Tag Archives: Retaliation

So What’s it Going to Cost Me?

cost
When faced with an employment discrimination, harassment or retaliation claim, often the immediate response is, “We are going to defend ourselves and prove we are right,” followed by, “So what will it cost us if we lose?” This article describes the damages available to a prevailing party under the primary federal employment statutes.… Continue reading this entry

Texas Legislator Proposes Bill to Protect Workers' "Political Beliefs"

Last week, Representative James White, a Republican representing District 19 (Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler Counties), proposed a new state law that would protect Texas workers from adverse actions for expressing their political opinions and views away from the job.  The key provision of the proposed legislation defines “political beliefs” to include “only” those beliefs … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance on New Reporting and Anti-Retaliation Provisions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued a memorandum to its Regional Administrators and published a new webpage outlining its planned enforcement of the new reporting and anti-retaliation provisions.  The agency’s guidance does little more than restate and expound upon what it has already provided in previous documents, such as in the 2012 … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Delays Enforcement of Anti-Retaliation Provisions for Second Time

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced today that it will delay enforcement, for a second time, of the anti-retaliation provisions in its injury and illness tracking rule until Dec. 1, 2016.  We previously reported on the Work Knowledge Blog that the first delay in enforcement may have been associated with ongoing litigation over the … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Issues Final Rule Regarding Retaliation Claims under the Affordable Care Act

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced yesterday that it has published a final rule regarding how it will handle retaliation claims brought by employees under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  OSHA is generally tasked with investigating whistleblower complaints brought by employees under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as many other … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Issues New Retaliation Guidance

EEOC
For the first time since 1998, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued new enforcement guidance on retaliation. Retaliation claims have been a growth industry over the last 18 years. Back in 1998 retaliation claims constituted 24 percent of all EEOC claims, behind both race and sex charges. Since then, however, retaliation has become … Continue reading this entry

Watch Out for the Cat’s Paw - Employers May Be Accountable for Low-Level Employee Actions

In the world of employment law, there is something called the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability. The name comes from a fable dating back to the 17th century in which a clever monkey persuades a naïve cat to pull roasting chestnuts from a fire for the pair to eat. However, as the cat removes the … Continue reading this entry

Legal Considerations for Employers during Election Years—Part III

With the Presidential election heating up, employers may see an increasing interest in politics among their employees.  As we have covered recently in the Work Knowledge Blog, private employers are not bound by the First Amendment’s right to free speech.  But employees do have certain limited rights in the workplace relevant in election years, including … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Delayed Enforcement of Anti-Retaliation Provisions for New Reporting Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has announced that it will delay enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new workplace injury and illness reporting rule.  Originally, it was scheduled to go into effect on August 10, 2016, but enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions will now begin on November 1, 2016.  OSHA stated that … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Final Rule on Workplace Injury and Illness Reporting

On May 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced that it has finalized a new recordkeeping and reporting rule for certain employers.  At its core, the new rule amounts to what many employers are sure to view as OSHA’s attempt to shame them publically.  That is, the new rule requires covered employers … Continue reading this entry

EEOC’s Proposed Retaliation “Guidance” Muddies the Waters for Employers

For the first time in 18 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered proposed revisions to its official guidelines on workplace retaliation. In its proposed revisions, the agency expresses a very broad view of what constitutes actionable retaliation under the applicable equal employment laws. One of the most noteworthy revisions is that the … Continue reading this entry

When Seemingly Indefinite Leave and Non-Cooperation Makes a Leave of Absence Unreasonable

A recent decision from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia provides a result that employers may often think they do not see enough in labor and employment law: a common sense solution to a situation that confronts them often – what to do under federal (and potentially state) statutes requiring reasonable accommodation … Continue reading this entry

A Negative Job Reference Can Lead to a Claim of Retaliation

Providing negative job references to prospective employers about one of your former employees could constitute unlawful retaliation in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and similar anti-discrimination laws.… Continue reading this entry

Avoiding Liability for Retaliation

Retaliation claims are proliferating and are unlikely to subside anytime soon. The EEOC reported that in its last fiscal year, retaliation claims were the most common type of claim asserted in new charges. Some 36 percent of the nearly 100,000 charges filed with the EEOC in its FY 2010 asserted a claim of retaliation. During … Continue reading this entry

Third Party Or Associational Retaliation Is Now Actionable Under Title VII

In an 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court ruled recently that an employee who claims he was fired because his fiancée filed a sex discrimination charge against their mutual employer may pursue a retaliation claim under Title VII. Thompson v. North American Stainless (S.Ct. 1/24/11).… Continue reading this entry

Fired Fiancé Fuels Retaliation Claim

In an 8-0 decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the law on unlawful retaliation when it handed down its decision in Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP. The facts of this case were straightforward. Eric Thompson and his fiancée, Miriam Regalado, were employees of North American Stainless (NAS). In February 2003, the EEOC … Continue reading this entry

Emotional Distress & Punitive Damages Unvailable in FLSA Retaliation Claims

The FLSA imposes minimum labor standards upon employers, including the payment of a minimum wage and overtime pay for covered employees. In order to facilitate enforcement, the FLSA includes an anti-retaliation provision which makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee who complains of wage and … Continue reading this entry

The "R" Word: Are You Taking Steps to Avoid Future Retaliation Claims?

A recent case illustrates the importance of taking steps to protect your company from potential retaliation claims. Ms. Danielle L. Pickett, a former employee and a housekeeper at a nursing home, claimed that she had been fired in retaliation for repeatedly complaining about being sexually harassed by nursing home residents. Shortly after complaining about being “cornered … Continue reading this entry