Retaliation Adverse Employment Action

News & Analysis as of

Opposing Employer Actions Directed at General Public Not Protected Activity

Seyfarth Synopsis: An employee who expresses opposition to an employer’s policies and practices that affect members of the general public is not engaging in an activity that FEHA protects, because the activity is not opposing...more

Finally! Something That's Not "Protected Activity" in California

It turns out that “protected activity” sufficient to make out a retaliation claim in California is not as broad as it may sometimes seem. On November 9, 2016, the Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment for the employer in...more

After being told that she should just “quit” if she felt unsafe, dismissed employee awarded $15,000 in damages

A charity has been ordered to pay a dismissed employee $15,000 in damages after dismissing her shortly after she had raised safety issues, in violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The charity ran retail...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Ruling on Personnel Decision based upon Perceived Political Affiliation Impacts Public Employers

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on a matter involving “perceived affiliation”, bringing clarity to the matter, where the circuits provided discordant rulings. As a result, personnel actions based upon even mistaken...more

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Protected Activity Under SOX

In Westawski v. Merck & Co., No. 14-cv-3239 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Defendant Merck & Co. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Joni Westawski’s (Plaintiff) SOX whistleblower...more

OSHA Issues Final Rule On Complaints Under Affordable Care Act's Anti-Retaliation Provision

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) added Section 18C to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to prohibit retaliation against employees who engage in certain activities protected by the ACA. Responsibility for receiving and...more

Owner/Trustee of 401(k) Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

Last June I blogged about the trend of participant fee class actions moving down to smaller 401(k) Plans. Occasionally, class actions are brought based on other breaches of fiduciary duties, particularly those involving...more

EEOC Issues First Retaliation Guidance in Almost 20 Years

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued its first enforcement guidance on employment-related retaliation in almost 20 years. The Final Guidance is in response to numerous court rulings on...more

Restoring Decades-Old Precedent, the DOL Blows the Whistle on Fordham's "Fundamental Error"

On Friday, September 30, 2016, U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued its highly anticipated decision in Palmer v. Illinois Central Railroad Company, ARB No. 16-035 (2016), correcting its...more

EEOC Releases Formal Guidance on Unlawful Retaliatory Conduct in the Workplace

After an extended public comment period, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)—which is charged with enforcing federal employment discrimination laws—recently issued its final Enforcement Guidance on...more

EEOC Sues Plastipak Packaging For Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Plastics Manufacturing Company Fired Materials Handler Because She Complained About Harassment, Federal Agency Charges - BALTIMORE - Plastipak Packaging, Inc. violated federal law when it fired a materials handler in...more

SEC Targets Whistleblower Retaliation

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced a settlement with a Nevada corporation of its first stand-alone whistleblower anti-retaliation case. On September 29, the SEC announced a $500,000 sanction...more

EEOC Issues Final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues

On August 25, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its final “Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues.” Along with the final guidance, the EEOC issued a Q&A publication and a Small...more

Cat’s Paw Making New Tracks: Second Circuit Extends Cat’s Paw Principle to Retaliation Claims and to Low-Level Employees

The “cat’s paw” doctrine, a concept first coined by Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner in 1990 and adopted by the Supreme Court in 2011, applies when an employee is subjected to an adverse employment action by a decision...more

“Competent supervisor” obligation relates to competence in safety, not in performance management: OLRB dismisses OHSA retaliation...

A laid-off worker’s safety-retaliation complaint under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been dismissed because it was really a complaint about management’s assessment of his performance – not about safety....more

Mayflower Seafood of Goldsboro Agrees To Pay $81,500 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Server/Cashier at Restaurant Subjected to Sexual Harassment and Then Retaliation for Complaining About It, Federal Agency Charged - RALEIGH, N.C. - A Goldsboro, N.C., seafood restaurant will pay $81,500 and furnish other...more

EEOC Issues Its First Guidance on Retaliation in Almost Two Decades: Next Steps for Employers

On August 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its Final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issue. This was the first guidance from the EEOC on these issues since 1998. The EEOC...more

Employers Beware of the Cat's Paw

The cat scratches again! Five years ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down Staub v. Proctor Hospital, wherein it held that an employer may be liable for a supervisor's discriminatory animus when the independent...more

Repercussions of Retaliation: EEOC Revises its Guidance on Retaliation

For the first time in 18 years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued revised guidance (the Guidance) regarding retaliation. The Guidance, which broadens and clarifies the definition of protected...more

EEOC Releases New Guidance on Retaliation Claims

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in 2015, retaliation claims made up to 45 percent of all private-sector charges filed with the agency. In recognition of the growth in the number of these...more

EEOC Guidelines Provide a Confusing Roadmap to Investigating Retaliation Claims

Employers have been warned time and time again – retaliation claims are on the rise.  With the number of these claims climbing, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued its Final Enforcement Guidance...more

Ambulance Service Liable for Sexting Monkey?

An ambulance service may be liable for damages arising from sexting by a monkey it employed, the Second Circuit ruled on August 29. Actually, the monkey was a man, but the court sided with a female employee who sued the...more

The EEOC’s New Wide-Reaching Retaliation Guidance: What Should Employers Do Now?

On August 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the release of its long awaited Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, replacing Section 8 of the EEOC Compliance Menu...more

The Cat Is Out of the Bag: Second Circuit Rules Cat’s Paw Theory Applies to Nonmanagerial Coworkers

Rarely has the maxim “hard cases make bad law” found greater application than in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision to expand the “cat’s paw” doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States in...more

The Kaepernick Conundrum

By now most people have heard about the Colin Kaepernick story, and may have strong feelings one way or the other about the actions of the 49ers quarterback. In case you have been living under a rock for the past two weeks —...more

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