Client Alerts

Client Alerts

July 2016

CLIENT ALERT: Digital Geocaching and Nuclear Security

Pokemon Go is sweeping the world and is creating a myriad of safety and security issues.  Conner & Winters attorney Donn Meindertsma, who specializes in nuclear power plant whistle-blower defense, wrote an update about this for the nuclear industry.  The information is relevant for businesses of all types.  Click here to read the alert.


May 2016

CLIENT ALERT: DHHS Issues Final Rule Prohibiting Discrimination by Health Care Providers That Receive Medicare or Medicaid Funds

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule prohibiting entities that are reimbursed by Medicare or Medicaid from discriminating against an individual in the provision of or access to health services or health insurance coverage on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.  Click here to read the alert.


CLIENT ALERT: DOL Issues Final Rule Limiting Application of “White Collar” Overtime Exemptions

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division issued its long-anticipated final rule updating its standards for application of the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions to the overtime rules established by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).   Click here to read the alert.


CLIENT ALERT: Employment Law Impacts of Federal Trade Secret Law Amendments

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), recently signed into law by President Obama, broadens options that companies have to sue for the misappropriation of trade secrets. The DTSA adds provisions relating to potential trade secret misappropriation that will be of interest to employers.  Click here to read the alert.


March 2016

CLIENT ALERT: PATH Act and provisions applicable to church retirement and welfare benefit plans

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH Act”) into law. Section 336 of the PATH Act contains important provisions applicable to church retirement and welfare benefit plans. The language in section 336 is identical to that of the Church Plan Clarification Act of 2015 introduced in the United States Senate (S. 2308) and House of Representatives (H.R. 4085) in November of 2015.  Click here to read the alert.


February 2016

EMPLOYMENT ALERT: DOL Issues new Guidance Expanding Joint Employer Liability under FLSA

On January 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division issued new guidance for assessing joint employment status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.  Read More


December 2015

CLIENT ALERT: New Support for Tribal Sovereignty and Rejection of a Bid to Expand Suits Against Tribal Offices

A new federal decision reaffirms the right of Indian tribes to regulate Class II gaming, and also rejects an effort by the attorney general of Kansas to expand the legal grounds on which states may sue tribal officers to enjoin activities on Indian lands.  Read more


June 2015

CLIENT ALERT: Sac and Fox Nation and Sons of Jim Thorpe Continue Legal Effort to Repatriate His Remains

The Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma and the sons of Jim Thorpe have taken their longstanding fight to
repatriate the legendary athlete’s remains to the United States Supreme Court.  On Tuesday, the tribe and Jim Thorpe’s two surviving sons, Richard Thorpe and William Thorpe, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to uphold a United States district judge’s ruling that the
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act-known as “NAGPRA”-required a small town in
Pennsylvania to participate in a repatriation proceeding. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the federal district court’s ruling in October 2014 on the basis of a legal doctrine not recognized by the Supreme Court for decades. Read more


April 2015

CLIENT ALERT: Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Decision Interpreting the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act Require Employers to Change their Employment Practices?

The law has been in flux regarding the obligation of an employer has to offer the same accommodations for pregnancy that are available to other workers with medical restrictions.  If company policy affords light duty to a worker injured “on the job,” for example, must light duty also be available to a worker whose pregnancy imposes similar physical limitations? Or, if a worker receives an ADA accommodation, must the same accommodation be available to a non-disabled but pregnant employee? Read more


April 2015

CLIENT ALERT: SEC Announces First Whistleblower Enforcement Action Involving Restrictive Language in Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced its “first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements with the potential to stifle the whistleblowing process,” according to a recent SEC press release. Read more


September 2014

CLIENT ALERT:  Recent OSHA Rule Change Expands Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently announced a final rule significantly changing the requirements for employers to notify OSHA of workplace fatalities and injuries resulting in hospitalization. Read more


JULY 2013

CLIENT ALERT: DOMA Ruling Profoundly Impacts Employee Benefits Plans

On June 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States (the “Court”), announced two decisions affecting same-sex marriages.  One case, United States v. Windsor, is expected to have a substantial impact on most employee benefits plans and many other programs maintained by employers.  Read more


January 2012

WHISTLEBLOWER ALERT: OSHA Awards Fired Pilot One Million Dollars, Reinstatement

OSHA has issued a significant Order under AIR21 finding that AirTran Airways illegally fired one of its pilots.  The OSHA order requires AirTran to reinstate the pilot.  In addition to reinstatement, the Order awards more than one million dollars in damages, mostly comprising backpay – compensating the pilot for lost wages going back to the date of his discharge – but also including emotional distress damages.  Read More


