Adverse Employment Action

News & Analysis as of

Second Circuit Holds That Non-Supervisory Employee’s Retaliatory Intent May Be Imputed to an Employer Under Title VII

In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc., the Second Circuit adopted the “cat’s paw” theory of liability under Title VII and held that the retaliatory intent of a low-level, non-supervisory employee may be imputed to an...more

Seventh Circuit Clarifies Evidentiary Standard for Employment Discrimination Claims

In Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clarified its standard for evaluating evidence in employment discrimination cases and rejected prior decisions to the extent they...more

Windsor Inn Will Pay $200,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Restaurant Owner Harassed Female Employees, Federal Agency Said - BALTIMORE - A Baltimore restaurant, R.V. Associates Limited, doing business as Windsor Inn, will pay $200,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to...more

New Illinois Law Provides Bereavement Leave

The Child Bereavement Leave Act (“the Act”) became effective July 29, 2016, and it provides up to two weeks (10 working days) of unpaid leave to employees in the event of the death of an employee’s child. The Act applies...more

Recognizing and Managing Disparate Impact Issues

The law recognizes two forms of unlawful discrimination. The most familiar is disparate treatment, in which an employee’s protected class status is a motivating factor in an adverse employment action. A less familiar, and...more

Quirky Question #284: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, can you still unlawfully retaliate against it?

Question: One of our male supervisors wants to fire a female employee who complained that he was sexually harassing her. The harassment allegations appear to have some substance: he asked her for pictures of herself in a...more

Three Blockbuster Summer Arbitration Decisions

While regular people count down the days to summer blockbusters that come in the form of high-paid actors fighting aliens or robots, I prefer my summer blockbusters in the form of arbitration opinions that have been months in...more

Philadelphia, PA Bans Use of Credit Information in Employment Decisions

Effective as of July 7, 2016, amendments to the Philadelphia, PA Fair Practices Ordinance make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to procure, seek to procure, or use an applicant’s or employee’s credit...more

Portland’s Ban-the-Box Law Takes Effect, Administrative Rules Provide Clarity

Portland, Oregon’s ban-the-box law, the Removing Barriers to Employment Ordinance, took effect on July 1, 2016. The ordinance prohibits most Portland employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history or conducting a...more

Employment Law - June 2016 #2

California Considers Extending Fair Pay Act to Race, Ethnicity - Why it matters - Reflecting the nationwide trend of pay equity, a new bill under consideration by California legislators would extend the state's Fair...more

Limiting Liability: Incentives and Benefits on Termination of Employment

You’ve terminated an employee without cause, what do you owe them? It may be more than you think. As a starting position, employees are entitled to compensation for what they would have earned during a reasonable period...more

Austin, TX Becomes Latest City to Ban the Box for Private Employers

Austin, Texas recently became the latest city to “ban the box” for private employers. Under the new law, Austin employers with 15 or more employees may not require an applicant to disclose his or her criminal history prior...more

Colorado Expands Anti-Discrimination Act With Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On June 1, 2016, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law Colorado’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The act, which becomes effective on August 10, 2016, amends the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) and...more

Employee says ‘Labor Board;’ Court says ‘Retaliation’

When does a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) arise? Put another way, does an employee actually have to go to the U.S. Department of Labor before an adverse employment action in order to have a...more

New York State Prohibits Discrimination Based on Relationship or Association

On May 18, 2016, the New York State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) adopted new regulations that prohibit discrimination based on a relationship or association with members of a protected class. The purported purpose of the...more

Fourth Circuit Says Standard for Adverse Action in Retaliation Claim is Significantly Lower Than That for Discrimination Claims

The Supreme Court’s 2006 Burlington Northern decision concluded that employers engage in retaliation against protected employees when they take action that would deter a reasonable person from filing an EEOC charge or...more

EEOC Clarifies Employer-Provided Leave as ADA Accommodation

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a new resource document addressing the rights of employees with disabilities who seek leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with...more

New Food Safety Whistleblower Regulations: OSHA Bites Off More Than It Can Chew

Seyfarth Synopis: Employers may face liability for retaliation charges from employees who report food safety issues under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Employers in the food industry have a new headache to...more

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

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