Katz Banks Kumin Client Janet Herold Reinstated by Biden Labor Department

The U.S. Department of Labor has reinstated Janet Herold as the chief legal officer for the Western region. This follows Ms. Herold’s termination during the final days of the Trump Administration in retaliation for her whistleblower complaint, which stated that then Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia improperly interfered in a major pay discrimination case against tech giant Oracle.

Ms. Herold is a career civil servant, who is widely known as an aggressive advocate for workers across her eight state region, especially in regards to pay discrimination and wage-and -hour cases.

Prior to her termination, Ms. Herold was lead litigator against Oracle, in which the Department of Labor alleged that Oracle, a federal contractor, systematically discriminated against and underpaid its women, African-American, and Asian-America employees by up to 30%.

After Eugene Scalia was appointed Secretary of Labor, be began to improperly intervene in settlement negotiations, and pushed a settlement number far below what even Oracle admitted as damages, according to Ms. Herold’s complaint. After Ms. Herold objected, Secretary Scalia retaliated by reassigning her to a non-legal post, halfway across the country. When Ms. Herold refused the transfer, Secretary Scalia fired her, despite the Office of Special Counsel, which was investigating Herold's whistleblower case, calling on the Labor Department to take no action until it was able to complete its investigation.

Oracle had been public in its support of the Trump Administration, and Founder Larry Ellison has host a fundraiser for President Trump.

Ms. Herold’s reinstatement is a major victory for workers. In a statement, Ms. Herold said, “I am pleased to be reinstated and am eager to continue my work at the Department of Labor fighting and standing up for workers.”

Alexis Ronickher, one of her attorneys, succinctly described the reinstatement as “a clear vindication of Ms. Herold.”

Read coverage from the New York Times here, Bloomberg here, and Law360 here.