Protected Activity

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U.S. Supreme Court Finds Sworn Testimony Outside Scope of Regular Job Duties Entitled to First Amendment Protection

While the labor and employment law world is abuzz after the decisions in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn (cases this Blog will cover in the coming days), the United States Supreme Court also issued a decision...more

Supreme Court Finds Public Employee's Testimony in Criminal Trial Protected Under First Amendment

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a public employee cannot be retaliated against by his employer based on testimony provided by him under subpoena in a criminal proceeding. In Lane v. Franks, the...more

First Amendment Protects Public Employees for Sworn Testimony Given Outside Scope of Regular Job Duties on Matters of Public...

U.S. Supreme Court Makes Unanimous Ruling in Lane v. Franks - The First Amendment protects a public employee from adverse employment action taken in retaliation for providing truthful sworn testimony, compelled by...more

Supremes Rule That Trial Speech is Protected Speech

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision affecting public employers and employee First Amendment rights to free speech. Lane v. Franks et al., No. 13-483 (U.S. June 19, 2014). Central Alabama Community...more

The Supreme Court Says Public Employee’s Court Testimony Protected From Retaliation Under The First Amendment, At Least To The...

Eight years ago the United States Supreme Court, in Garcetti v. Ceballos, instructed that speech undertaken pursuant to a public employee’s job duties is “employee” speech and not “citizen” speech, and hence is not protected...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Sworn Testimony by Employee is Protected by the First Amendment

Providing truthful, sworn testimony outside the course of ordinary job duties is First Amendment speech for the purposes of retaliation lawsuits, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 19, 2004. The ruling prohibits a public...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Sworn Testimony Relating to Public Employee’s Employment Protected by First Amendment Where Speech is...

Recently, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve whether a public employee’s testimony in response to a subpoena is entitled to First Amendment protection where providing such testimony is outside the...more

Did You Know…Compelled Public Employee Testimony May Be Protected By the First Amendment

The Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision in Lane v. Franks held that the First Amendment protects a public employee who provided truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena, outside the course of his ordinary job...more

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Holds That Public Employee’s Truthful Subpoenaed Testimony Was Protected Speech Under the First...

It has long been recognized that public employees are not excluded from First Amendment protection, and for more than 40 years the courts have wrestled with balancing the free speech rights of a public employee against the...more

Supreme Court Rules Public Employee’s Sworn Testimony Is Protected

Declaring that “public employees do not renounce their citizenship when they accept employment,” the Supreme Court of the United States held today that the First Amendment protects a public employee’s truthful sworn...more

Supremes Rule That Trial Speech is Protected Speech – Part II

The Supreme Court previously ruled in Garcetti that a prosecutor’s internal memorandum written in the course of his job responsibilities did not constitute protected speech because he was speaking as an government employee...more

Supreme Court Decides Lane v. Franks

On June 19, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Lane v. Franks, No. 13-483, holding that a public employee's sworn testimony is entitled to First Amendment protection when it is given outside the scope of ordinary...more

Status Updates - June 2014 #4

..Are threats made on social media protected free speech, or potentially criminal acts? The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to examine the constitutionality of a federal law making it a crime to transmit communications...more

Before The Whistle Blows: Understanding And Addressing The Expanding Scope Of Whistleblower Protections Under Sarbanes-Oxley And...

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“Sarbanes-Oxley”) was enacted following the accounting scandals of the early 2000s involving Enron, WorldCom and other public companies. Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and...more

Employee Needs More Than Speculation to Support his Retaliation Claim

To prevail on a claim of retaliation under federal law, an employee must prove that he or she engaged in a “protected activity” under an antidiscrimination statute and subsequently suffered an adverse employment action. In...more

Top 5 Legal Trends For Hospitality Employers

There is much to be learned from 2013. Below are five legal topics that made headlines last year, and should provide valuable guidance for managing labor and employment law issues in 2014....more

NLRB 2013 Year in Review and 2014 Initiatives

Key labor law developments of 2013 are reviewed here for employers to consider as they look ahead to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) developments in 2014. Employers should prepare to respond to the NLRB's continued...more

Second Circuit Emphasizes That Inconsistent Reasons For Employee Termination Can Be Sufficient To Overcome Summary Judgment

Kwan v. The Andalex Group LLC, No. 12-2493 (2d Cir. Dec. 16, 2013): A recent decision by the Second Circuit not only revived a former employee’s retaliation claims but further highlighted the litigation risk when an...more

District Court Denies Summary Judgment On Internal Audit/SOX Administrator’s Whistleblower Claim

In denying a bank’s bid for summary judgment on an Internal Audit and SOX Administrator’s SOX whistleblower claim, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington highlighted the present conflict on the...more

Act Now Advisory: Court's Ruling That Employees Have No Blanket Entitlement to Take Employer's Confidential Documents for...

In a case that may have a broad impact, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a decision on December 24, 2013, upholding criminal charges against a former school board clerk who took hundreds of confidential documents for...more

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX Whistleblower Case, Applying Strict Protected Activity Standard And Finding No Causation

On December 12, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted an employer summary judgment on a long-running SOX whistleblower claim. Sharkey v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., No. 10-cv-3824 (S.D.N.Y....more

Take Heart, Companies Can Win Whistleblower Cases: Two Key Victories Last Week In SOX And Dodd-Frank Cases

Two victories for employers last week in Dodd-Frank and SOX whistleblower cases may provide a basis for at least a sliver of optimism among employers and whistleblower defense lawyers hammered by a recent series of...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Takes Broad View Of Protected Complaints Under NJLAD, But Narrow View Under CEPA

On July 17, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that a plaintiff need not demonstrate an actual violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), let alone an identifiable victim, to prove a claim of...more

Employee’s Disclosure Of Customer Information In The Face Of Suspected Child Neglect Held Protected Activity Under CEPA, District...

In Stapleton v. DSW, Inc., 2013 WL 1137119 (D.N.J., March 20, 2013), a retail store employee observed a child whom she suspected was being neglected by her parent, a shopper in the store. The employee lodged a report with the...more

No Anti-SLAPP Protection For Statements To Coworkers

In Cho v. Chang, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District held that an employee’s statements to coworkers about alleged discrimination were not protected activities triggering special protection under...more

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