Protected Activity

News & Analysis as of

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 2: Was Your Employment Action “Adverse”?

What’s a “materially adverse employment action”? This is the second part in what should be a three-part series (it’s possible that we’ll need four) on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues...more

New EEOC Retaliation Guidance Seeks to Further Stack the Deck Against Employers

On January 21, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its proposed changes to its guidance on workplace retaliation. These changes mark the first time the EEOC has modified its guidance in...more

EEOC Ratchets Up Focus On Retaliation: EEOC Publishes First New Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation In Nearly Two Decades

The EEOC seeks public comment on its new Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, which will supersede the agency’s last-issued guidance on the topic from 1998. The updated guidance addresses several...more

Labor and Employment News: Retaliation Claims Are Difficult to Defend: Redux

A few weeks ago, we reported on a retaliation judgment in U.S. District Court, Connecticut, Summerlin v. Almost Family, Inc. ("Retaliation Claims Difficult to Defend"). The retaliation case discussed below did not cost the...more

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 1: You Gotta Be “Protected”!

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued last week a proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues that would update guidance issued in 1998. If you’re an in-house attorney or a Human Resources...more

Litigating Environmental Whistleblower Claims Under OSHA Procedures

The federal government is allocating more time and resources to whistleblower programs. Now, more than ever, companies need to take steps to minimize exposure to whistleblower claims. When a whistleblower case is filed, it...more

EEOC Seeks Public Input on Draft Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today, January 21, 2016, that it has voted to seek public input on proposed enforcement guidance addressing retaliation and related issues under...more

2016 Employment Law Update: A Review Of Recent Developments

Each year, we are happy to provide our clients and friends with a summary of the new laws and legal developments from the past year that we believe will have the greatest impact on employers. This year’s update...more

The NLRB Finds Whole Foods’ No-Recording Policy Unlawful

In Whole Foods Market, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board, in a 2-1 decision, held that Whole Foods’ rules prohibiting the recording of conversations in the workplace violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor...more

NLRB Strikes Down Policy Prohibiting Recordings by Employees

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) finished the 2015 year in the same way it started: With continued scrutiny of seemingly neutral employer policies. The Board continues to assume that employees will read these...more

California’s Employment Law Class of 2016: The Laws, Their Effects and Our Recommendations for Compliance

Each year, the California legislature, historically the most active and expansive of state regulators, reexamines the relationship between employers and their workforces and emerges with a multitude of employment law...more

An Unrealistic Threat Of A Pay Cut To A High-Level Employee Is Not An Adverse Action, So Says The Fifth Circuit

To prove retaliation a plaintiff must show that he or she suffered an “adverse employment action” – an issue that is often conceded by employers defending against such claims. However, the Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in...more

Court rules informal complaint about overtime could be basis of FLSA retaliation claim

The number of overtime and minimum wage claims against employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) continues to rise, and with that rise comes the risk of FLSA retaliation claims. As a new case from the Tenth Circuit...more

NLRB, Social Media, and Employee Handbooks

Would your company’s employee handbook pass a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) social media review and investigation? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce highlighted some troubling notions in a report issued last week:...more

New Year, New Laws for Employment Lawyers

The California legislature has enacted several new laws that will affect every employer and employment lawyer in 2016. Here’s an overview of some of the key statutory changes you need to know about....more

The Second Circuit Tackles Employee Rights, Obscenities & Social Media Use

Employers took note last year when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that “liking” a Facebook post can qualify as protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB held that the owner of...more

ARB Rejects CFPA Whistleblower Claim On Protected Activity Grounds

On November 6, 2015, the DOL’s Administrative Review Board affirmed the dismissal of Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) whistleblower claims of a terminated mortgage broker, concluding that the complainant did not...more

N.D. Ill. Expands Definition of Protected Activity Under Ill. Whistleblower Act

On October 29, 2015, the Northern District of Illinois concluded that an employee who called police regarding suspected shoplifting—in violation of company policy—succeeded in proving a claim under the Illinois Whistleblower...more

Divided Sixth Circuit Dismisses Compliance Officer’s FCA Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a former compliance officer’s whistleblower retaliation claim because she did not establish that she had an objectively reasonable belief that she was...more

OSHA Whistleblower Retaliation Complaints Are on the Rise - Is Your Company Ready?

Many employers are surprised to learn that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for investigating whistleblower retaliation complaints under 22 separate federal statutes, not just the...more

Cal. App. Court Finds in Favor of Whistleblower Who Never Complained of Unlawful Conduct by the Employer

In Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc., Case No. F069305 (Cal. App. 5 Dist.), a California Court of Appeal determined that Plaintiff Cardenas could pursue a California Labor Code Section 1102.5 retaliation claim against her...more

That is SO last week - October 2015 #4

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued its summary decision in Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille. Affirming the National Labor Relations Board, the Court held that an employee’s Facebook comments about working...more

California Enacts a Raft of New Employment Legislation

The latest legislative session has just ended, and, true to form, the California Legislature has added more than a dozen new laws affecting employers doing business in the nation’s largest state.  These statutes are in...more

ARB Rules That Secret Recording of Workplace Conversations Can Be Protected Whistleblowing Activity

On September 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) held that the recording of workplace conversations can be protected whistleblower activity under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974...more

Court Allows EEOC’s Discrimination Suit Over Religious Garb To Proceed To Jury

In an order recently issued in EEOC v Jetstream Ground Services, Inc., Case No. 13-CV-02340 (D. Colo. Sept. 29, 2015), Judge Christine Arguello of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled that the EEOC had...more

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