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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

Fifth Circuit Finds SOX Violation in Disclosure of Whistleblower’s Identity

The Fifth Circuit affirms the DOL Administrative Review Board’s decision that employer disclosure of a whistleblower’s identity in a document retention notice constitutes an adverse action....more

Facts about fraud: Fact #3 - higher authority = more damage

International Fraud Awareness Week - November 16 - 22, 2014 - #fraudhurtsbad - Facts About Fraud - We continue our International Fraud Awareness Week with our third fraud fact: The higher up the corporate...more

OFCCP Announces Issuance of 2,500 Courtesy Scheduling Announcement Letters

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has announced that it will mail Courtesy Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) to contractor facilities across the country that have been selected for compliance...more

Facts about fraud: Fact #2 - Small business fraud hurts more

Smaller business suffer greater from fraud. The bigger the business, the more employees, and the fraud costs skyrocket. Big businesses that have engaged in fraud end up paying 'gazillions' in violations, penalties, and...more

Lawsuits Are On The Rise. Are You Covered?

On September 25, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed the first two suits in its history challenging transgender discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As discrimination litigation...more

2008 Mortgage Crisis: A silenced whistleblower finally speaks out

Meet 30-something year old Alayne Fleischmann. Fleischmann is from Terrace, British Columbia, she attended Cornell Law School, and in 2013, she was the reason JP Morgan Chase had to pay a $9 billion fine....more

Being Rude is Not an ADA Disability, Ninth Circuit Says

In a recent case, a police officer sued his employer, claiming that his inability to get along with co-workers was actually a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The officer, who was fired for...more

Quirky Question #245, Last chance agreements

We operate a manufacturing plant with a union workforce where new employees begin with a 90-day probationary period during which they are not yet members of the union. I recently hired a guy who refused to work overtime on...more

How Should Employers Draft Severance Agreements Post-CVS?

Last month, a federal judge in Illinois dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contending that a standard release agreement used by the CVS drugstore chain violated the anti-retaliation...more

The EEOC’s Assault on Separation Agreements – A Bump in the Road, But It’s Far From Over

Most employers have separation agreement forms that have served them well over the years. The terms have become fairly standardized and, aside from the occasional tweak, they don’t change much and are rarely challenged. ...more

Doctors and Lawyers and Such

When doctors and lawyers get sideways with their business partners, they might dispute whether one or more of them are really “employees.” In a recent case, an anesthesiologist alleged disability and sex discrimination. To...more

EEOC Legal Counsel Says Blanket Policy Prohibiting Alcoholic Employees From Drinking Could Violate ADA

Here is a common workplace scenario: An employee tests positive for use of alcohol following a random screening. As a condition of continuing employment, the employee consults with the company’s EAP, which informs the...more

The Diversity and Inclusion Punchline: How One Stand-up Comic Opened My Eyes to a Bigger Picture

The most mundane experiences can often leave a remarkable impact. My husband and I recently went out to see one of his new favorite comedians. We arrived at the outdoor music theater where thousands of people from various...more

Title VII Severance Agreement Issue Remains in Legal Limbo: Judge Tosses EEOC’s Suit Against CVS Solely on Procedural Grounds

Last month, we reported that an Illinois district court judge threw out the EEOC’s controversial lawsuit against CVS seeking to invalidate its severance agreements. The judge there did so and promised to follow up with a...more

Supreme Court Makes Necessary Expansions to Whistleblower Law

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled in the case of Lawson v. FMR, LLC that people employed by a private company that is either a contractor or subcontractor or a public company are to be extended the same...more

FINRA Issues Guidance Notice To Warn Against Settlements Barring Whistleblower Tips

This month, FINRA issued guidance notice 14-40 to reminds firms that “it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements...more

Whistleblowers Now Have More Time to File Whistleblower Claims through NLRB

Under the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), employees typically only have 30 days to file a complaint about employer retaliation. However, OSHA has now reached an agreement...more

Blog: Director Of SEC Whistleblower Office To Staff: I Want To Pump You Up* To Find Whistleblower Retaliation Cases

According to Law360, the director of the SEC’s whistleblower office, Sean McKessy, is exhorting the staff of that office to set a high priority on cases involving employer retaliation for whistleblower complaints. During an...more

EEOC Lawsuit Against CVS Pharmacy Challenging Severance Agreements Dismissed

On October 7, 2014, District Judge John Darrah of the North District of Illinois dismissed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. CVS Pharmacy,...more

Seventh Circuit Reminds Attorneys to Conduct “Reasonable Amount of Legal Research” Before Filing Claims

Under the federal civil rights statutes, plaintiffs who prevail ordinarily receive an award of attorneys’ fees that must be paid by the defendant. But, in order not to deter plaintiffs from filing such claims, the reverse is...more

FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers

As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in...more

Judge in Chicago Dismisses EEOC Suit Challenging CVS Health’s Severance Agreements

As we reported earlier this year (EEOC Files Suit Over Separation Agreement Language), the Chicago District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against CVS Pharmacy alleging that the...more

A whistleblower's battle over beer

(Got your attention?) Yep, you read that right... beer - One often thinks of bribery and corruption happening in major, high profile organizations (Enron, WorldCom, Tyco). Those are certainly the first I think of...more

EEOC Challenge to CVS Severance Agreement Dismissed Due to Agency’s Failure to Engage in Conciliation

Late last year the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued CVS in the Northern District of Illinois claiming that the retail pharmacy’s standard form severance agreement and release violated Title...more

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