Willful Misconduct

News & Analysis as of

Calculating the Incalculable: Reputational Damage (Part I of III)

Today I am beginning a three-part series on reputational damage. The first part tries to define the term “reputational damage;” the second part focuses on managing threats to a company’s reputation and the final posting...more

NLRB Administrative Law Judge Rules that Employer Unlawfully Discharged Employee Who Warned Co-Worker of Looming Discharge

Recently, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the National Labor Relations Board found that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it discharged an employee for informing a co-worker that the...more

Confronting Caretaker Abuse & Misconduct

While most caretakers for sick and elderly people are honest, occasionally families and friends are forced to deal with a dishonest caretaker who steals a person’s money; pressures him to change a will, trust, or power of...more

DOJ Appoints Compliance Counsel to Provide Advice in FCPA Investigations

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is creating a new compliance counsel position in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section to scrutinize the compliance programs of companies under investigation for possible Foreign Corrupt...more

DOJ Hires Compliance Counsel to Assist in Charging Decisions

New Compliance Counsel Will Assess Effectiveness of Corporate Compliance Programs - Last week the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed it is hiring a compliance counsel to assist DOJ prosecutors in assessing the...more

Mead Johnson: Baby Formula and Bribes

Last week, the SEC announced a settlement of an FCPA enforcement action for $12 million against Mead Johnson Nutrition for payment of bribes in China to health care professionals at state-owned hospitals. Mead Johnson’s...more

Falling Oil Prices Are Not the Only Deterrent to Investment in Mexico's Oil Fields

On July 15, Mexico auctioned 14 shallow-water exploration blocks. The auction marked the first time in nearly eight decades that private and foreign investors could directly participate in Mexico's exploration and production...more

Accused Student’s Title IX Claim Gets Rejected

A recent Title IX lawsuit by a University of South Florida (“USF”) student was dismissed by a federal judge. The student, John Doe, accused USF of violating his rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20...more

Just how wide is the band of reasonable responses for misconduct dismissals?

In Newbound v Thames Water Utilities Ltd, the Court of Appeal has restored an Employment Tribunal’s decision that the Claimant was unfairly dismissed for a breach of his employer’s health and safety procedures....more

Case Alert: No Implied Duty to Disclose Allegations of Misconduct in Absence of Express Contractual Obligation

What happened? In The Basildon Academies v Amadi, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (the "EAT") decided that an employee was not under an implied duty to disclose allegations of misconduct to his employer where there was no...more

6th Circuit: Despite Misconduct, Terminating Complaining Employee Still a Problem Under Section 7

Ask any school teacher and they will tell you, the key to maintaining an orderly classroom is identifying the instigator. The "instigator" is the young boy or girl (let’s be honest, usually boy) who does or says something to...more

Need To Investigate Employee Misconduct While the Employee is on FMLA Leave? Follow This Employer's Lead

Even once in awhile an employer has handled an FMLA situation so effectively, you just want to shout out, “You Go Girl!” . . . or let out a fist pump (like you just sank a 70-foot birdie) . . . or initiate a wild chest bump...more

Court Order Trumps Board

What happens when the NLRB says an arbitration agreement is illegal, but a court enforces the agreement anyway? Four plaintiffs recently found out. In Hobson et al. v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., No. CV-10-S-1486-S (N. D. Ala. July...more

Australia: Tribunal Defines "Place of Work" for Off-Duty Misconduct Purposes, Finds Unfair Dismissal Due to Procedurally Defective...

Australia's Fair Works Commission ("FWC") recently handed down its decision in Keenan v. Leighton Boral Amey Joint Venture. In this case, the FWC defined "place of work" with respect to an employee's off-duty conduct, and...more

Confidential Documents Potentially Safer From Employee Misappropriation Says New Jersey's Supreme Court

On the heels of an appellate decision providing employees a virtual how-to manual to misuse and exploit confidential employer documents and safely provide them to a competitor, New Jersey's Supreme Court reversed course last...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds No Duty to Defend Directors Serving in Mixed Capacities

On June 22, 2015, the 11th Circuit affirmed a Georgia federal court decision that there was no coverage under a director’s and officer’s (D&O) insurance policy for claims asserted by beneficiaries of a family trust against a...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer Based on "Other Capacity" Exclusion

On June 22, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of National Union Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., in an action where the insured sought $10 million in coverage under a D&O policy. The...more

Independent Contractor Misclassification: The Hidden Trap of Outsourcing

It’s a beguiling option. Companies that classify workers as independent contractors receive a number of benefits, including elimination of payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance...more

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Immune to Statutory Bad Faith Claims

The Florida Supreme Court has decided unanimously that the Florida legislature did not intend for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (a state-created entity that provides property insurance) to be liable for statutory,...more

Class Action Plaintiffs’ Failure to Appear at Deposition Deemed Not Prejudicial Enough for Dismissal

In a class action brought against Amtrak, two plaintiffs, Guerra and Whitesides, both of whom had submitted declarations in support of plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, failed to appear at their scheduled...more

NLRB General Counsel's Recent Report on Work Rules Tracks Areas to Watch - Employers of Union and Non-Union Work Forces Need to Be...

For the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the "Board") has engaged in a well-publicized expansion of scrutiny for employer work rules and has liberally identified those rules that it believes...more

Public Interest and Corruption

Corporate Crime analysis: What is the relevance of public interest to corruption offences? Alison Geary and Sahil Sinha of international law firm, WilmerHale discuss the implications of the decision in R v...more

When Reviewing a Reinstatement Decision by an Arbitrator, Consider Over a Dozen Factors

If you like getting lost on roads with your head spinning on which way to go, this is your post. (Everyone else, well, try to keep up.) I recap a case for companies with unions to pay attention to....more

Data Shows Spike In Patent Attorney Fee Motions And Awards After Octane

Prior to last year’s Supreme Court decisions in Octane Fitness LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc, 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014) and Highmark, Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt. Sys., 134 S. Ct. 1744 (2014), district courts awarded...more

See You In Court - April 2015

The almost-interminable winter was finally over, and Peter Principal saw a significant uptick in the number of suspensions for offenses ranging from horseplay to assault. To make things worse, many of the students had their...more

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