Retaliation

News & Analysis as of

Bank Whistleblower Suits Highlight Limits of Employee Confidentiality Agreements

Employers increasingly face the difficult scenario of employees who misappropriate company data in the pursuit of whistleblower claims alleging misconduct by the employer. Such cases can present a complex mix of regulatory,...more

General Counsel Permitted to Use Attorney-Client Privileged Information in Whistleblower Retaliation Case

In a recent case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. case number 3:15-cv-02356 (2016), the federal court in the Northern District of California ruled that the plaintiff and former general counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories...more

Court Affirms Incorporating Federal Labor Laws Into Tribal Code Does Not Waive a Tribe's Sovereign Immunity

On February 21, 2017, a federal court in Wisconsin reaffirmed a tribe's sovereign immunity with respect to Title VII claims of wrongful termination. See Bruguier v. Du Flambeau, 16-cv-604-jdp, (W. Dist Wisc. February 21,...more

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

In one of the first cases to address the standard governing a motion for summary judgment in a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation case, Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that two former executives of Vista Outdoor Inc. (the...more

Consistently Inconsistent? Fifth Circuit Appears to Have Conflicting Approaches to Damages Under the ADEA and FLSA

Can a plaintiff get pain and suffering or punitive damages in a retaliation claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)? In Vaughan v. Anderson Regional Medical Center, the Fifth Circuit, denying both an...more

Fifth Circuit Denies Punitive and Compensatory Damages for ADEA Retaliation Claims, Creates Circuit Split

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which covers Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, recently found that punitive and compensatory damages are not available for retaliation claims brought under the federal Age...more

Fifth Circuit Permits Emotional Distress Damages for FLSA Retaliation Claim

Employees asserting a claim for retaliation under the FLSA are entitled to seek emotional distress damages, according to a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit....more

That Smarts! Porn “Sting” Operation Gets Employer “Stung” For Retaliation

This should have been an open-and-shut case. For the employer, that is, not the employee. Lufkin Industries, Inc., had an employee, William Fisher, who was a 55-year-old African-American. One day, Mr. Fisher got into a...more

Fifth Circuit Limits Reverse False Claims Act Liability

On December 13, 2016, in United States ex rel Simoneaux v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., No. 16-30141, 2016 WL 7228813 (5th Cir. Dec. 13, 2016), the Fifth Circuit rejected an expansive construction of “reverse” false claims...more

EEOC Sues Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours for Male-on-Male Sexual Harassment

Company PresidentSexually Harassed Male Employees for More Than a Decade, Federal Agency Charges - HONOLULU, Hawaii - Three related Hawaii tour companies -- Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours, Inc., Hawaii Tours and...more

United Staffing Associates Voluntarily Settles EEOC Discrimination Charge for $24,500 and Other Relief

Employee Alleged Staffing Agency Failed to Reinstate Her After She Complained About Discrimination - FRESNO, Calif. - United Staffing Associates, LLC, a Visalia, Calif.-based staffing agency, will pay $24,500 and provide...more

Beware What You Share – Disclosure of Medical Information Results in Retaliation and Interference Claims

A United States District Court in Florida thwarted an employer’s attempt to toss the FMLA claims of an employee who sued after his medical condition was disclosed to co-workers who subsequently made fun of him. The employee...more

Revenge of the Whistle-blower: Possible Consequences of Compliance Failures

In a company with a robust compliance culture, potential whistleblowers can express their concerns without fear of retribution. By contrast, the penalty for a culture that silences whistleblowers just got steeper. Companies...more

Bio-Rad Stung by Nearly $8 Million Verdict in Whistleblower Lawsuit Brought by Former General Counsel

A jury recently found Bio-Rad Laboratories liable under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act for nearly $8 million in damages after the company’s alleged retaliatory firing of its former general counsel, Sanford...more

Metadata Plays Key Role in $10.8 Million Whistleblower Lawsuit Verdict: eDiscovery Case Law

Earlier this month, federal jurors awarded nearly $8 million to the former general counsel of a company who says he was fired because he blew the whistle on his company’s potential violation of a foreign bribery law. That...more

Employee’s Retaliation and Hostile Work Environment Claims Based on a Rumor Spread in the Workplace Survives Motion for Summary...

In Baez v. Anne Fontaine USA, Inc., the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment to dismiss a terminated employee’s retaliation claims under Title...more

First Circuit Tells False Claims Act Relators To “Put Up or Shut Up”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently called summary judgment “the put up or shut up moment in litigation.” On January 30, 2017, the relators in U.S. ex rel. Booker v. Pfizer – a long-running False Claims...more

Weighty Issues: Obesity And The But-For Test Under The ADAAA

Obesity is still a hot topic both in our health conscious culture and in our courtrooms where we continue to see ADAAA claims based on the notion that an employer fired an employee because the employee was obese. After the...more

Employment Discrimination: Hostile Work Environments, Disparate Treatment and Retaliation

Hostile work environments require both prompt and effective responses from employers. Efrain Reynaga v. Roseburg Forest Products - Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (January 26, 2017) - Courts have long...more

Puerto Rico Issues Comprehensive Labor Law Reform

On January 26, 2017, Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Roselló, signed into law the Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act (the “Act”). The Act represents the first significant and comprehensive labor law reform to occur in...more

Ex-GC Awarded $8 Million For Retaliatory Firing

A California federal jury awarded Sanford Wadler, former General Counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories, $8 million for his claims against his former employer under the whistleblower provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the...more

HP Pelzer Sued By EEOC for Retaliation

Automotive Components Manufacturer Fired an Employee for Making a Sexual Harassment Complaint, Federal Agency Charges - CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - HP Pelzer, Inc., an automotive components manufacturer located in Athens,...more

Third Circuit Says “Last Call” for Employee Terminated After Caught Drinking While on FMLA “Bed Rest”

On January 31, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit joined the Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits in holding that an employer’s honest belief that its employee was misusing FMLA leave is enough to...more

Third Circuit adopts the “honest belief” defense to FMLA retaliation claims and confirms that FMLA leave requests can double as...

The Third Circuit’s recent decision in Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC is a mixed bag for employers. The good news is that it establishes that an employer’s honest belief that its employee misused FMLA leave can defeat a...more

Alleging Improper Use of Funds Legitimately Obtained from the Government Insufficient to State FCA Retaliation Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has dismissed an FCA retaliation claim brought by a nurse who claimed to have blown the whistle on misuse of funds at a hospital that received significant federal...more

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