On January 26th, Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda released the Department of Labor's (DOL) enforcement report for fiscal year 2023, detailing the Department's approach to dealing with employer retaliation, especially in cases where workers lack a private right of action or are bound by arbitration agreements.
The DOL recognizes the significance of combating retaliation, particularly in the context of mandatory arbitration agreements that often favor employers. The Department's use of intervention in instances of retaliation, such as threats of violence, termination, or deportation against workers speaking out against misconduct, is emphasized in the report as well as its strategic use of coercive tools, such as temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions.
Constangy partner, Sasha Thaler, recently spoke to Law360 on the DOL's strategic use of its resources to hold employers accountable for retaliatory behaviors. "It's an agency with limited resources. [There's] only so much a particular investigator or member of the solicitor's office can do," Sasha says. She also emphasizes the DOL's focus on timely enforcement. "It's interesting that they recognize that part of their mission is not just to get relief but to get it promptly."
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Sasha Thaler is a partner out of Constangy's Boston office with nearly two decades of experience advising and defending employers across a variety of industries in matters impacting their workplaces. Her practice includes advising employers on compliance with an array of labor and employment regulations, alternative dispute resolution, and employment litigation. Sasha is a sought-after presenter on topics related to the changing workplace regulatory landscape.