Firm News

Whistleblower Protections for Federal Employees Strengthened by Enactment of WPEA

This week, President Barack Obama signed into law S. 743, Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), thereby strengthening protections afforded to federal employees who blow the whistle on fraud, abuse, and waste in the public sector. Among its many enhancements to whistleblower protection, the WPEA will: Ensure that whistleblowers receive protection even if they were not the first to report the wrongdoing or if reporting the wrongdoing or fraud was done… [Read more]

Issues In Employment Law – November 2001

Discriminatory comments made by a manager can constitute circumstantial evidence of discrimination, even when that manager is not the decision-maker. Employers should have clear policies against discrimination of any kind, and must enforce a zero tolerance for discriminatory remarks. It is especially important that this policy be applied equally to members of management and supervision. Remarks made by any management level employee can constitute indirect evidence of discrimination if that… [Read more]

Issues In Employment Law – September 2001

Severance packages should provide for single-event, lump sum payment rather than periodic payments over a period of time. According to a recent opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, if a severance plan requires any administration at all, then it will be governed by the Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The reason that this matters is that actions by… [Read more]

Issues In Employment Law – July 2001

Given the United States Supreme Court’s March decision in Circuit City v. Adams, 121 US 1302 (2001), regarding the applicability of the Federal Arbitration Act to employment contracts, employers who use mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts need to review the clauses to ensure their enforceability. We have written often in recent months about the enforceability of Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts. In Circuit City v. Adams, 121 US 1302… [Read more]

Issues In Employment Law – June 2001

When an employee seeks a change in the terms or conditions of her employment pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Employers must consider a range of options in order to meet its obligations regarding an interactive process to reach an accommodation, according to a recent Federal Appeals Court decision. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that an employer of an employee covered by the act, seek “reasonable accommodations” for… [Read more]

Issues In Employment Law – February 2001

Employers may wish to consider formalizing promotion and vacancy announcement processes in response to a recent Federal Appeals Court decision which increases an employer’s exposure to claims of discriminatory failure to promote. A Federal Appeals Court recently ruled that an Employee need not seek promotion in order to sustain a discrimination claim of failure to promote. (Dews v. A.B. Dick Co.), 84 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 408, 2000 WL… [Read more]