Termination Retaliation

News & Analysis as of

“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

Sixth Circuit Contradicts New TN Supreme Court Decision Regarding Retaliation Claims

Last month, the Tennessee Supreme Court narrowed the definition of retaliation under state law. Less than one month later, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio and...more

Employer's Lack of FMLA Compliance in Handling FMLA Leave Request is a Lesson for the Rest of Us

Want a glimpse into a world where an employer fails to maintain a legally compliant leave management process?  Let me warn you — what you are about to read is not pretty and not for the faint of heart....more

Another Exception to Employment At-Will

Virginia is known as a stalwart adherent to the doctrine of employment at-will. The courts in Virginia have long recognized that the employment relationship is for an indefinite term and may be terminated for any reason or...more

Worker’s Failure to Perform His Job Duties Satisfactorily Dooms FEHA Retaliation Claim

Manner v. Intevac, Inc., No. H038979 (January 2, 2015): The California Court of Appeal recently upheld a trial court’s granting of summary judgment of a former employee’s claims of retaliation in violation of the Fair...more

“Honest Belief” Defense Remains Unresolved In California

The California Supreme Court refused to decide whether the “honest belief” defense to discrimination and retaliation claims is valid under California law. Instead, in Richey v. Autonation, Inc., the Court punted on the...more

$300,000 In Punitive Damages Upheld In Sexual Harassment Case Despite Nominal Damages Award

Angela Aguilar who worked in a copper mine for approximately 11 months claimed she was sexually harassed, retaliated against, subjected to intentional infliction of emotional distress and was constructively terminated from...more

Court Rejects Manifest Disregard Of Law Claim

A district court in Pennsylvania has denied a motion to vacate a prior arbitration award based on the arbitrator’s alleged manifest disregard of the law, and instead granted a motion to confirm the award in a case arising out...more

When Does an Anti-Arbitration Provision Not Prohibit Arbitration of a Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim?

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted on July 21, 2010, provides broad whistleblower protections to individuals who report certain possible violations of federal securities laws. Mindful that...more

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