BLOG: "Constructive Demotion" Claim Under Title VII Gains Traction in 4th Circuit District Courts

March 11, 2020
By Paul W. Mengel III
While the viability of a claim of "constructive demotion" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) has yet to be determined by the Fourth Circuit, a series of cases in district courts within the Circuit suggest that such might not be the case for long. In one such recent case, Judge Conrad of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia denied a defendant truck driver training company's motion to dismiss a constructive demotion claim brought by a female instructor. Diana Salmons, the plaintiff in Salmons v. Commercial Driver Services, Inc., Case No. 7:19-cv-00532, claimed she was subjected to a pervasive pattern of sexual harassment at the hands of her male counterparts and, as a result, she brought a five-count complaint alleging sexual harassment, hostile work environment, discriminatory and retaliatory constructive demotion and constructive discharge, and sex-based wage discrimination, in violation of Title VII. Employers should be aware of the increased number of constructive demotion cases and the courts' rulings on these matters, as well as conduct regular sexual harassment training to prevent this sort of behavior from occurring in the workplace.

BLOG: Purchase Agreement Components, Part 1: Options for Forms of Purchase Price Consideration in Acquisition Agreements

March 10, 2020
By Francis G. Massaro
Whenever parties enter into negotiations to buy and sell a target company, one of the first points of discussion is the purchase price. In particular, the purchase price discussion often reflects the amount of cash that will be paid by the buyer to the seller at closing, and, in fact, nearly all acquisitions involve cash as all or part of the purchase price consideration. However, a cash payment at closing is not the only type of consideration that is common in acquisition agreements, and other forms of consideration and the timing of their payment to the seller can help parties manage the risks associated with the acquisition and create incentives for continued cooperation between the parties. This blog, Part 1 in a 5-part series, will provide a brief overview of forms of consideration and the timing of their payment common in acquisition agreements.

BLOG: The Service Contract Right of First Refusal Rules Continue to Fall Away

February 26, 2020
By Jason A. Blindauer
On January 31, 2020, the Federal Register announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the service contractor "right of first refusal" regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 9. This was done to implement the President's October 31, 2019 revocation of the 2009 Executive Order No. 13,495, Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts (Nondisplacement Rules). DOL's move was primarily administrative in nature, given that the President's revocation order commanded Executive Agencies to stop enforcing the rules.

BLOG: JEDI Protest Update: Pentagon Relies on Blue & Gold Fleet to Do Away with AWS's Allegations of Bias

February 26, 2020
By Lauren Brier
Oftentimes, a decision not to file a pre-award protest can leave an unsuccessful offeror without an opportunity to be heard at the Court of Federal Claims (COFC). However, the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the JEDI Contract and the Trump Administration's ongoing, publicized aversion to Amazon could save Amazon Web Service's (AWS) bias allegations against the Pentagon from an early dismissal.

BLOG: DOJ Inside Access Highlights 4 Things to Expect from the False Claims Act in 2020

February 25, 2020
By Camilla J. Hundley
Several weeks ago, my colleague Matt Feinberg highlighted "4 Issues That Defined the False Claims Act (FCA) in 2019" and made predictions about anticipated FCA trends for 2020. At the recent 2020 Advanced Forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement, Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Associate Attorney General Stephen Cox (AG Cox) offered inside access to DOJ's prospective priorities in enforcing and reforming the FCA for 2020. Below, we review the DOJ's resolutions, which allow us to better anticipate and understand issues government contractors may face under the FCA moving forward.
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