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Category Archives: Employee Rights

Whistleblower Claim Arises from Food Safety Concerns at High School

A recent whistleblower lawsuit against the David Douglas School District near Portland, Oregon alleges that its high school was not engaging in proper food safety practices. The suit was filed by two of the district’s food service workers and a special education assistant at the school. According to the plaintiffs, officials in the school district […]

SEC Brings First-Ever Enforcement Action Regarding Employee Confidentiality Agreements

In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated the very first enforcement action regarding employee confidentiality agreements against KBR, Inc., a technology and engineering company based in Houston, Texas. Certain pieces of language in KBR’s agreement signed by its employees caused the SEC to take an interest in the case. According to the SEC, […]

When Do Reports Not Constitute Whistleblower Actions?

Not all reports of internal wrongdoing are technically considered whistleblower actions. In 2013, the First Circuit Court established an important “job duties” exception related to the Maine Whistleblowers Protection Act. The exception states that employee’s reports are not considered whistleblowing if making such internal reports of wrongdoing is part of the employee’s job. Since the […]

SEC Offers More Guidance on How to Interpret Whistleblower Rules

In early August, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued some clarification on rules regarding internal whistleblower reporting. According to the agency, whistleblowers are to be protected under the Dodd-Frank Act when they report misconduct both internally and directly to the SEC. This is the first formal clarification the SEC has issued, and it clears […]

A Brief Overview of the New Dodd-Frank CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules

On August 5, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially approved what has been called the “CEO pay ratio disclosure rule” under the Dodd-Frank Act. This new rule will require the majority of publicly traded companies to openly disclose how much their CEOs make in relation to the median income of the company’s other employees. […]

New OSHA Directive to Help Resolve Whistleblower Complaints Early

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a number of new procedures and policies August 19, outlining how a new process will be established to resolve whistleblower disputes more efficiently. The goal is to get whistleblower complaints resolved early on and to spend less time in court with each action. This process is being […]

Watch Out for Drastically Increased Overtime Expenses

A recent proposal from the U.S. Department of Labor would double the minimum salary for the overtime exemption for white collar workers, but would still keep the same complicated duties test in place. As a result, liability for any incidents of misclassification could become significantly more expensive. At this time, salaried employees must make a […]

Whistleblower Alleges Discrimination, Claims Morbid Obesity is Legal Disability

The Eighth Circuit may reopen the 2013 case of a Kansas man who alleges the BNSF Railway Co. revoked his job offer because he was obese. The man, Melvin A. Morriss III, asserts that per the Americans with Disabilities Act, morbid obesity is a disability and that BNSF’s action was discrimination. Morriss claims his obesity […]

IRS, Former Employees Oppose Liberty Medical Bankruptcy Plan

On June 10, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alleged that the proposed Chapter 11 liquidation plan of Liberty Medical Supply Inc. restricts the federal agency’s rights to recover funds it is owed. Former employees of Liberty Medical, a provider of supplies for diabetics, have also criticized the plan, which they claim would allow the company […]

Whistleblower Retaliation Protections Upheld in Sixth Circuit

The Sixth Circuit of Appeals confirmed financial planner Michael Rhinehimer’s $250,000 award in his lawsuit against his former employer, U.S. Bancorp, for retaliation against a complaint. Through affirming Rhinehimer’s case, the Sixth Circuit has upheld Section 1514A of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which allows a whistleblower to act and be protected if the individual has reasonable […]

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