Judge clears way for antiretaliation portion of new OSHA rule

November 30, 2016 0 COMMENTS

The antiretaliation provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new electronic record-keeping rule are set to be implemented on December 1 after a Texas federal judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction on November 28.

The eventual fate of the rule isn’t known since Judge Sam Lindsay of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas said his decision to deny the preliminary injunction “is not a comment or indication” on who will ultimately prevail in a lawsuit challenging the rule. “This determination is left for another day,” he wrote in his opinion.

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Ruling gives employees more time to file constructive discharge claims

May 24, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

A May 23 U.S. Supreme Court ruling clears up questions about how long employees have to file constructive discharge claims, and the decision likely means more pressure for employers potentially facing such lawsuits.

In Green v. Brennan, the Court ruled 7-1 that a U.S. Postal Service employee in Englewood, Colorado, filed a constructive discharge claim within the time period allowed for such claims. The employer had maintained that the claim came too late, and the lower courts agreed.

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Court sets bar high for employer retaliation claims

June 24, 2013 0 COMMENTS

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court made its second pro-employer decision of the day in a case involving the standard of proof an employee must meet in retaliation claims.

In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the question was whether an employee must prove that the only reason his employer retaliated against him was because he engaged in protected activity (e.g., reporting harassment or filing a discrimination charge) or if he must prove that the protected activity was simply a “contributing factor” in the retaliation decision.

The Court held that the “but-for” standard of proof applies to retaliation claims, limiting employers’ exposure to liability. The Court issued its first pro-employer case of today in Vance v. Ball State University, which addressed the definition of “supervisor.”

EEOC plan reveals enforcement priorities

September 07, 2012 1 COMMENTS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a draft of its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) that spells out priorities such as stepped-up efforts against hiring discrimination and harassment, new protections for various vulnerable workers, preserving access to the legal system, and dealing with emerging issues like changes brought by the ADA Amendments Act.

Recruitment and hiring
The SEP says the EEOC will target class-based intentional discrimination as well as practices that seem neutral but adversely affect particular groups. The plan specifically mentions racial and ethnic minorities, older workers, women, and people with disabilities.

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Supreme Court OK’s Third-Party Retaliation Lawsuit

January 25, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Yesterday, in Thompson v. North American Stainlessi LP, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an employee-friendly ruling in a third-party (or associational) retaliation case. The Court unanimously held that a man who was fired after his fiancée filed a gender discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) could sue for retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In Thompson, Eric Thompson worked at North American Stainless, LP (NAS) with his then-fiancée, Miriam Regalado, who filed a gender discrimination charge with the EEOC. A few weeks after the EEOC informed NAS of Regalado’s charge, the company terminated Thompson’s employment. Thompson sued NAS, claiming it retaliated against him for his fiancée’s protected activity. The trial court ruled in favor of NAS, and the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, holding that Thompson couldn’t sue under Title VII because he didn’t engage in protected activity.

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Supreme Court Hands Down Retaliation Decision

June 30, 2006 0 COMMENTS

by Peter Panken

On June 22, the U.S. Supreme Court decided an employment retaliation case in which it held that any action by an employer against an employee, applicant, or even a former employee constitutes unlawful retaliation if the action would deter a reasonable employee from filing a discrimination charge against an employer.

Retaliation cases now make up 30 percent of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s docket and will increase substantially as a result of this decision. Moreover, employees now will want to get their cases before juries because they hope jurors will be so mad at the employer that they’ll award compensatory and punitive damages.

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