Termination Retaliation

News & Analysis as of

Social Media and the FMLA

Imagine for a moment: you are the administrator for a skilled nursing facility and your activities director has just informed you of a need to take FMLA leave for shoulder surgery. You grant the FMLA request and your...more

Does New Jersey's Conscientious "Everyone" Protection Act Trump the NLRB's Exclusive Jurisdiction? State Supreme Court says "Yes"...

Executive Summary: Just when employers thought New Jersey's Supreme Court could not expand the state's whistleblower law further (as we reported last summer), the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) once again has...more

Fourth Circuit Says Failure to Replace Employee Does Not Defeat Discriminatory Termination Claim

When a terminated employee alleges that her firing resulted from discrimination or retaliation, employers often dispute those claims by noting that the employer never hired anyone to take the terminated employee’s position....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

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2016

Editor's Overview - In this month’s newsletter, our colleagues focus on two sets of legislative updates. First is a discussion of the IRS’s proposed Treasury Regulations prescribing rules under Section 457 of the...more

Whistleblowers: No Reasonable Belief of Violation, No Protection

The SEC has been touting the large cash awards it has been handing out to whistleblowers. The agency views whistleblowers as a key source of potential information about wrong-doing which can give them tips and facilitate...more

Eighth Circuit Deals Significant Blow To SOX And Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

On June 6, 2016, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Minnesota District Court’s grant of summary judgment on SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claims based on the plaintiff’s failure to establish a reasonable belief...more

Court Declines to Decide Whether ERISA Protects Employee From Reprisal For Informal Complaint

A federal court in Missouri was asked to determine whether a former employee proved a viable claim for retaliation under ERISA Section 510 by virtue of being terminated after she sent emails disparaging the company’s owner...more

Fourth Circuit Finds Rebellious Behavior by Subordinates Insufficient to Constitute Hostile Work Environment

Most hostile environment harassment claims brought under Title VII involve allegations of offensive conduct by the plaintiff’s supervisors or co-workers. In a few situations, the employee alleges that his or her subordinates...more

8th Cir. Rejects Dr.’s Grab-Bag Retaliation Suit

Dr. Alaa Elkharwily lost his job at Albert Lea Clinic, but he didn’t go quietly. He sued the clinic and eight related organizations and individuals alleging just about everything a terminated doctor can allege in Minnesota:...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds Four-Year Front-Pay Award To Whistleblower

On May 20, 2016, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the decision of the ARB, finding that a former employee of Deltek, Inc. (Company) was retaliated against in violation of Section 806 of SOX and entitled to four years’ worth of...more

Second Circuit Holds HR Professionals Can Be Liable as ‘Employers’ Under FMLA

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has recently held that a human resources manager could be held liable as an employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In issuing its decision in Graziadio v. Culinary...more

EEOC Requesting Information? Be Wary What You Tell Fellow Employees

Picture this scenario: You come into your office one morning to learn that an employee has filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claiming that you failed to accommodate...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2016

Will Smoking Pot on the Job Get You Fired? You’d think that would be a slam dunk question, but if you’re a state employee whose union is willing to take your case to an arbitrator, apparently it isn’t. Back in 2012,...more

Fourth Circuit Says Employer's Response to Race Discrimination Claims Did Not Excuse Plaintiff's Failure to Allege Claims in EEOC...

Before filing suit alleging discrimination, Title VII requires plaintiffs to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If the plaintiff files an EEOC charge, but includes claims in his...more

SEC Intervenes In Former In-House Attorney’s Whistleblower Lawsuit

On March 28, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an amicus brief in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former in-house attorney against Vanguard Group (the “Company”).  The case is Danon v....more

The Individual Liability You Never Knew You Had: Second Circuit Rules HR Directors May Be Liable for FMLA Violations

HR Directors, Beware: Your role in terminating employees may expose you to individual liability under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, et al., Graziadio, a Payroll...more

Labor and Employment Group News: Human Resources Director Can Be Held Personally Liable Under FMLA

On March 17, 2016, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Human Resources Director can be held personally liable, under a broad reading of what constitutes "an employer" under the FMLA. Graziadio v. Culinary...more

Nebraska Whistleblower’s Dodd-Frank Suit Settled Before Trial

Julie A. Bussing filed a Dodd-Frank Act claim against COR Clearing on July 9th, 2012 in Nebraska federal court. Now, about three and a half years later, she settled with COR pursuant to dismissal papers. Bussing’s suit...more

Hostile Work Environments and Sexual Orientation: EEOC Files First Federal Suits

Normally in this space we write about court decisions that have already occurred and are likely to impact employers. This week, we focus on cases that have just been filed and could have far reaching implications. In a...more

ARB Rejects SOX Claim of Employee Who Threatened Co-Worker

On February 18, 2016, the ARB dismissed a former employee’s whistleblower retaliation claim under Section 806 of SOX, concluding that he failed to show that his protected activity contributed to the decision to terminate his...more

Supreme Judicial Court Reinstates Jury Verdict for Former Employee on FMLA Retaliation Claim

Last week’s Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decision in Esler v. Sylvia-Reardon serves as an important reminder of the potential scope of employees’ rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)....more

EEOC Files First Suits Challenging Sexual Orientation Discrimination as Sex Discrimination

In Two Separate Lawsuits, Federal Agency Charges That a Gay Male Employee and a Lesbian Employee Were Subjected to Hostile Work Environments Because of Sex - WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

Whistleblower Claims Cannot be Based on Future or Planned Acts in Michigan

On February 1, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that an employee cannot bring a claim under the Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (WPA) if the employee only reported or threatened to report future, planned or...more

RLA “Minor Dispute” Preemption Alive and Well As a Potential Defense in State Court

An Illinois state appellate court recently confirmed that Railway Labor Act “minor dispute” preemption is alive and well as a potential defense to state-law retaliatory discharge claims. The case, Hughes v. United Airlines,...more

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