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Employment Law

SOX whistleblower claims must be filed with feds

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified what employees must do before taking Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower claims to federal court. Employees must first file a complaint with the appropriate federal regulatory agency within 180 days of the alleged employer wrongdoing.

Budget constraints may be legit reason for reassignments

Courts generally grant great leeway when an employer cites budget cuts or other economic justifications for personnel moves. Employees challenging such decisions need to do more than say they believe discrimination played a part. They must have some evidence.

Think twice before firing immediately after employee has filed EEOC complaint

If you suddenly fire a worker who just filed an EEOC complaint and can’t explain why, expect a retaliation lawsuit. That’s because filing an EEOC complaint is protected activity, so the timing alone looks suspicious.

Begin interactive accommodations process as soon as employee tells you about disability

When confronted with an accommodation request you believe is based on a valid disability, do what you can to help. Otherwise, you may face a lawsuit, especially if the worker feels threatened or punished for his requests or is terminated.

Don’t delay: Act on termination decision ASAP

When you have good reason to fire a worker, it makes little sense to put off acting on your decision. That’s especially true if it’s for poor performance. Otherwise, if the employee’s work improves in the interim and he has decided to complain about discrimination, your subsequent termination may look like retaliation.

Bullying complaint doesn’t trigger Title VII protection

Employees who file internal discrimination complaints based on age, race, sex or other protected characteristics are protected from retaliation. But if the complaint is more general—such as that the supervisor is a bully—that’s not enough.

Beware holiday harassment at hotel party

’Tis the season for holiday party planning, which means ’tis the season to prepare for potential harassment lawsuits. Remember, just because the party isn’t at work or during work hours, doesn’t mean you’re not liable for harassment.

NLRB staffers accuse agency of ‘management abuses’

Career employees of the National Labor Relations Board on Nov. 18 rallied outside the board’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to protest what they call “management abuses” by NLRB Chair John Ring and General Counsel Peter Robb.

‘OK, boomer!’ not OK at work

Employment lawyers are warning that “OK, boomer!”—the viral meme-phrase that caught fire on social media earlier this month as a tool for millennials to dismiss baby boomers’ opinions—could be used as evidence in age-discrimination lawsuits by older workers.

$20 billion case could reset race bias bar

A $20 billion lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court could dramatically change what contractors—and employees, potentially—have to prove in order to win a race discrimination case.