As part of Outten & Golden's collaboration with Labaton Sucharow on the Corporate Whistleblower Watch newsletter, Sage Counsel is an occasional feature addressing common issues at play in a wide range of whistleblower issues
Erhart v. Botfl Holding, Inc, No. 15 Civ. 02287, 2017 WL. 588390 (SD. Cal. Feb. 14, 2017)
Whistleblowers, like Charles Erhart, often find themselves in a tough spot when it comes to taking documents from their employer. Often these documents are confidential, proprietary, and, clearly, the employer's property. But they can also be critical to demonstrating the employer's wrongdoing. A recent decision from California-Erhart v. Bofl Holding, Inc.- addresses this issue.
The Ninth Circuit becomes the fourth court of appeals to recognize tax gross-up awards to successful Title VII plaintiffs, which recognize (and compensate for) the tax penalty that plaintiffs suffer when they receive lump sums of back pay in a single tax year.
Given recent headlines about Uber and Google, it might be tempting to assume that tech is the only sector still facing stubborn problems with gender discrimination, hostile work environments, and sexual harassment. That certainly isn't the case, and one only has to look at the financial services industry to see that the issue is very prevalent in many other workplaces.
Last week, California's governor signed a bill that will expand parental leave rights to 2.7 million workers who are otherwise ineligible because they work for a small employer. Before this new legislation, only employees who work for companies with 50 or more employees were guaranteed job protection under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the state California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The new bill provides for up to 12 weeks of job-protected parental leave for workers at companies with 20 to 49 employees.
What happens when victims of sexual harassment reach out to a lawyer, and what are some of the roadblocks stopping victims from coming forward? Individual Practice Area Associate Nina Frank was interviewed at Levo and answered common questions about sexual harassment in the workplace, what the law covers, and what victims can do.
New York City's Commission on Human Rights saw a staggering 60 percent jump in discrimination and harassment complaints in 2016. In 2017, complaints are up an additional 30% so far this year. Of these complaints, approximately 40 percent are reports of discrimination or harassment based on a person's race, religion, national origin and immigration status. The Commission says it has nearly doubled its investigations into that category of complaints in the past two years.
In a potentially important development for family-responsibilities discrimination law, the Eleventh Circuit upholds a $161,319.92 award for a woman who was forced to quit police work because the city would not accommodate her breastfeeding.
The Third Circuit holds, in a 2-1 decision, that an individual may be a "supervisor" for purposes of imputing liability to the employer vicariously for sex harassment if they are "tasked with creating a work schedule" for their subordinates.
Two years ago, when Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he was taking paternity leave to spend time with his wife and newborn daughter, it was hailed as a breakthrough for paid family leave. Soon after, a rush of press releases from Twitter, Netflix, Microsoft, IKEA, American Express, Amazon and other well-known companies announced more generous policies. Men, they said, would be encouraged to take parental leave as well.
Parental leave, it seemed, was fashionable, even for the hard driving, workaholic men of Silicon Valley and boded well for the rest of Corporate America.
In theory, more men are taking parental leave -- though it has been an incremental process. A study released last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 46 percent more men were taking advantage of family leave after California's Paid Family Leave (PFL) program took effect. However, it should be noted that only 2 percent of men were taking parental leave before the PFL, and that jumped to 3 percent after the program was in place. So, it is not as if men are rushing in droves to take family leave.