Employment Law Blog

On February 3, 2023, the SEC announced a $35 million settlement with Activision Blizzard, Inc., settling, among other things, allegations that the company violated SEC whistleblower protection rules. The SEC’s order serves as a reminder that employees have a legal right to report their concerns to the SEC when they suspect violations of the securities laws, and that the SEC will use its enforcement authority to keep whistleblower lines of communication open.

Splashed on the front page of every paper in the country is the story of the ongoing trial against Former President Donald J. Trump. E. Jean Carroll, a writer and a former columnist for Elle magazine, alleges that Trump viciously raped her nearly 30 years ago in a department store dressing room. A year ago, Ms. Carroll would not have been able to bring these claims in court. However, with the passage of the New York Adult Survivors Act, survivors of sexual assault are given a finite window within which these claims will be revived. That window ends on November 23, 2023.

On April 18, 2023, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two important whistleblower cases, potentially good news for whistleblowers, the government, and taxpayers. The cases concern the False Claims Act's knowledge requirement, and several Supreme Court Justices appeared likely to overrule a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that threatened to undermine the Government's ability to fight fraud.

In many employment discrimination lawsuits brought in federal court under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the first hurdles most plaintiffs face is a motion to dismiss their complaint for "failure to state a claim." Such a motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the allegations contained in the complaint, essentially asserting there isn't enough there for the case to proceed. While a plaintiff doesn't have to prove they were discriminated against at this early stage of the case, they have to plead enough facts that, if proven, would constitute a viable claim.

As of January 1, 2023, California job seekers and employees have access to more information and greater transparency regarding salaries and wages. In an effort to further promote pay equity, California adopted a law (SB 1162) last year requiring employers to include pay ranges in all job postings and advertisements and to provide pay scale information to current employees upon request.

Individuals who have criminal records that include a crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering have long been prohibited from pursuing employment opportunities with financial institutions like banks or credit unions. But recent changes in the law have removed these barriers, giving countless job seekers a chance to work in this expansive sector of the economy.

Many states and local jurisdictions are amending their anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws to specifically cover independent contractors and other workers not classified as employees. One of the latest jurisdictions to join this trend is the District of Columbia.