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Corporate counsel’s FCPA violation report not protected under SOX as ‘SEC rules or regulations,’ but state public policy verdict stands

March 1st, 2019

By Amy Leisinger, J.D.
It was error to instruct the jury that statutory provisions of the FCPA constitute rules or regulations of the SEC for purposes of whether a whistleblower engaged in protected activity under Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 806.
A Ninth Circuit panel has vacated in part a verdict in favor of a whistleblower claiming retaliation for [Read more...]

Facebook monitoring by employer not unclean hands, no bar to preliminary injunction against former employees

March 1st, 2019

By Cheryl Beise, J.D.
An antenna design firm’s monitoring of a former employee’s personal Facebook messenger account for one month after his departure was not related to the firm’s breach of loyalty claim, so the unclean hands doctrine did not apply.
A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apply unclean hands to [Read more...]

Employee who failed drug test couldn’t show city regarded him as disabled

February 27th, 2019

By Brandi O. Brown, J.D.
There was no evidence a city housing authority had reason to suspect that a maintenance supervisor who tested positive for opiates was disabled before it suspended him, and he had no property interest in continued employment.
In affirming summary judgment against an employee’s ADA claim, the Eighth Circuit held that he failed [Read more...]

Disparate discipline of the only non-white correctional sergeant suggests pretext

February 27th, 2019

By Lorene D. Park, J.D.
A Latino sergeant purportedly fired for using excessive force on an inmate and being untruthful about it raised triable issues on his Title VII claim against the employer and equal protection claim against the warden because she only suspended a white sergeant who engaged in similar conduct.
A correctional sergeant, who is [Read more...]

Title VII plaintiff need not show ‘hellish’ workplace; supervisor’s use of n-word raised triable claim

February 26th, 2019

By Lorene D. Park, J.D.
A lower court erred by relying on a “hellish” standard in finding no actionable hostile work environment and by failing to recognize the difference between coworker hostility and a supervisor’s racial hostility in using the n-word, which was enough to support a Title VII claim.
Reversing summary judgment on an African-American employee’s [Read more...]