Retaliation Adverse Employment Action

News & Analysis as of

Windsor Inn Will Pay $200,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Restaurant Owner Harassed Female Employees, Federal Agency Said - BALTIMORE - A Baltimore restaurant, R.V. Associates Limited, doing business as Windsor Inn, will pay $200,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to...more

Quirky Question #284: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, can you still unlawfully retaliate against it?

Question: One of our male supervisors wants to fire a female employee who complained that he was sexually harassing her. The harassment allegations appear to have some substance: he asked her for pictures of herself in a...more

Employee says ‘Labor Board;’ Court says ‘Retaliation’

When does a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) arise? Put another way, does an employee actually have to go to the U.S. Department of Labor before an adverse employment action in order to have a...more

Fourth Circuit Says Standard for Adverse Action in Retaliation Claim is Significantly Lower Than That for Discrimination Claims

The Supreme Court’s 2006 Burlington Northern decision concluded that employers engage in retaliation against protected employees when they take action that would deter a reasonable person from filing an EEOC charge or...more

New Food Safety Whistleblower Regulations: OSHA Bites Off More Than It Can Chew

Seyfarth Synopis: Employers may face liability for retaliation charges from employees who report food safety issues under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Employers in the food industry have a new headache to...more

Still Cookin’ In California Court: Bakery Employer Survives EEOC Motion For Summary Judgment

In what has become an oft-used recipe in the EEOC cookbook of Title VII retaliation litigation, the government has once again utilized the strategy of taking an employer’s deposition and thereafter moving for summary...more

Nursing Manager, Removed from Patient Case, Seeks Supreme Court Review in Discrimination Case

Petitioner to the Supreme Court claims that the Sixth Circuit engaged in a “separate but equal” rationale when it rejected her claim that her employer discriminated against her based on race after the employer allegedly...more

Dismissal Denied For Discussing Disability: EEOC Case Against Employer Survives

Anti-discrimination laws command that “thou shall not retaliate…” The recent ruling in EEOC v. Day & Zimmerman NPS, Inc., Case No. 15-CV-01416 (D. Conn Apr. 12, 2016), is a case study in how employers can be taken to task for...more

Job Applicant Was Rejected Due to Dishonesty, Not Prior Lawsuit, Says Sixth Circuit

On April 8, 2016, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment in favor of an employer in Hance v. BNSF Railway Company, a failure-to-hire retaliation case brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Awards Bounty to Whistleblower, But Offsets Award for a Judgment Against the Whistleblower - The extent to which the SEC would reward whistleblowers, who themselves engaged in wrongdoing, has been the subject of...more

OSHA Releases Final Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released its final rule implementing the whistleblower provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (“CFPA”).  The following are the key features of the rule...more

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 3: A “Causal Connection” Checklist For Employers

This is the final installment of my analysis of the EEOC’s recently issued proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. Here are Part One (“You gotta be protected!”) and Part Two (“Was your employment...more

EEOC’s Proposed Retaliation “Guidance” Muddies the Waters for Employers

For the first time in 18 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered proposed revisions to its official guidelines on workplace retaliation. In its proposed revisions, the agency expresses a very...more

Is a Threatened Pay Cut an Adverse Action? Fifth Circuit Issues Pro-Employer Ruling in Retaliation Case

In Brandon v. Sage Corp., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision from the Western District of Texas granting summary judgment in favor of a truck driving school. The issue in the case concerned whether the...more

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

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