News & Analysis as of

California Court Finds Lack of Evidence Undermines False Claims Act and Retaliation Claims

The Southern District of California recently issued a favorable ruling for employers under both the False Claims Act and California’s retaliatory discharge provision codified at California Labor Code section 1102.5. The court...more

False Claims Act Does Not Protect An Employee Disclosing His Whistleblower History

On October 20, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio found that the False Claims Act (“FCA”) did not protect an employee who was fired after revealing his history as a whistleblower and offering...more

Eighth Circuit Reminds Nonprofits They Are Subject to Whistleblower Laws

Nonprofits help shape, empower, and strengthen many underserved communities with the aid of donors who believe and trust in the organization’s mission. These goodhearted missions come with accountability to both donors and...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

5 Key Employment Law Challenges for In-House Counsel

5 employment law challenges that in-house counsel will face in the coming year and how to get out ahead of them....more

Easy A's for Athletes - UNC committing academic fraud?

The University of North Carolina has been criticized in recent years since it was revealed that they offered hundreds of Afro-American Studies classes that required no attendance and only asked students to write a single...more

Dodd-Frank Does Not Bar Arbitration Of Claims If Arbitration Agreement Does Not Exempt Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The Fourth Circuit affirmed order from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia compelling arbitration of former employee’s federal claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA),...more

Mediating with Whistleblowers Who Have Suffered Retaliation

Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Whistleblowers take it upon themselves to stand up and speak when they believe something is...more

Developments in Tennessee, Alabama, and Federal Employment Law

Effective July 1, 2014, a new law (T.C.A. § 29-39-104) changes the exposure for Tennessee employers subject to the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) and the Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”). The law limits...more

SEC Files First Whistleblower Retaliation Case

Well, you can’t say Sean McKessy didn’t warn you. The chief of the SEC’s whistleblower office has been warning for months at least that his group was looking to bring a stand-alone case enforcing the anti-retaliation...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

Nebraska District Court: Employee’s Disclosures To FINRA Make Her A Dodd-Frank Whistleblower

In a first-impression decision, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska recently ruled that an employee who disclosed information about potential securities law violations to FINRA may qualify as a...more

White Collar Watch - June 2014

In This Issue: - Whistleblower’s one-two punch: Confidential informant/employee spurs criminal investigation, then successfully sues individual company owner in qui tam action - Alleged illegal recruiting for...more

Fourth Circuit Says Employee Suing Under SOX Could Not Show Complaints Contributed to Termination Decision

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) prohibits publically-traded companies from retaliating against employees for complaining about issues that could affect the shareholders of the company. On Monday, the Fourth Circuit Court of...more

Sixth Circuit: ERISA’s Whistleblower Provision Doesn’t Protect Giving Information

The Sixth Circuit (in a 2-1 decision) recently held that ERISA Section 510 does not protect unsolicited employee complaints. See Sexton v. Panel Processing, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8752 (6th Cir. May 9, 2014). Plaintiff...more

Utah Unemployment Law Update - Part 2

In this Issue: - Mobile Phone / Driving Laws - Unemployment Benefits - Facts - Procedural History - The Law - Court of Appeals Decision - Takeaway - Wrongful Termination - Religious...more

CEPA Protection For “Watchdog” Employees? New Jersey Supreme Court To Decide

On March 14, 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted certification in Lippman v. Ethicon, Inc., 432 N.J. Super. 378 (App. Div. 2013), agreeing to review whether “watchdog” employees, i.e., employees responsible for...more

Whistleblower retaliation exposes Playboy to $6 million liability

A federal jury recently ordered Playboy Enterprises to pay $6 million to a former accounting executive who was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for blowing the whistle internally on what she perceived was improper...more

Quirky Question # 227, New Bells and Whistles in Minnesota Statute

We have an employee who we have been planning to terminate because of performance issues. This employee may have realized this was coming because he recently sent an email to a number of people claiming that our company...more

NLRB Considers Radical Changes to Decades-Long Precedent on Deferral to Arbitration

In yet another attempt to expand protection for employees under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is considering a new standard for deferral to labor arbitration that, if...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - April 2014

Supreme Court Confirms FICA Taxes Must be Withheld from Severance Payments - Finding severance payments to be a form of “remuneration for employment,” the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Quality Stores,...more

What Has Fahlen Wrought?

The California Supreme Court's decision in Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals has confirmed (not created) a sea change in the relations between hospitals and their medical staffs on the one hand, and physicians on such...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

Act Now Advisory: Court's Ruling That Employees Have No Blanket Entitlement to Take Employer's Confidential Documents for...

In a case that may have a broad impact, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a decision on December 24, 2013, upholding criminal charges against a former school board clerk who took hundreds of confidential documents for...more

14 Labor & Employment Resolutions For 2014

Our government managed to reach a deal to avoid another government shutdown. And so, while our tax refunds will continue to be processed and parks remain open, it is that time of year again — the time to review and reflect on...more

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