and financial services...more

Fleet-Footed Investigations and Prompt Remedial Action: The New Normal

Does your company respond to all internal concerns immediately, investigate them thoroughly and remediate them with unmatchable speed? What if the concern comes from an officer, director, lawyer, compliance professional,...more

SEC Sweep on NDAs Restricting Whistleblowers

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the SEC is in the midst of a sweep to crack down on companies’ use of NDAs or employment agreements that might impede whistleblower reporting in violation of Dodd-Frank...more

Does Former Officer Have An Obligation To Turn Over Whistleblower Award?

Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced “a whistleblower award payout between $475,000 and $575,000 to a former company officer who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that...more

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

This ‘n’ that from the world of the workplace

Religious accommodation, the Oscars, non-competes, social media, Brian Williams versus Bill O’Reilly, workplace violence, and inspirational employees — we have it all today! Here are some links about recent news and court...more

SEC Targeting Broad Employee Confidentiality Clauses

February 27, 2015 Authors: Gregory Keating and Harry Jones The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently contacted a number of companies seeking every confidentiality agreement, nondisclosure agreement, settlement...more

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

Putting a Stop to Human Trafficking

Consistent with the US Government’s zero tolerance policy concerning human trafficking, a cadre of government agencies recently published a final rule amending the current Federal Acquisition Regulations provisions on human...more

To Whom Must The Whistle Blow? SEC Asks Second Circuit for Deference on Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection

In an amicus brief filed earlier this month in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LCC, the SEC asked the Second Circuit to defer to the Commission and hold that individuals who report misconduct internally are covered by the...more

EEOC Loses Argument That Company Converting Employees to Contractors Cannot Require Release of Pending Discrimination Claims

Over the past several years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed several high profile lawsuits accusing employers of retaliating against employees by requiring them to waive discrimination claims in return...more

Court Finds Naming Names in Public Filings and Imprudent Emails Support Action For Retaliation

In Celia Greengrass v. International Monetary Systems, Ltd., 2015 WL 137891, (7th Cir. Jan. 12, 2015), the Seventh Circuit relied in part on the fact that an employer identified a former employee by name in its discussion of...more

OFCCP Modernizes Sex Discrimination Guidelines

On January 30, 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published proposed updates to its Sex Discrimination Guidelines setting forth its interpretations and rules for complying with the...more

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