Termination Retaliation Employer Liability Issues

News & Analysis as of

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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

“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

How Should an Employer Respond to an Employee’s False EEOC Charge?

Some employers have the urge to immediately terminate an employee who has made an unfounded discrimination complaint. In other situations, an employer may gather more information but decide not to discipline. ...more

Washington Court of Appeals Expands "Jeopardy" Element of Claim for Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

This month the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III issued a ruling in Becker v. Community Health Systems, Inc. that expands protections in a wrongful termination action based on violation of a public policy....more

Food Lion Sued by EEOC for Religious Discrimination

Grocer Refused Accommodation for Jehovah's Witness's Worship Services, Federal Agency Charged - WINSTON SALEM, N.C. - Supermarket chain Food Lion, LLC violated federal law when it refused to provide a religious...more

NJ Appellate Courts Permit Employers to Shorten Statute of Limitations Period Through Employment Applications

A New Jersey Appellate Court recently held that a provision in an employment application shortening the statute of limitation from two years to six months was enforceable under New Jersey law. As a result, the employee’s...more

Government Contracts Quarterly Update - July 2014

The Government Contracts Quarterly Update is published by BakerHostetler’s Government Contracts Practice team to inform our clients and friends of the latest developments in federal government contracting. Topics will...more

Fourth Circuit Determines Whistleblower Termination Not Retaliatory Discharge Under Sarbanes-Oxley

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that an employee’s termination after reporting his company’s potential connection to export violations and insider trading did not amount to a retaliatory discharge...more

Does an Employer Have an Obligation to Provide Accommodations to Pregnant Employees? Don't Follow This Employer's Lead

Ena Wages served as a property manager for one of several apartment complexes owned by Stuart Management Corp. She began her employment on November 17, 2008, and this is significant under the FMLA because nearly one year...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Clarify Proof Standards in Wrongful Termination Cases

In the closing days of its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to clarify a fundamental issue for the employment bar: what are the parties’ respective burdens of proof in a case for wrongful termination?...more

Second Circuit Emphasizes That Inconsistent Reasons For Employee Termination Can Be Sufficient To Overcome Summary Judgment

Kwan v. The Andalex Group LLC, No. 12-2493 (2d Cir. Dec. 16, 2013): A recent decision by the Second Circuit not only revived a former employee’s retaliation claims but further highlighted the litigation risk when an...more

Federal Courts Take Divergent Approaches to Jury Trials for Whistleblower Plaintiffs Under Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley

A recurring question under the federal whistleblower laws is whether plaintiffs suing their employers for retaliation have the right to a jury trial. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act1 appears...more

FMLA: Discipline Unrelated to Leave Is Not Retaliatory

The New Hampshire Federal Court issued a recent decision affirming that an employer may take disciplinary action against an employee who has taken FMLA leave, provided the information is accurate and unrelated to the leave. ...more

A Bit Too Far: Employee’s Alleged Self-Defense Fails To Sway NH Justices On His Wrongful Discharge Claim

Could an employee be fired by his employer for actions he claimed were done in self-defense? In Leeds v. BAE Systems, No. 2012-599 (November 5, 2013), the New Hampshire Supreme Court found that he could where the employee’s...more

Bad Faith Termination Can Be Good ERISA Interference Claim

It is not uncommon for employers to have executive severance plans that pay substantial severance if an executive loses employment in connection with a change in control. In a recent federal district court decision, a former...more

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