Adverse Employment Action

News & Analysis as of

Retaliation: Realities and Myths

Unlawful workplace retaliation can take several forms, and claims for retaliation arise under a number of different statutes and common law theories. Workers compensation statutes, for example, contain provisions that...more

Can Employee Display a Confederate Flag on Facebook as Free Speech? Or Can Employer Take Action?

There’s been lots of talk lately about the Confederate flag and its symbolism in the aftermath of the Charleston shootings. But I wondered: How has this flag come up in the context of employment discrimination cases?...more

EEOC Sues Plasma Biological Services for Disability Discrimination

Plasma Center Fired Employee Believed To Be HIV-Positive, Federal Agency Charges - MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Plasma Biological Services, LLC and Interstate Blood Bank, Inc. d/b/a Plasma Biological Services, which own and...more

Fourth Circuit Lowers Bar for Employees in Title VII Retaliation Claims

The case involved an African American cocktail waitress who claimed she was called a “porch monkey” by another employee twice within a 24 hour period. Shortly after reporting the incidents, her employment was terminated. She...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms $250K Victory to SOX Whistleblower and Provides Broad Interpretation of SOX

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit in Rhinehimer v. U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. affirmed a $250,000 jury verdict in favor of a former financial advisor for U.S. Bancorp Investments (“USBII”) who alleged that he had been...more

SEC Gives Maximum Award in First Whistleblower Retaliation Case

On April 28, 2015, the SEC announced that it awarded a whistleblower the maximum award of 30 percent of the amounts collected in connection with the SEC’s first anti-retaliation case. The whistleblower received more than...more

It Takes Two (Racial Slurs to Support a Claim of Harassment, That Is)

Before we begin the analysis of the recent Fourth Circuit opinion in Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau, let’s take a moment to clear something up: When asking how many times an employee may permissibly hurl a racial slur at...more

Bad News, Good News: Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Sometimes Need Not Show He Was Qualified, But May Never Recover Punitive...

In a decision to be officially released on May 19, 2015, the Connecticut Appellate Court has addressed two interesting issues in the state law of employment discrimination, one of which is of considerable importance (and...more

What is Retaliation in the Second Circuit Under the FLSA?

On April 20, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a long-standing precedent when it held in Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc., that an internal oral complaint could be sufficient to...more

Being “Qualified” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Being Able to Perform “Essential Functions” of Job

Back in September 2013, I reported on a seemingly never-ending case of Tomick v. UPS and mentioned that it was headed to its second appeal at the Connecticut Appellate Court. (I talked about the history of the case and the...more

Telling Harasser to Stop Conduct Protects Employee from Retaliation

Title VII and related federal civil rights laws prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who files a claim, participates in an investigation or opposes conduct prohibited under anti-discrimination laws....more

Arizona's "Whistleblower" Laws: Tread Carefully

A “whistleblower” is someone who reports to management (or in some cases state and federal agencies) that they believe someone in their company is engaged in illegal conduct. There are numerous federal statutes that provide...more

California Court of Appeal Reminds Employers About the Importance of Thorough Harassment Investigations

Dawson v. Country Club of Rancho Bernardo, No. D064654 (March 23, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, a California Court of Appeal reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the employer, Country Club of Rancho...more

Employers Beware in Race Discrimination Cases

Several recent cases highlight the fact that employers should think twice before failing to properly address a Title VII complaint. Failing to do so may result in their winding up in a jury trial. That fact is most recently...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

ARB Issues Impactful Decision On Whistleblower Retaliation Causation Standard

The ARB recently addressed the standard for proving that protected activity was a “contributing factor” in adverse employment actions. It concluded that evidence showing that an employer would have made the same adverse...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

EEOC Transgender Case In Detroit Will Go Forward

As our readers know, the EEOC filed two lawsuits last fall against private employers, alleging discrimination against transgender individuals: one case against a medical practice in Florida, and the other against a funeral...more

Appellate Court Notes

- AC35807 - Llera v. Commissioner of Correction [Not summarized.] - AC36240 - Customers Bank v. Tomonto Industries, LLC Plaintiff bank acquired the assets of a defunct bank from the FDIC, including the $3...more

EEOC has defined “ability to interact with others” as a major life activity, making social anxiety disorder a disability under the...

An employee who was fired after asking to be reassigned to a role with less direct personal interaction as an accommodation for her social anxiety disorder has been allowed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to take her...more

Supervisor’s “Smoking Gun” Comments Keep ADA Claim Alive

A recent case out of New York reminds employers of the serious impact that off-the-cuff comments can have, especially when they take place during an employee’s termination. A couple of statements uttered by a supervisor,...more

Former Harvard Professor Files Title IX Lawsuit After Being Denied Tenure

Over the past year, an exceptional number of colleges and universities have been accused by both complainants and accused students of mishandling complaints of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX. Now, in a somewhat...more

Illinois Court Finds Teaching the “N” Word is Not Protected by the First Amendment

Recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois addressed whether a teacher could be disciplined for using the word “n*gger” in a sixth grade classroom. In Brown v. Board of Education of the...more

Washington Jury Awards “Perceived” Whistleblower $1 Million

In a jury verdict issued on March 26, 2015, a supervisor for the nation’s largest ferry system was awarded $1 million because the jury concluded that his employer demoted him as an act of retaliation in violation of the...more

Implied Rights in Whistleblower Policies: What DC’s Latest Ruling Means for Employers

On March 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on a motion to dismiss in a case that will have potentially serious consequences for D.C. employers that include written whistleblower and other...more

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