December 2011

Nuclear Safety Culture Alert
Hanford Nuclear Safety Culture on the Upswing? Read More

November 2011

Nuclear Employer Alert
A former contract electrician at TVA’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant was recently sentenced by a federal judge in Tennessee for the falsification of records relating to electrical cables.  Read more

November 2011

Nuclear Employer Alert

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a claim by a former security officer at Indian Point. The plaintiff, Tepperwien, alleged that one of his firearms training instructors verbally and physically propositioned and harassed him, in violation of Title VII, and that he was retaliated against for reporting the harassment, including to the NRC and to the Employee Concerns Program (ECP). Tepperwien ultimately resigned and sued for harassment and retaliation/constructive discharge. Read more


October 2011


The Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board held last week that the termination of an employee for disclosing confidential corporate information may be unlawful.  Read more


September 2011

CLIENT ALERT:  NLRB Issues Final Rule Requiring Notification to Employees of Union Rights

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a final rule which will require private sector employers to post notices advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  The rule applies equally to both union and non-union employers since the NLRA protects the right of all employees to form, join or assist labor unions and to bargain collectively over the terms and conditions of their employment.  The rule will become enforceable beginning on November 14, 2011.  The NLRB anticipates copies of the final notice will be available on its website ( by November 1, 2011.  Read More


August 2011

NRC, Entergy devise plan to address fleet culture in light of apparent discrimination violations
Read Complete Alert


August 2011

On August 18, NRC issued inspection procedure 93100
Read complete alert


July 2011

AIR 21 Protects Pilot’s Equipment Operability Concern Even Though Maintenance Was Deferrable Per MEL

In a recent decision by the DOL’s Administrative Review Board (ARB), the central issue was whether a Comair pilot’s refusal to fly an aircraft because a system was inoperable was protected – even though maintenance on the system could properly be deferred per the Minimum Equipment List (MEL).  Read More


July 2011

Recent Ruling by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Is Favorable for Employer in AIR21 Case

Employer fired employee because he was “loud, angry,… looming and intimidating,” Not Because He Reported Aviation Safety Concerns.  Read More


June 2011

EMPLOYMENT ALERT: NLRB Proposes Union-Friendly Amendments to Election Rules

On June 22, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register.  The Notice proposes significant amendments to existing rules and regulations governing the Board’s procedures in cases involving union representation elections.  Read More


May 2011

Employers Favored in New Oklahoma Drug and Alcohol Testing Law Amendment

On May 9, 2011, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin approved a bill that makes substantial changes to workplace drug and alcohol testing programs.  The bill amends Oklahoma’s Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act and is effective November 1, 2011.  The amendment provides clarification for some types of testing and removes several requirements that are in the current Act.  Read More

May/June 2010

Whistleblower News


Jan./Feb. 2010

Whistleblower News


November 19, 2009

SONGS Managers File Retaliation Complaints, Cite Plant Culture


November 18, 2009

Law Restricts Employers’ Possession and Use of Employees’ Genetic Information


November 16, 2009

Airline Flight Crew FMLA Amendments Advance


October 29, 2009

Employment Alert


October 22, 2009

The Interactive Internet: Are Your Corporate and Employment Policies Twitter-Resistant?


September 29, 2009

Browns Ferry Contract Worker Wins Nuclear Whistleblower Case


September 18, 2009

D.C. Court of Appeals Extends Reach of Discrimination, Retaliation Prohibitions


September 10, 2009

E-Verify For Federal Contractors Now In Effect


September 4, 2009

The Case of the Purloined HR Records: Is Pilfering of Corporate Documents Protected Activity?


February 25, 2009

Economic Stimulus Package Includes Major Changes to Cobra Administration


January 29, 2009

What Today’s “Ledbetter” Law Does


June 16, 2008

The New E-Verify Requirements for Federal Contractors


June 6, 2008

Challenging H.B. 1804: What the Recent Injunction Means for Oklahoma Employers


May 28th, 2008

The Impact of Kadlec: What the Recent Appellate Opinion Means for Oklahoma Hospitals


March 27th, 2008

New D.C. Paid Sick Leave Law


February 5th, 2008

Whistleblower Protections Expand for Defense Contractor Employees


February 1st, 2008

Signing of NDAA Amends FMLA and Permits Leave for Soldiers’ Family Members