Labor & Employment Civil Rights Administrative Agency

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OSHA Issues New Whistleblower Guidelines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule on the procedures, processes, and timeframes for handling whistleblower complaints under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as for hearings...more

Restoring Decades-Old Precedent, the DOL Blows the Whistle on Fordham's "Fundamental Error"

On Friday, September 30, 2016, U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued its highly anticipated decision in Palmer v. Illinois Central Railroad Company, ARB No. 16-035 (2016), correcting its...more

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC & OSHA Whistleblower Programs in Webinar

On September 27, 2016, Proskauer Partner Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group, participated in a Bloomberg webinar with Jane Norberg, Acting Chief of the SEC Office of the...more

MCAD Hearing Officer Awards $50,000 Plus 12% Interest For Gender Identity Harassment

A recent MCAD case illustrates the exposure companies doing business in Massachusetts face for: ..Strict liability for discriminatory and retaliatory acts committed by supervisors; ..Emotional distress damage awards...more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions Prompt Consideration of Whistleblower Carve-outs

The recent settlement of SEC enforcement actions concerning the Dodd Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions are prompting companies and their counsels to evaluate current and prospective severance and confidentiality agreements...more

OSHA Launches “Expedited Case Processing Pilot” For Whistleblower Claims

On August 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched a new pilot program, titled “Expedited Case Processing Pilot,” in its Western region. The program enables a complainant filing claims under whistleblower...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

Wisconsin District Court Follows 5th Circuit: Internal Tipsters Are Not Considered “Whistleblowers” Under Dodd-Frank

On August 12, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Lamb v. Rockwell Automation Inc., No. 15-CV-1415-JPS (E.D. Wis. Aug. 12, 2016) held that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision...more

Tenth Circuit Orders Truck Driver Who Abandoned Trailer on Interstate Highway to be Reinstated with Backpay

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Tenth Circuit held that a trucking company unlawfully retaliated against a truck driver after he abandoned a trailer on a public highway, finding that his actions constituted a protected refusal to...more

Protecting Food Industry Whistleblowers: FDA, OSHA team up under FSMA

In 2011, when the Food Safety Modernization Act was passed, it sought to revamp food safety in the United States. Since then, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been hard at work passing regulations to implement the...more

No Texas Hold ‘Em: Fifth Circuit Allows Texas to Challenge the EEOC Enforcement Guidance

A somewhat surprising decision in favor of the State of Texas was handed down from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 27, 2016, which held that (i) Texas had standing to challenge the Equal Employment Opportunity...more

Employment Law - June 2016 #3

LA Doubles Down on Sick Leave, Minimum Wage Increase - Why it matters - Already facing new California employment-related requirements—including the adoption of mandatory sick leave and an uptick in the minimum...more

The Whistle Blows Again: SEC Pays Second Largest Whistleblower Bounty Award

On June 9, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC”) awarded the second largest whistleblower bounty – $17 million – granted under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules to date. Previously, the highest whistleblower...more

Federal Reserve Bank Ruled a Federal Supervisory Agency Under the BSA

In a case of first impression, a district court held that a regional Federal Reserve Bank was a supervisory agent as defined by the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). The BSA requires the reporting of any suspicious activity that may...more

Spring Forward: Constructive Discharge Clock Doesn’t Start Until Employee Gives “Definite Notice” of Intent to Resign

On May 23, 2016, the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split over the deadline for employees to pursue their administrative remedies in connection with constructive discharge claims under Title VII. Generally, employees must...more

Federal Court Allows the EEOC to Conduct Investigation on Employer’s Premises Without Employer Consent or a Warrant

Many employers are familiar with the fact that the EEOC regularly conducts on-site workplace investigations after receiving charges of discrimination or harassment. A recent federal court decision, however, may lead to an...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Motor Carrier's Defense in Refusing to Hire Driver Diagnosed with Narcolepsy

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from refusing to hire qualified individuals with a disability on the basis of their condition, if they can perform the essential functions of the job with or without...more

Another Statute With Broad Whistleblower Protections - The FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

In April, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its final rule governing unlawful retaliation against workers who complain about or disclose food safety concerns to their employer or to OSHA....more

Bonus Points: ARB Upholds Whistleblower Order Challenging Bonus Plan

The Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) recently upheld an order finding a semiconductor company had constructively discharged a manager who complained the company’s bonus plan violated state wage and...more

Jeffrey Burstein Named New Regional Attorney for EEOC's New York District

NEW YORK -- Jeffrey Burstein, an eight-year attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has been appointed regional attorney for EEOC's New York District effective May 1, the agency announced today....more

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Advisory: The ACA: New Concerns for Employer Plan Sponsors Under the Fair Labor...

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) anti-retaliation provisions have been in effect for several years, but have so far largely gone unnoticed. Now that employees can get financial assistance through the Health Insurance...more

OSHA and FAA Sign Agreement on Protecting Airline Workers from Retaliation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently completed a Memorandum of Understanding (December 1, 2015), which will permit the sharing of information under...more

OFCCP Reminds Us Men Can Be Victims Of Sex Discrimination, Too

The federal Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently filed an administrative complaint alleging hiring bias against men against AmeriQual, an Indiana company that manufactures portable meals for the...more

Labor & Employment News - Rare Employer Win After Public Hearing at the MCAD: But "What is the Price of Victory?

Having cases before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) can be a very frustrating experience for employers. After a complaint is filed, the employer must file a position statement and then attend an...more

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