Termination Retaliation

News & Analysis as of

Employees Using FMLA Leave Must Abide by Employer's Absence Notification System

Intermittent leave continues to pose some of the most vexing Family and Medical Leave Act problems for employers. Employees eligible for intermittent FMLA leave frequently miss work without advance notice, leaving the...more

Contracts May Not Be All They're Cracked Up To Be: The Extension Of Legal Protections In Employee Contractual Settings

For many years, employers have generally embraced a policy of utilizing at-will employment as often as possible, where employers and employees can end their relationship with each other at any time and for any (legal) reason....more

N.D. Cal.: Internal Whistleblowers Are Protected and May Sue Individual Directors

On October 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California largely denied a motion to dismiss a whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a company’s former general counsel, ruling that: (I) the SOX...more

Cal. App. Court Finds in Favor of Whistleblower Who Never Complained of Unlawful Conduct by the Employer

In Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc., Case No. F069305 (Cal. App. 5 Dist.), a California Court of Appeal determined that Plaintiff Cardenas could pursue a California Labor Code Section 1102.5 retaliation claim against her...more

Facebook “Like” Protected Speech Under the NLRA

We all have them. Friends and family who overshare on Facebook. Their food choices (complete with pictures), exercise routine, and relationship drama, all solidified in the form of a status update. Annoying maybe, but mostly...more

How Not to Fire a Union Organizer

The best reminders often come from the most obvious situations. In a case decided by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on October 13, the employer laid down a clear path to remind employers what not to do. Allied...more

How not to handle a Reservist with PTSD: Volvo Dismisses Army Reservist in violation of USERRA and the ADA

This week, Volvo said it would "take the blame if one of its self-driving cars crashes," but it's also taking the blame for dismissing an Army Reservist who deployed twice during the six years she worked for Volvo. This case...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

“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

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

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

Fourth Circuit Adopts the Joint Employer Test for Title VII Claims

Who's The Boss? - In Butler v. Drive Auto. Indus. of Am., Inc., the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over North and South Carolina) joined the majority of federal appellate courts in holding that...more

Third Circuit Issues Employer-Friendly Ruling in Discrimination and Retaliation Case

On August 12, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion in Jones v. SEPTA, a discrimination and retaliation claim brought by a former employee of the Philadelphia-area transit agency. The Third...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

Frivolous Whistleblower Claim Yields Stiff Sanctions

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently upheld sanctions of more than $191,000 to Sunhillo Corporation (Company) in connection with its defense of claims under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, Fulton...more

EEOC Sues Regis Corporation/Smart Style Family Hair Salon for Unlawful Retaliation

Hair Salon Fired Employees for Complaining About Race Discrimination, Federal Agency Charges - WILMINGTON, N.C. - Regis Corporation, doing business as Smart Style Family Hair Salon, a Minnesota-based company that...more

Federal Arbitration Case Update | Compelling and Appealing

Following are two recent federal court rulings related to arbitration. Acknowledgement of Dispute Resolution Policy Sufficient to Compel Arbitration of Retaliation Claim - Ashbey v. Archstone Property Management,...more

Retaliation: Realities and Myths

Unlawful workplace retaliation can take several forms, and claims for retaliation arise under a number of different statutes and common law theories. Workers compensation statutes, for example, contain provisions that...more

New Harassment and Retaliation Standard in Fourth Circuit

Last month, in Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., No. 13-1473 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015), the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which includes North and South Carolina, articulated a new standard for analyzing...more

Third Circuit Issues Bright-line Interpretation of FMLA’s “Overnight Stay” Rule

Early last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a former employee’s hospital stay did not count as an “overnight stay” under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and thus did not trigger the FMLA’s...more

Every Step You Take…Can Your Employer Be Watching You?

It sounds like something out of an Orwell novel: an employer demands an employee provide electronic notice of her whereabouts at all times, on and off the clock. The employee must now face a choice – protect her privacy...more

In a Win for Employees, Fourth Circuit Finds That Two Racial Slurs May Support Harassment Claim

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently made two noteworthy rulings in a single case concerning sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII. First, as it relates to sexual harassment, the Court found that two...more

Arizona's "Whistleblower" Laws: Tread Carefully

A “whistleblower” is someone who reports to management (or in some cases state and federal agencies) that they believe someone in their company is engaged in illegal conduct. There are numerous federal statutes that provide...more

Timing and Consistency in Employee Discipline

A recent case decided by the Connecticut Appellate Court illustrates the importance of timing and consistency in administering employee discipline. In Barbee v. Sysco Connecticut, LLC, an opinion released on April 28, 2015,...more

Aramark Whistleblower Claims He was Fired After Revealing Company Violations

Jon Costa, a former employee of Aramark, claims that the company fired him after he publicized a number of major food violations that the company committed in its work at Arrowhead and Kaufman stadiums in November 2014. He...more

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