Strategies for Responding to Whistleblower / Retaliation Complaints [Webinar Recording]

On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, Jordan B. Schwartz, Lindsay A. DiSalvo, and Victoria L. Voight presented a webinar regarding Strategies for Responding to Whistleblower/Retaliation Complaints.

Over the past several years, employers have seen a significant uptick in retaliation claims filed by employees and investigated by federal agencies. For example, in 2010, only approx. 30% of all charges filed with the EEOC included a retaliation claim, but that number shot up to almost 60% in FY 2021. Similarly, the vast majority of whistleblower complaints filed with OSHA in FY 2022 – about 76% – were filed under Sec. 11(c) of the OSH Act (retaliation based on protected safety acts).

When a general retaliation or whistleblower complaint is received, employers have a chance to explain why the complaint should be dismissed. The response is an opportunity for the employer to provide information so the agency investigating the complaint can close its file; whether that means OSHA decides an onsite inspection is unnecessary or the EEOC dismisses the discrimination charge. The responses can, however, create a written record of admissions that OSHA or the EEOC could use against the employer. Employers should thus be strategic about the information shared at that early stage and should ensure there is a procedure in place for managing and developing these responses.

Participants in this webinar learned: Continue reading

[Webinar] Strategies for Responding to Whistleblower / Retaliation Complaints

On Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 1 p.m. EST, join Jordan B. Schwartz, Lindsay A. DiSalvo, and Victoria L. Voight for a webinar regarding Strategies for Responding to Whistleblower/Retaliation Complaints.

Over the past several years, employers have seen a significant uptick in retaliation claims filed by employees and investigated by federal agencies. For example, in 2010, only approx. 30% of all charges filed with the EEOC included a retaliation claim, but that number shot up to almost 60% in FY 2021. Similarly, the vast majority of whistleblower complaints filed with OSHA in FY 2022 – about 76% – were filed under Sec. 11(c) of the OSH Act (retaliation based on protected safety acts).

When a general retaliation or whistleblower complaint is received, employers have a chance to explain why the complaint should be dismissed. The response is an opportunity for the employer to provide information so the agency investigating the complaint can close its file; whether that means OSHA decides an onsite inspection is unnecessary or the EEOC dismisses the discrimination charge. The responses can, however, create a written record of admissions that OSHA or the EEOC could use against the employer. Employers should thus be strategic about the information shared at that early stage and should ensure there is a procedure in place for managing and developing these responses.

Participants in this webinar will learn: Continue reading

[Webinar] California Employment Law Update

On Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 1 p.m. EST / 10 a.m. PST, join Andrew J. SommerMegan S. Shaked, and Samuel S. Rose for a webinar regarding a California Employment Law Update.

2023 brings changes for California employers to a range of topics touching on pay equity and marijuana use, as well as wage and hour compliance. This webinar will review compliance obligations for companies doing business in California, as well as discuss the practical impact of these new laws and best practices for avoiding potential employment-related claims.

Participants in this webinar will learn: Continue reading

[Webinar] Recap of Year Two of the Biden Administration

On Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 1 p.m. EST, join Kara M. Maciel and Aaron R. Gelb for a webinar regarding a Recap of Year Two of the Biden Administration.

As we approach the midway point of the Biden Administration, we will take stock of the lay of the land at Biden’s DOL, reviewing the initiatives the Department and its agencies have focused on in Year 2 and evaluating how they have fared in driving change at DOL, EEOC, NLRB, and OSHA. We will also assess those agencies’ rulemaking, policymaking, and enforcement efforts; make predictions about what employers can expect from the Biden Administration’s DOL in the second half of President Biden’s presidential term; and assess the impact of the mid-term elections.

Participants in this webinar will learn about: Continue reading

[Webinar] Practical Advice for Responding to Administrative Charges of Discrimination and Retaliation

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 1 p.m. EST, join Lindsay A. DiSalvo and Megan S. Shaked for a webinar regarding Practical Advice for Responding to Administrative Charges of Discrimination and Retaliation.

