Adverse Employment Action

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Expands First Amendment Protections For Public Employees

On April 26, 2016, the United States Supreme Court ruled that when a public employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent that employee from engaging in First Amendment protected activity, the employee can challenge...more

The Supreme Court – April 2016 #4

The Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in one case on April 26, 2016: - Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280: Petitioner Jeffrey Heffernan was a police officer in Paterson, New Jersey. Heffernan...more

Supreme Court Decides Heffernan v. City of Paterson

On April 26, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280, holding government employees who are demoted because their employer believes they are engaging in constitutionally protected political...more

Perceived Political Expression Protected By First Amendment, Supreme Court Says

In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court today held that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects both actual and perceived political speech and expression by public employees. The unsurprising decision squares with...more

Still Cookin’ In California Court: Bakery Employer Survives EEOC Motion For Summary Judgment

In what has become an oft-used recipe in the EEOC cookbook of Title VII retaliation litigation, the government has once again utilized the strategy of taking an employer’s deposition and thereafter moving for summary...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects EEOC's Position on Reasonable Belief Standard for Reactive Retaliation Claims

In 2009’s Crawford decision, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that an employee who participates in an employer’s harassment or discrimination investigation as a third-party witness, falls within federal anti-retaliation...more

A Closer Look at Austin’s “Ban the Box” Ordinance

On March 24, 2016, the Austin City Council passed a “ban-the-box” ordinance, the Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance, which took effect on April 4, 2016. The final version of the ordinance was released on April 12, 2016. It...more

Nursing Manager, Removed from Patient Case, Seeks Supreme Court Review in Discrimination Case

Petitioner to the Supreme Court claims that the Sixth Circuit engaged in a “separate but equal” rationale when it rejected her claim that her employer discriminated against her based on race after the employer allegedly...more

Dismissal Denied For Discussing Disability: EEOC Case Against Employer Survives

Anti-discrimination laws command that “thou shall not retaliate…” The recent ruling in EEOC v. Day & Zimmerman NPS, Inc., Case No. 15-CV-01416 (D. Conn Apr. 12, 2016), is a case study in how employers can be taken to task for...more

Job Applicant Was Rejected Due to Dishonesty, Not Prior Lawsuit, Says Sixth Circuit

On April 8, 2016, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment in favor of an employer in Hance v. BNSF Railway Company, a failure-to-hire retaliation case brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and...more

The Rights and Limitations of Associational Discrimination under the ADA

While a recent Second Circuit case received lots of headlines regarding its discussion of individual liability under FMLA, the case has some other nuggets for employers to understand, as my colleague Gary Starr explains in...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Awards Bounty to Whistleblower, But Offsets Award for a Judgment Against the Whistleblower - The extent to which the SEC would reward whistleblowers, who themselves engaged in wrongdoing, has been the subject of...more

Austin Passes "Ban the Box" Ordinance

On March 24, 2016, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance that will significantly restrict many employers from making employment decisions about applicants or employees based on their criminal histories. The Fair Chance...more

E.D. Kentucky Dismisses SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Counter-Claims

On March 17, 2016, the Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed whistleblower counter-claims against Allstate Insurance Company (“Company”), ruling that Defendant Kevin Keefe’s (“Plaintiff”) SOX claim was untimely and that his...more

EEOC Announces Launch of Online Charge Status System

Employers can now electronically monitor and respond to EEOC charges of discrimination via a secure online portal.  This means employers can receive updates and transmit information to the EEOC much more quickly than in the...more

OSHA Releases Final Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released its final rule implementing the whistleblower provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (“CFPA”).  The following are the key features of the rule...more

With Adverse Employment Action Absent, Court Denies EEOC’s Motion For Reconsideration In Religious Accommodation Case

In an important EEOC case involving the intersection of company dress code policies and the rights of employees seeking religious accommodations, following a grant of both parties’ summary judgment motions in part, which we...more

New Developments in Medical Marijuana and the Workplace

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, twenty-three states now have medical marijuana laws on the books. The conventional wisdom is that these laws bring with them greater protections for employees who...more

Judgment Day Dooms Employer: No New Trial In EEOC Case After Finding Of Failure To Accommodate Anti-Christ Fears

In EEOC v. Consol Energy, Inc., Case No. 13-CV-215 (N. D. W.Va. Feb. 9, 2015), the EEOC brought a religious discrimination suit on behalf of an employee against his coal mining employer defendants, parent company Consol...more

EEOC Guidance on Retaliation: An Unprecedented Interpretation of Federal EEO Law

This next installment of our ongoing series takes a closer look into the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. Last week, we discussed the...more

Lawsuit Bait: Reimagining the Revenant in Today’s Litigious World

Although the Oscars are eleven days away, it seems that the online collective of paid critics, amateur bloggers, and self-professed film buffs has already announced the “rightful winners.” Whatever the Academy Awards...more

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 3: A “Causal Connection” Checklist For Employers

This is the final installment of my analysis of the EEOC’s recently issued proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. Here are Part One (“You gotta be protected!”) and Part Two (“Was your employment...more

NJ High Court Declines to Review “Borgata Babes” Case, Effectively Doubling Down on Appellate Court’s Acceptance of Atlantic City...

The BorgataBabes Are Subject to Specific Personal Appearance Standards - The Borgata, which when it opened in 2003, marketed itself as Atlantic City’s first Las Vegas-style resort and distinguished itself in the...more

EEOC’s Proposed Retaliation “Guidance” Muddies the Waters for Employers

For the first time in 18 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered proposed revisions to its official guidelines on workplace retaliation. In its proposed revisions, the agency expresses a very...more

Is a Threatened Pay Cut an Adverse Action? Fifth Circuit Issues Pro-Employer Ruling in Retaliation Case

In Brandon v. Sage Corp., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision from the Western District of Texas granting summary judgment in favor of a truck driving school. The issue in the case concerned whether the...more

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