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Advocating Whistleblower Rights for over Twenty Years

Monthly Archives: March 2011

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Kwick Stop in Shawnee, Oklahoma, settles retaliation case

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a settlement with Modern Oil Company, the operator of the Kwick Stop convenience store in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The lawsuit alleged that after OSHA investigated a workplace safety complaint a store in Shawnee, Oklahoma, management grilled the three employees of that store until it determined who called OSHA.  Management then fired the identified … Continue Reading

Supreme Court considers whistleblower protection for “ministerial employees”

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to review a Michigan decision that allows a church to fire a middle school math teacher after she reported suspected sexual abuse to government authorities. According to the Court’s docket, this case has been distributed for consideration at all three Friday conferences this month. The Court’s web page says that decisions are normally … Continue Reading

Rewards for whistleblowers examined

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Legislation, News
Yesterday, the Christian Science Monitor released a story about the rewards available to corporate whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank Act. Correspondent G. Jeffrey MacDonald writes that, "Whistle-blowing is about to get more profitable." He quotes Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC). Kohn explains that whistleblowers need to know that compensation is waiting because they’ll probably never … Continue Reading

Supreme Court says internal oral complaints are “filed”

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers
Today the Supreme Court held that workers who make oral complaints about wage and hour violations are protected from retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Court says that oral complaints are "filed" and that workers who make them have "filed any complaint" in the parlance of the 1938 statute. The decision reverses a narrow holding by the … Continue Reading

10th Circuit allows union members to sue after union loses arbitration

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers
On Wednesday, March 16, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado, issued a decision that reaffirms the rights of union members to sue under federal law. The issue most frequently affects the right of union members to bring claims under Title VII for discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion and national origin. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court ignores Iqbal and relaxes pleading standards

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, News
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on the right of criminal defendants to sue to get access to DNA that might prove their innocence. The case is Skinner v. Switzer, Case No. 09-9000 (3-7-2011). Before the Supreme Court got to the DNA issue, it first had to review the standards under which it would allow a … Continue Reading

Stephen Kohn to argue Tides v. Boeing, April 15 in Seattle

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Events
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral argument in a case that will decide if disclosures to the media can be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). The oral argument will be on Friday, April 15, 2011, at the William K. Nakamura U.S. Courthouse, 1010 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor, Courtroom #2, in Seattle, WA 98104. The argument is … Continue Reading

Staub wins at Supreme Court: employers are liable for supervisor’s animus

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers
In a major victory for employees with any kind of discrimination or retaliation claim, the Supreme Court yesterday held that employers are liable when a supervisor is motivated by an illegal motive, then acts within the scope of authority on behalf of the employer, and succeeds in getting someone fired. It no longer matters if the employer has the termination … Continue Reading

Judge says Dodd-Frank arbitration ban applies retroactively

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers
U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock issued an order yesterday that applies a ban on arbitration agreements retroactively. Congress enacted the ban as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act amends the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) to say that, "No predispute arbitration agreement shall be valid or enforceable, if the agreement … Continue Reading