Retaliation Adverse Employment Action

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 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

Managing FMLA Fraud: Investigate, Don’t Assume

Continuing our three-part series on managing FMLA fraud, this post addresses the importance of conducting a reasonable investigation, prior to taking adverse action, to develop a supportable “honest belief” of FMLA...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

A Non-Material Threat

In Brandon v. Sage Corp., No. 14-51320 (5th Cir. Dec. 10, 2015), the Fifth Circuit addressed whether a threat to cut a supervisor’s pay in half was, by itself, a “materially adverse employment action.” The plaintiff was a...more

New Law Prohibits Retaliation or Discrimination in Response to Request for Accommodation

Effective January 1, 2016, Assembly Bill 987 prohibits an employer from retaliating or otherwise discriminating against a person for requesting accommodation of his or her disability or religious beliefs, regardless of...more

Causation In Federal Remedial Rights And Alternative Pleading

Several recent Supreme Court decisions have upended causation standards in the statutory alphabet soup of federal remedial rights. It is now clear that “but for” causation governs discrimination claims under the Age...more

Cat’s Paw, Part II: “Termination Review” by Independent Decision Makers Can Break the Causal Chain

Last week, we wrote about the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability —where a person is used unwittingly to accomplish another person’s discriminatory purpose in the workplace. A common example would be when a racist employee...more

California Court Approves Retaliation Protection For Private Police Report

The California Court of Appeal held last week in Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc. that retaliation claims under California Labor Code § 1102.5 need not be based on a report of employer wrongdoing or promote a fundamental...more

“Cat’s Paw” – Or Perhaps “Tiger’s Paw” Theory Now

For those interested in the origin, the term “cat’s paw” derives from a fable of a monkey who employs flattery to convince a cat to pull chestnuts out of a fire. Today the term commonly refers to a person used unwittingly or...more

Seventh Circuit Decision Drives Home Importance of Prudence in Communicating With Employees About Union Issues

In AutoNation, Inc. v. NLRB, the Seventh Circuit enforced a National Labor Relations Board decision that found a car dealership to be in violation of the National Labor Relations Act for interfering with workers’ efforts to...more

Employment Law - September 2015

From the California Legislature: New Employment Laws, Bills Set for Signature: Why it matters - The California Legislature has been busy with employment-related bills, passing measures to provide additional...more

Second Circuit Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Protection Without Reporting to SEC

September 10, 2015, in a 2-1 decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that whistleblowers who report securities law violations internally but not to the US Securities and...more

EmCare Challenges Sex Harassment Jury Verdict

EmCare Inc., a Dallas-based company that specializes in providing physician medical services, asked a federal court in Texas last week to reverse a $500,000 jury verdict awarded to three former employees who were terminated...more

Second Circuit Expands Scope of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Sets up Chance for Supreme Court Review

Once upon a time, Daniel Berman was the finance director of Neo@Ogilvy LLC, a subsidiary of the publicly-traded WPP Group USA, Inc. He did not find a handsome prince or princess there. According to the allegations of a...more

Are FCA Retaliation Claims Against Supervisors, Executives Viable?

When the False Claims Act (FCA) retaliation provision was amended in 2009, the amendment was not explicit as to whether plaintiffs could only recover for retaliation claims against companies, or whether plaintiffs also could...more

Third Circuit Joins Sister Courts in Finding Suspension with Pay is not an “Adverse Employment Action” Within Meaning of...

In Precia Jones v. SEPTA, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals last week joined six sister courts in finding that a suspension with pay typically does not constitute an “adverse employment action” within the meaning of Title...more

Tide of Circuit Courts Finding Paid Suspension Is Not An Adverse Employment Action Grows

In an issue of first impression, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, August 12, that a paid suspension does not constitute an adverse employment action under Title VII, joining the unanimous opinion of the six...more

Third Circuit Holds That Paid Suspensions Are Not Adverse Employment Action

On August 12, 2015, the Third Circuit issued its opinion in Jones v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, holding that a paid suspension “typically” is not an adverse employment action within the meaning of...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

The Long Reach of the National Labor Relations Act

Non-union employers are often under the misimpression that they are not affected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) — the federal statute governing union-related issues in the private sector. A recent court decision...more

First Circuit Says Plaintiffs Cannot Prevail on Location-Based Discrimination Claims Based on a Disparate Impact Theory

Recently, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that former employees of a FEMA call center could not proceed in their Title VII location-based disparate impact and retaliation claims against the agency. The case,...more

Second Circuit Clarifies Pleading Standard for Title VII Claims

A Second Circuit panel recently revived a former employee’s racial discrimination suit against New York City, reversing in part the Southern District of New York’s dismissal of her case. In Littlejohn v. City of New York,...more

Fourth Circuit Says Placing Employee on PIP Not Discrimination Under Title VII

Employers routinely use Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) to notify employees of job performance issues. If an employee believes that they have unfairly been placed under a PIP, can this form the basis for an employment...more

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