• July 31, 2014

    Contractors Protest Ambiguities In Minimum Wage Proposal

    Contractor advocates are objecting to ambiguous terms in the Department of Labor's proposed minimum wage standards for federal contractor employees, saying that uncertainty about which employees must be covered is particularly worrisome in light of an increased debarment risk for wage violations.

  • July 31, 2014

    Obama's Labor Violation Order May Drive Contractors Away

    President Barack Obama signed an executive order Thursday requiring federal contractors to disclose recent labor violations, putting in place new reporting obligations that attorneys say will raise compliance costs for contractors and could drive some companies to abandon government contract work altogether.

  • July 31, 2014

    WTO Trade Facilitation Pact Derailed As Deadline Lapses

    A World Trade Organization deal aimed at smoothing the flow of global commerce will not be implemented on schedule as negotiators failed to overcome opposition from developing nations aiming to tether the pact to food security initiatives, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said late Thursday.

  • July 31, 2014

    2nd Circ. Says ERISA Doesn't Preempt Insurance Laws

    The Second Circuit on Thursday revived a putative class action seeking to enjoin The Rawlings Co. LLC, Oxford Health Plans Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. from obtaining reimbursement of medical benefits from plaintiffs’ personal injury settlements, finding the claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • July 31, 2014

    Microsoft Must Cough Up Data Stored Overseas, Judge Rules

    A New York federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid by Microsoft Corp. and other major service providers to quash a magistrate judge's ruling that the government can use search warrants to obtain user data stored outside the U.S., concluding that the Stored Communications Act was intended to reach overseas.

  • July 31, 2014

    Target Taps Ex-Pepsi Exec As CEO Amid Post-Breach Woes

    Target Corp. on Thursday named former PepsiCo Inc. executive Brian Cornell as its next chairman and CEO, signaling the start of a new era for the struggling retailer, which is still facing litigation over last year's massive data breach.

  • July 31, 2014

    House Dems Float Bill Making Union Organizing A Civil Right

    Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and John Lewis, D-Ga., on Wednesday unveiled a bill that would treat union organizing as a civil right and offer workers a new avenue for pursuing unfair labor practice allegations in court.

  • July 31, 2014

    Obama Requires Contractors To Disclose Labor Violations

    President Barack Obama signed an executive order Thursday requiring federal contractors to disclose recent labor violations, as well as barring certain contractors from forcing workers to sign arbitration agreements regarding civil rights disputes.

  • July 30, 2014

    Employers To Embrace Arbitration After 3rd Circ. Ruling

    The Third Circuit's ruling that courts, rather than arbitrators, should decide whether classwide arbitration is available when an agreement is silent on that point will encourage some employers that had been on the fence about arbitration to embrace it as a means to counter the surging tide of costly wage-and-hour class actions, lawyers say.

  • July 30, 2014

    Iskanian Employer To Appeal Arbitration Case To High Court

    CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of overturning the prohibition on Private Attorney General Act waivers in Iskanian, a landmark California Supreme Court ruling that generally strengthened enforceability of mandatory class waivers in employment arbitration agreements, the company’s attorney told a state judge Wednesday.

  • July 30, 2014

    Lawmakers Weigh Business-Friendly FCA Reforms

    The House Judiciary Committee debated a business-community wish list for reforms to the False Claims Act, weighing options like requiring whistleblowers to report fraud internally before filing suit or mitigating penalties for companies that invest in government-approved ethics and compliance programs.

  • July 30, 2014

    McDonald's 'Joint Employer' Directive Goes Beyond Fast Food

    The National Labor Relations Board general counsel's treatment of McDonald's Corp. as a "joint employer" alongside its franchisees in dozens of unfair labor practices cases could have far-reaching implications, potentially increasing liability in the restaurant and other franchise-heavy industries and giving unions a leg up in organizing, attorneys say.

  • July 30, 2014

    AT&T Not Liable For Dead Telecommuter's Workers' Comp

    The Supreme Court of New Jersey on Wednesday freed AT&T from a workers’ compensation claim, ruling a widower failed to demonstrate his late wife’s fatal blood clot resulted from extended periods of sitting while working from home for the telecommunications giant.

  • July 30, 2014

    Schlumberger's Ex-GC Wants Fees, