Adverse Employment Action

News & Analysis as of

Opposing Employer Actions Directed at General Public Not Protected Activity

Seyfarth Synopsis: An employee who expresses opposition to an employer’s policies and practices that affect members of the general public is not engaging in an activity that FEHA protects, because the activity is not opposing...more

EEOC Performance and Accountability Report Shows Increase in Charge Filings for FY 2016

On November 16, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR), revealing an increase in charge activity for FY 2016. According to the PAR, the...more

Finally! Something That's Not "Protected Activity" in California

It turns out that “protected activity” sufficient to make out a retaliation claim in California is not as broad as it may sometimes seem. On November 9, 2016, the Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment for the employer in...more

After being told that she should just “quit” if she felt unsafe, dismissed employee awarded $15,000 in damages

A charity has been ordered to pay a dismissed employee $15,000 in damages after dismissing her shortly after she had raised safety issues, in violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The charity ran retail...more

What’s an “Implied” Request for an ADA Reasonable Accommodation?

Seyfarth Synopsis: A divided panel of the Eighth Circuit recently decided that an employer may be required to assume or infer from the circumstances that an employee is seeking a reasonable accommodation – even when no...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Ruling on Personnel Decision based upon Perceived Political Affiliation Impacts Public Employers

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on a matter involving “perceived affiliation”, bringing clarity to the matter, where the circuits provided discordant rulings. As a result, personnel actions based upon even mistaken...more

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Protected Activity Under SOX

In Westawski v. Merck & Co., No. 14-cv-3239 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Defendant Merck & Co. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Joni Westawski’s (Plaintiff) SOX whistleblower...more

Another Party Enters ACA Enforcement and HIPAA Privacy and Security Enforcement Expands

OSHA Joins the ACA Enforcement Regime - Effective on and after October 13, 2016, employers need to watch their mail from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) for notices related to ACA retaliation...more

OSHA Clarifies Its “Just Say No” to Automatic Post-Accident Drug-Testing Position

How do employers reconcile automatic drug-testing required by workers’ compensation laws with the provisions of OSHA’s new Rule saying that automatic testing could be retaliatory? Following our recent blog on that issue, many...more

OSHA Issues Final Rule On Complaints Under Affordable Care Act's Anti-Retaliation Provision

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) added Section 18C to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to prohibit retaliation against employees who engage in certain activities protected by the ACA. Responsibility for receiving and...more

Owner/Trustee of 401(k) Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

Last June I blogged about the trend of participant fee class actions moving down to smaller 401(k) Plans. Occasionally, class actions are brought based on other breaches of fiduciary duties, particularly those involving...more

Terminating the walking dead employee: What would Negan do?

Like many of you, I am still reeling from the brutal season opener of The Walking Dead. Looking at the episode through the lens of an employment lawyer, a few thoughts came to mind: first, Negan’s managerial style is a tad...more

EEOC Issues First Retaliation Guidance in Almost 20 Years

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued its first enforcement guidance on employment-related retaliation in almost 20 years. The Final Guidance is in response to numerous court rulings on...more

How does Pennsylvania’s new medical marijuana law compare to NJCUMMA?

Recently, I participated in a panel discussion for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Healthcare Summit. The discussion focused on the workplace implications of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law, which...more

Decision 2016: A Refresher on Politics in Your Workplace

Over the next few weeks, millions of Americans will cast their votes, concluding what has been a particularly contentious election cycle. Until then, as Election Day approaches and employees’ political passions continue to...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

EEOC Releases Formal Guidance on Unlawful Retaliatory Conduct in the Workplace

After an extended public comment period, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)—which is charged with enforcing federal employment discrimination laws—recently issued its final Enforcement Guidance on...more

Trucking Company Owner Personally Liable for Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

Recent amendments to the Surface Transportation Act include a new cause of action for employees of companies engaged in interstate transportation who allege that they were fired or had other adverse action taken against them...more

New Interim Rule Prohibits Federal Contractors From Retaliating Against Employees Who Discuss Compensation With Colleagues

On September 30, 2016, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued an interim rule titled “Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information.”...more

Employer Wins $5 Million From Bullying Union

Lessons To Be Learned For Organizing Campaigns - For the first time in American labor law history, a jury found that a union defamed and disparaged an employer while waging a bitter organizing campaign, costing the...more

EEOC Sues Plastipak Packaging For Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Plastics Manufacturing Company Fired Materials Handler Because She Complained About Harassment, Federal Agency Charges - BALTIMORE - Plastipak Packaging, Inc. violated federal law when it fired a materials handler in...more

SEC Targets Whistleblower Retaliation

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced a settlement with a Nevada corporation of its first stand-alone whistleblower anti-retaliation case. On September 29, the SEC announced a $500,000 sanction...more

What qualifies as a ‘request for accommodation’ under the ADA?

Reasonable Accommodations - According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [ADA] . . . requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to...more

EEOC Issues Final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues

On August 25, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its final “Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues.” Along with the final guidance, the EEOC issued a Q&A publication and a Small...more

Cat’s Paw Making New Tracks: Second Circuit Extends Cat’s Paw Principle to Retaliation Claims and to Low-Level Employees

The “cat’s paw” doctrine, a concept first coined by Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner in 1990 and adopted by the Supreme Court in 2011, applies when an employee is subjected to an adverse employment action by a decision...more

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