Protected Activity Hiring & Firing

News & Analysis as of

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

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

N.D. Illinois Grants Summary Judgment Against SOX Whistleblower

On August 26, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment on a whistleblower retaliation claim under Section 806 of SOX, holding that Plaintiff Ivor Hill failed to establish a...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

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 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

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

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

New York Employment Roundup: March & April 2015

Today’s New York employment law landscape is increasingly dynamic, with a constant stream of newly issued legislation and judicial opinions. To keep our readers current on the latest developments, we will share regular...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - April 2015

Ninth Circuit Reviews Enforceability of Waiver of Right to Reemployment - Does California Business and Professions Code § 16600 prohibit employees from waiving their right to reemployment with prior employers? The...more

Better Check The Brakes

The previous month’s sales numbers are final and Jane’s sales are abysmal…again. You’ve had enough and decide to fire her. You call HR to get the paperwork started. Your HR manager tells you that Jane has just left her office...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

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

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

NLRB Did Not Err In Categorically Barring NLRA Back Pay For Undocumented Workers, Second Circuit Holds

Palma v. NLRB, No. 12-1199 (2d Cir. July 10, 2013): Petitioners are undocumented aliens who were unlawfully discharged for engaging in protected activities under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). At a compliance...more

Tenth Circuit Issues its First Decision Interpreting SOX: Offers Broad Reading of the Act

On Tuesday, June 4th, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its first decision interpreting the Sarbanes Oxley Act’s whistleblower protection provision, affirming a decision by the U.S. Department of Labor’s...more

Retaliation Gets a Broader View

Retaliation cases continue to grow in number and, in a decision on June 4, 2013 of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, in scope as well....more

District of Colorado Expansively Construes Protected Activity Under Dodd-Frank, But Finds No Causation

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado followed a trend of decisions concluding that a plaintiff need not have provided the SEC with information regarding alleged federal securities law violations to pursue a...more

Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims by In-House Counsel

In This Issue: - Whistleblower protections and in-House Counsel - Sarbanes-oxley - The Dodd-Frank Act - The False Claims Act - Common Law Wrongful Discharge Claims - The Ethical...more

No Longer Black and White, Is the "Definitively and Specifically" Standard Now Grey?

While the Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board (ARB) and the majority of federal courts once agreed that, in order to engage in "protected activity" under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), a whistleblower must...more

Political Affiliation & Protected Speech Retaliation – Sixth Circuit Widens Circuit Split

The Sixth Circuit recently held that Michigan state employees could base First Amendment political-affiliation and protected-speech retaliation claims on their perceived political affiliations, even absent actual affiliations...more

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