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Washington DC Employment Law Blog

She give the president the finger. Employer gave her the boot.

Juli Briskman was on her own time, riding her bicycle, when President Trump’s motorcade drove by. She expressed her personal feelings with a middle finger salute, not realizing that a news reporter had captured her gesture on camera.

She abruptly lost her job after the photo went viral on social media. Her employer, a government contracting firm, feared the Trump administration would retaliate by withholding or not renewing contracts. She has sued for wrongful termination.

Women in male-dominated workplaces more likely to be mistreated

Nearly half of American women work in places where they outnumber the men. But for millions of other women, employment in a male-dominated workplace can be stressful, dangerous and harmful to their careers.

A Pew Research Center survey confirmed that women in majority-male workplaces are more likely to experience gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The mistreatment is often worst in traditionally male jobs and workplaces without women in positions of authority.

P&K FOUNDING PRINCIPAL JOSEPH V. KAPLAN TO SPEAK AT 2018 FEDERAL CIRCUIT JUDICIAL CONFERENCE

Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan will be speaking at the 2018 Federal Circuit Judicial Conference, in Washington, D.C. on March 16, 2018. Mr. Kaplan will be participating in "Dissenting Opinions: 'The Resistance'", a panel discussion concerning the potential impacts of recent MSPB and Federal Circuit decision on areas in MSPB caselaw. For more information, visit the event page

News from the Courts: Two All Circuit Review Whistleblower Cases

News from the Courts:  The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th and 9th Circuits each issued recent whistleblower reprisal decisions.  Both courts reversed rigid Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) decisions requiring specific fact allegations in whistleblower claims at the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

P&K WHISTLEBLOWER CLIENT HELEN FOSTER IN THE PRESS

The whistleblower reprisal complaint of Helen Foster, a senior civil servant at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was recently featured in the press. Ms. Foster has alleged that she suffered reprisal after not following through on finding money which exceeded the legal limit to redecorate new HUD Secretary Ben Carson's office. Ms. Foster's story was first publicly reported in a February 27, 2018 article by The Guardian newspaper, and has since been publicly reported in a number of other media outlets. Ms. Foster herself was interviewed by CNNconcerning her allegations. Ms. Foster's whistleblower reprisal complaint was filed at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. While her whistleblower reprisal complaint is pending, Ms. Foster has been detailed to a position at the Treasury Department at her own request. Ms. Foster believes that alleged retaliatory actions by HUD have negatively impacted her career and reputation. Ms. Foster is seeking remedies such as reinstatement as HUD Chief Administrative Officer and award of compensatory damages. Ms. Foster is represented by Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan. 

Supreme Court says securities whistleblowers must go through SEC

Recently we wrote about the case of an executive who was fired after bringing his concerns of securities fraud to upper management.

He sued for whistleblower retaliation under a provision of Dodd-Frank specifically written to shield employees who report securities violations. But the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled – unanimously, if reluctantly – that Paul Somers was not protected because he failed to bring his complaint directly to the SEC.

Man alleges mistreatment by co-workers, supervisors and HR

A New Jersey county employee says he was repeatedly subjected to ugly racial harassment at work. He is suing the government entity for failing to protect him from discrimination by co-workers. He also claims he suffered retaliation for filing discrimination complaints and further mistreated when he filed a work injury claim.

If the allegations are proven, it represents a rare trifecta of prohibited behavior and bad faith. Reprisal or willful indifference by an employer can be as hurtful and devastating as the original discrimination. 

PASSMAN & KAPLAN SENIOR ASSOCIATE MODERATES PANEL WITH EEOC OFO STAFF

Passman & Kaplan Senior Associate Andrew J. Perlmutter will be moderating a panel discussion with staff from EEOC's Office of Federal Operations on May 10, 2018. The discussion, " Latest Federal Sector Developments at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office of Federal Operations", is sponsored by the American Bar Association, Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, Government Personnel Committee. 

Developments at the MSPB: FY 2017 Annual Report

Developments at the MSPB: On January 19, 2018, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2017. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB's overall case processing in FY 2017.

PASSMAN & KAPLAN SENIOR ASSOCIATE MODERATES PANEL WITH MSPB STAFF

Passman & Kaplan Senior Associate Andrew J. Perlmutter will be moderating a panel discussion with staff from the Merit Systems Protection Board on April 19, 2018. The discussion, "Latest Developments at the Merit Systems Protection Board CY 2017 Year In Review", is sponsored by the American Bar Association, Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, Government Personnel Committee. 

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