Illinois: Transgender Locker Room Policy Eludes School District Facing Government Sanctions Under Title IX
Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2015
Breaking News: Refusing to Allow an Employee to Rescind His Or Her Voluntary Resignation Can Get You Sued
Here is the scenario. Your employee decides to voluntarily resign. She gives plenty of notice. Before her scheduled end date, the employee provides information relevant to a sexual harassment investigation involving her supervisor. Before the scheduled end date, the employee tries to rescind her employment. The supervisor refuses. Here’s the question: Is the refusal to allow the employee the opportunity to rescind her resignation an “adverse employment action” for purposes of a retaliation claim?
It could be, at least according to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. A similar scenario played out in Porter v. Houma Terreboone Housing Authority. According to the court:
“Just as an at-will employer does not have to hire a given employee, an employer does not have to accept a given employee’s rescission. Failing to do so in either case because the employee has engaged in a protected activity is nonetheless an adverse employment action.”
This is something employers need to be aware of. Remember: thoroughly investigate all work place harassment claims. Also, separate the subject of the investigation from any decisional process regarding the employee’s employment. In a perfect world, the decision-maker would not have any knowledge regarding the employee’s “protected activity.”
© 2015 BARNES & THORNBURG LLP
In late October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with state and local officials investigated an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to food served at a major fast-casual restaurant chain. Much of the underlying information documenting the outbreak has been derived from an advanced laboratory technique called “whole genome sequencing” (WGS). This is a fairly new instrument in the CDC toolbox. WGS reveals the complete DNA make-up of an organism, thereby enabling health officials to better understand variations both within and between potentially pathogenic species. Such information can then be compared with clinical isolates from sick patients, and, if they match, there may be a reliable link established between the illness and the pathogen. This new technique has the potential to define the scope of a foodborne illness outbreak more quickly and ideally will help to prevent additional cases. Traditionally, this analysis has been done via a process known as pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). But PFGE has a shortcoming in that it is unable to differentiate between related species of organisms, which can be critical when health officials are trying to delineate the specific source of the outbreak, and want to know whether to recall a product or not.
The FDA cites numerous examples of how it has used WGS: 1
To differentiate sources of contamination, even within the same outbreak;
To determine which ingredient in a multi-ingredient food harbored the pathogen associated with an illness outbreak;
To narrow the search for the source of a contaminated ingredient;
As a clue to the possible source of illnesses; and
To determine unexpected vectors for food contamination.
The use of techniques such as WGS reflects FDA’s shift toward a broader preventative-centric approach to food safety. This approach can be associated the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law on January 4, 2011, which requires comprehensive, science-based preventive controls across the food supply.2 FSMA provides the FDA with new enforcement authorities designed to achieve higher rates of compliance with prevention-based and risk-based food safety standards, and to better respond to and contain problems when they do occur. Lastly, the law also gives the FDA important new tools to hold imported foods to the same standards as domestic foods and directs FDA to build an integrated national food safety system in partnership with state and local authorities.
WGS also has been employed in the context of recent illness outbreaks associated with products regulated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which oversees the safety of meat and poultry. In some circumstances involving FSIS, the regulated industry has found itself on the receiving end of confusing scientific input, as regulatory recommendations based upon PFGE analysis were subsequently negated by WGS data.
A shift to WGS may allow health officials to more quickly and more precisely connect the dots during an outbreak, and use of this tool may also benefit the regulated community. The enhanced precision of WGS may provide the regulated community with a new ability to prevent being falsely labeled as the source of the outbreak. Under the prior testing regime, PFGE tests were often unable to differentiate between related species of organisms, and as a result, regulators were at times forced to cast an overly wide net to capture the source of an outbreak. The new WGS technique provides authorities with a more precise and accurate tool. But, as circumstances with FSIS suggest, companies may also encounter confusion over growing pains associated with the movement from one generation of technology to another. We will continue to monitor the development and use of new tools and techniques the FDA, FSIS, and other federal agencies are using to prevent and respond to food safety issues.
1 Food and Drug Administration, Examples of How FDA Has Used Whole Genome Sequencing of Foodborne Pathogens For Regulatory Purposes, (last visited Nov. 9, 2015).
2 FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act, Pub. L. No. 111-353, 124 Stat. 3885 (2001).
Landing pages — dedicated web pages that a visitor to your website, blog, social media post or e-newsletter is guided to after clicking on a link — are critical when it comes to converting those visitors into qualified leads.
If you have been directing traffic to the home page of your website, you are missing a big opportunity to capture more leads. Landing pages have been proven to more than double conversion rates when compared with website home pages. This is because they are created specifically for converting leads, featuring specialized content and offers that appeal to a targeted audience.
To make your landing pages pay, you need to know the basics about how to create a highly effective landing page. Here are 10 steps you need to take in developing landing pages for your law firm:
Have a singular goal. You want your landing page to do just one job for you — get the visitor to download that free report, sign up for a seminar, subscribe to your newsletter, etc. Don’t clutter them up with multiple offers. One page. One job.
Use a single, relevant visual. Choose an illustration or photo that is relevant to your offer.
No false endorsements. Don’t create false endorsements for your offer. Avoid cheesy endorsement copy that turns visitors off.
Use simple design. Keep your design simple with minimal, impactful copy that consists of a headline, subhead and bullet points that make the content easy to scan.
Quick load. Be sure your landing page loads quickly; you only have a few seconds for it to pop up or your visitor will lose interest and click off.
Compelling copy. The worse thing you can do is bore your visitor. Your copy needs to be readable, believable and lead the visitor quickly to your ultimate goal.
Eyes on the prize. Write and design your land page with your singular goal in mind. Do not clutter the content with irrelevant prose.
Inform and educate. Don’t waste the visitor’s time by not delivering anything of benefit. And don’t ask for too much information — a name and an email address should be sufficient.
Be truthful. If you have actual testimonials that would be appropriate, use them but be sure you are not making any false promises or guarantees.
Provide value. Make it clear what the value and benefits of redeeming your offer will provide to your visitor. If they are entrusting you with their information, you need to let them know it is a fair exchange for what you are providing with the offer.
© The Rainmaker Institute, All Rights Reserved