Protected Activity

News & Analysis as of

Fourth Circuit Decides Rule Exempting Certain Management Professionals from Retaliation Lawsuits Not Applicable under Title VII

Employers in the Fourth Circuit states of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia must now be mindful that employees who deal with complaints of discrimination and harassment can point to that...more

5 Workplace Safety Tips to Protect Employees from Violent Co-Workers (While Complying with Employment Laws)

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), homicide is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. This article gives employers practical advice aimed at keeping the...more

California Amends FEHA, Protecting Accommodation Requests

On July 16, 2015, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill amending the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), adding protections for workers who request accommodations for disabilities or religious...more

Is Protected Activity Part Of Your Job? You May Still Be Protected.

If you try to prevent or end workplace discrimination as part of your job, is it legal for your employer retaliate against you? Inquiring HR professionals, in-house lawyers, and counselors want to know!...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects “Manager Rule” in Title VII Cases

In an important recent decision, DeMasters v. Carilion Clinic, the Fourth Circuit determined that the so-called “manager rule” exception to federal anti-retaliation laws does not apply to employment cases filed under Title...more

E.D.N.Y Denies Motion For Summary Judgment In FCA Retaliation Case Based On Finding Of Pretext

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently found that two former employees of Eihab Human Services (Company) raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether they were discharged in retaliation...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects SOX Whistleblower Claims Not Raised in Administrative Complaint; Adopts Liberal "Reasonable Belief" Pleading...

On July 31, 2015, the Fifth Circuit issued a decision that may have both a positive and negative impact on employers defending whistleblower retaliation claims under the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX). In this decision, the court...more

An Unsolved Problem? Claims of Post-Employment Retaliation by the (Formerly) Problem Employee

Most employers know that various employment laws prohibit retaliation against employees who engage in protected activity, such as those who complain of discrimination, report purportedly unlawful conduct, or support fellow...more

The Sixth Circuit Finds Complaints to Harassing Supervisor Constitute Protected Activity Under Title VII

A recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (“Sixth Circuit”) decision could have major implications for employers within its jurisdiction. In EEOC v. New Breed Logistics, No. 13-6250, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6650, the...more

NLRB Judge Orders Reinstatement Of Employee Who Made Racist Taunts Toward African-Americans

The National Labor Relations Board promotes itself as a government agency that “safeguards employees’ rights,” but you would not know it from a recent ruling upholding racist statements made by union supporters on a picket...more

Surprise! NLRB Approves Employer’s Challenged Social Media Policy

In somewhat of a surprise, recently the NLRB affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s decision, which had rejected the NLRB General Counsel’s challenge to a portion of an employer’s social media policy as unlawful. The...more

New California Law Expands Retaliation Coverage

Employees Requesting Accommodation Are Now Protected - On July 16, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law AB 987, amending the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to reflect what many already believed to be...more

The Fourth Circuit Expands the Implied Certification Theory to Anti-Retaliation Claims

On January 8, 2015, the Fourth Circuit determined that, amid a circuit split, the “implied certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) was viable in the Fourth Circuit. United States v. Triple...more

Governor Signs Assembly Bill No. 987 – Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation is Protected Activity under FEHA

This bill was in direct response to the decision in Rope v. Auto-Clor System of Washington, Inc. (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 635 (2013), which found that an employee who merely makes a request for an accommodation does not engage...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 1

The Texas Anti-SLAPP law is known as the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA” found at Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code at § 27.001, et seq.). “If a legal action is based on, relates to, or is in response to a party’s...more

Tinley Park Hotel and Convention Center: The NLRB Gets Out Its Selfie Stick

Over the past few years, many employers have found out—the hard way—that the National Labor Relations Board is serious in policing employee handbooks for provisions that the Board believes are “overly broad” under Section 7...more

NLRB Rules that Racism is a Protected Activity

Although no one reading this article would disagree with the premise that employers cannot and should not tolerate bigotry from anyone in their workforce, the NLRB apparently thinks otherwise. In a troubling decision handed...more

Whistleblowers Big Winners After OSHA Obtains Injunction in Case

On May 7, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) succeeded in obtaining a preliminary injunction in a whistleblower claim, which kept the Lear Corporation from being able to retaliate any further against a...more

Unfortunately, Offensive Racial Comments Don’t Always Get You Fired (At Least Under Labor Law)

Under the National Labor Relations Act, certain union activities are considered “protected.” That is, employees engaging in union activity, or union representatives carrying out their duties in the context of grievance...more

“Ambush” Election Challenge Fails in Federal Court

A federal judge in Texas recently ruled in favor of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a case challenging the Board’s “ambush” election rules. The lawsuit, Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc. v....more

NLRB Rules 'Vulgar' Union Buttons Allowed

In our prior alerts, we notified you of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent decisions clarifying when, in the current board's estimation, an employer violates Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act...more

Sixth Circuit Changes Course on Proof Required to Show Protected Whistleblower Activity Under SOX

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) provides anti-retaliation protection to whistleblowers who engage in “protected activity.” To engage in protected activity under SOX, the whistleblower must provide information to the Securities...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms $250K Victory to SOX Whistleblower and Provides Broad Interpretation of SOX

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit in Rhinehimer v. U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. affirmed a $250,000 jury verdict in favor of a former financial advisor for U.S. Bancorp Investments (“USBII”) who alleged that he had been...more

District Court Holds False Claims Act Applies to Employee Allegedly Terminated for Engaging in Protected Activity Against...

In a matter of first impression, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Cestra v. Mylan Inc. No. 15-0873 (E.D. Pa., May 22, 2015) held that the antiretaliation provision of the False Claims Act...more

6th Circuit Reverses Itself, Abandons “Definitively and Specifically” Standard For SOX Whistleblower Protected Activity

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee who reports allegedly fraudulent conduct engages in protected activity under SOX where he or she has a reasonable belief that the activity reported is...more

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