On Demand Audio

Cutting Edge Retaliation and Whistleblowing Claims and Defenses

(997 reviews)

Produced on June 07, 2018

Taught by
$ 79 Business, Corporate, & Securities In Stock
Get started now

$299 / year - Access to this Course and 1,500+ Lawline courses


Course Information

Time 1h 30m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Business, Corporate, & Securities

Course Description

Retaliation and whistleblowing cases are exploding at the EEOC and in courts. Plaintiffs are winning more than ever before, both at trial and in the courts of appeals. This webcast will cover cutting edge retaliation and whistleblowing issues, such as what constitutes “protected activity” by managers or HR personnel, what employer conduct negates an inference of causation, the “cat’s paw” doctrine in the retaliation context, third-party retaliation, what constitutes unreasonable - and thus, unprotected - opposition, with separate focus on brand new Dodd Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley issues.

In this program, led by attorney Mark Oberti, you’ll also gain an understanding of the so-called “manager’s rule” that often provides a robust defense to employers in retaliation cases where the plaintiff is a manager or HR employee, and about: (1) the circuit split concerning the viability of this rule; and (2) a 2017 circuit court case in which the court found that the rule did not defeat a manager’s FLSA retaliation case. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Dive into the “cat’s paw” doctrine and understand how a circuit court applied it in a 2017 decision
  2. Address several additional cases, including:
    • A 2016 court of appeals case that grappled with an issue of first impression and the surprising way the case could dramatically alter the landscape in retaliation cases
    • A circuit court reversal of summary judgment for an employer in a Title VII retaliation case, holding that the plaintiff deserved a trial, despite having used excessive force on and threatening a child at a juvenile detention facility
    • The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers
  3. How Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowing claims have trended heavily in the plaintiff’s favor over the past five years, get a prediction about whether that trend will continue under the Trump administration, and address additional circuit court cases and how they affect best practices
  4. Identify the critical factors the courts analyze in determine whether or not a plaintiff has set forth a viable retaliation or whistleblowing claim
  5. Discuss the provision in The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 that could give would-be whistleblowers and their lawyers cover to take confidential and trade secrets information on an ex parte, self-help basis from the company, and use it in lawsuits against the company

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Mark Oberti

Oberti Sullivan LLP

Mark is intense and unrelenting. He’s always been that way. When he was 17 years old, Mark graduated from high school early to join the U.S. Army. He served three years in the Army, and was awarded two Army Achievement Medals and the Good Conduct Medal. After that, Mark earned his college degree from Wayne State University in Detroit in less than three years. Then, he attended the University of Houston Law Center, where he graduated in 1994, cum laude, Order of the Coif, and was in the top 10% of his graduating class. Mark is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Mark is a highly effective advocate. His focus is always to get results for his clients. On behalf of employees, Mark has settled many cases for high six-figures and seven-figures. Mark has won more than fifty summary judgments and jury trials for both employees and employers (see Mark's Relevant Texas and Other Employment Law Experience). In 2013, Texas Lawyer magazine named him “Litigator of the Week,” after he won a $2.9 million jury verdict in an age discrimination case. In 2016, he and his partner won a significant jury verdict in an FLSA retaliation case. Mark has also argued and won numerous appeals. In 2017, he argued and won an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in an ERISA severance benefits case, and his client was awarded $255,000.00, plus attorneys’ fees.

Mark’s peers have recognized him for practicing employment law at the highest level of the profession. Based on high feedback from his peers in the Houston legal community, the publication Best Lawyersawarded Mark the honor of 2018 Lawyer of the Year for Houston Litigation - Labor and Employment. Furthermore, every year since 2009 Mark has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, a Thompson Reuters service printed in Texas Monthly. In addition, each year since 2015, the same publication has recognized Mark as a “Top 100 Houston Super Lawyer,” and in 2017 the publication named him a "Top 100 Texas Super Lawyer."

Mark regularly handles claims for race discrimination, retaliation, sex discrimination, sex harassment, age discrimination, disability discrimination (ADA), whistleblower, FLSA (unpaid overtime and minimum wage), Sarbanes-Oxley Act retaliation, Dodd-Frank Act retaliation, trade secrets and covenants not to compete, breach of contract, and many other types of employment law claims. For an overview of Mark's employment law experience click here.

Mark is a prolific speaker on a wide variety of employment law topics. Mark regularly speaks at seminars across the country on retaliation and whistleblowing for a preeminent CLE provider, the National Employment Law Institute. More than 10,000 people have viewed Mark’s on-line employment law classes for Lawline, and given him very high “course ratings.” Mark is also a frequent commentator on employment law issues in The Houston Chronicle, and many of the cases he has handled have been covered by media outlets throughout America.


Valerie Q.

enjoyed the speaker

Scott S.

Great materials

Mark B.

Presenter was superb; presentation was comprehensive.

Elizabeth B.

Excellent presentation.

Job H.

Thanks, very effective.

Joy N.


Laurie Frost W.

Excellent program; could use some updating to 2019.

Elizabeth K.

Excellent presentation

Robert S.

Presenter was excellent.

Georgian P.

Very Interesting topic. Speaker was informative and knowledgeable. Enjoyed the program.

Richard C.

Outstanding comprehensive presentation.

William F.

Quite substantive. The presenter knows his material well.

T. O.

Attorney Olberti spoke most professionally and thoroughly on a subject which is in considerable flux. My thanks to him and to Law Line!

Elizabeth F.

Great job covering a lot of material!

David K.

One of the best.

Donald D.

Best CLE presentation that I have watched in quite a while

Tonya J.

Very good presentation with helpful information.

Gordon P.


Ronetta F.

Great content and delivery; learned a lot.

Miriam B.

The best CLE video I have seen.

William N.

Very informative and up-to date

David W.

Great presentation. Fact packed. Interesting AND important.

Alison C.

Excellent course. Clear presentation and lengthy, substantive written materials.

Albert Noel G.

Great focus and compelling presentation. One of the best in this subject on Lawline.

Greg C.

Highly valuable information. Extremely informative. Well presented

Geraldine R.

This class was very substantive and the delivery was clear.

Jennifer M.


Claude A.

Very Informative!

James S.

Great synopsis of current law in this area.

Bradley S.

Well presented and interesting. Thanks!

Phillip C.

Excellent material

Adrienne P.

Very informative.

Steve S.

Good program

Theodor S.


VaLinda K.

Great job!

Daniel G.

Clear and informative!

John H.

Excellent program. Very informative and deep. A very good course for the experienced practitioner.

Lawrence G.

This guy knew his stuff, avoided fluff.

Tanya J.

Excellent presentation!

Robert S.

Excellent presentation and paper

Peter B.

Covered basic in detail. Well done.

Jennifer F.

Very knowledgeable!

Virginia J.

Lawline really does have the best CLE courses. Great offerings!

James C.

Excellent presentation of cases with very detailed analysis. It is being presented at a high level of practice.

Jordan H.

Mr. Oberti gave an exceptional presentation. I would like to see a course concerning FSMA if he has had an occasion to deal with whistle blower and retaliation claims under that act.

Jeffrey V.

Exceeded expectations; very interesting and educational

Andrew C.

This was a good topic, and it was good to have it go for more than an hour so he could cover it more thoroughly.

Bryan W.

Really good discussion of the case law

Joseph H.

Knowledgeable and excellent speaker

Luann D.

Excellent program. Very informative.

Katie H.

I really appreciate the 1 and 1/2 hour length. 1 hour is usually not enough.

Lisa C.

Very good info.

Ryan M.

Very thorough presentation--thank you!

Load More