When an administrative agency, like the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), receives a complaint of discrimination or retaliation, the employer is given an opportunity to respond and provide information/evidence pursuant to the agency’s investigation of the complaint. In its response, the employer can explain why the action taken against the employee was legitimate or did not occur as alleged. These responses are an opportunity for the employer to provide sufficient information to avoid further action by the administrative agency or potentially litigation of the claim(s). A strong response could demonstrate there is no support for the complaint and resolve the complaint in a favorable manner for the employer. However, these responses can also create a written record of admissions to which the agency can hold the employer accountable, and any supporting documentation may be closely scrutinized and used to establish liability. Thus, employers must be thoughtful in sharing information at this early stage and should ensure there is a procedure in place for managing and developing these responses.

Participants in this webinar will learn about: Continue reading

[Webinar] Preventing and Responding to Workplace Violence

On Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 1 p.m. EST, Kara M. MacielLindsay A. DiSalvo, and special guest Terri D. Patterson, Ph.D., a Principal at Control Risks and threat management expert with over two decades of experience, will present a webinar on Preventing and Responding to Workplace Violence.

In 2020, physical assault was identified as the 4th leading cause of workplace deaths. Nearly 2 million American workers experience violent acts at work annually. As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be entering the endemic phase and workers begin to transition back into the workplace, experts predict even more of an increase in workplace violence. Thus, employers will want to be prepared to prevent these types of incidents and protect their employees to the extent possible, as well as ensure they are doing all that’s required from a regulatory standpoint.

Workplace violence has been a focus for both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) well before the pandemic and remains so now. While OSHA has no specific standard for workplace violence, the OSH Act’s General Duty Clause requires employers to provide Continue reading

How to Best Ensure ADA Compliance for Your Property’s Website [Webinar Recording]

On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, Jordan B. Schwartz and Megan S. Shaked presented a webinar regarding How to Best Ensure ADA Compliance for Your Property’s Website.

Another year has gone by, and yet the lawsuits filed against hotels and other places of public accommodation alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) continues to increase. We still see hundreds of lawsuits filed each month against hotels for their failure to identify and describe accessible features at their properties in sufficient detail on their websites. Many of these lawsuits continue to allege that Online Travel Agencies (“OTAs”) such Expedia, Hotels.com, or Orbitz fail to provide information about the accessible amenities of the hotel, including its rooms, to individuals with disabilities, or fail to allow an individual with a disability to book an accessible guestroom. While it may seem counterintuitive that a Hotel would be responsible for the information provided on the OTAs website, that often is the case.

A ton of ADA lawsuits also continue to be filed every day alleging that hotel websites cannot be used by individuals with visual or hearing impairments (in particular websites that utilize PDFs). Thus, it is extremely important that businesses ensure the accessibility of their websites while also providing an appropriate “accessibility statement” explaining to users the steps you have taken to improve your website’s accessibility.

During this webinar, participants learned: Continue reading

[Webinar] How to Best Ensure ADA Compliance for Your Property’s Website

On Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 1 p.m. EST, join Jordan B. Schwartz and Megan S. Shaked for a webinar regarding How to Best Ensure ADA Compliance for Your Property’s Website.

Another year has gone by, and yet the lawsuits filed against hotels and other places of public accommodation alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) continues to increase. We still see hundreds of lawsuits filed each month against hotels for their failure to identify and describe accessible features at their properties in sufficient detail on their websites. Many of these lawsuits continue to allege that Online Travel Agencies (“OTAs”) such Expedia, Hotels.com, or Orbitz fail to provide information about the accessible amenities of the hotel, including its rooms, to individuals with disabilities, or fail to allow an individual with a disability to book an accessible guestroom. While it may seem counterintuitive that a Hotel would be responsible for the information provided on the OTAs website, that often is the case.

A ton of ADA lawsuits also continue to be filed every day alleging that hotel websites cannot be used by individuals with visual or hearing impairments (in particular websites that utilize PDFs). Thus, it is extremely important that businesses ensure the accessibility of their websites while also providing an appropriate “accessibility statement” explaining to users the steps you have taken to improve your website’s accessibility.

During this webinar, participants will learn about: Continue reading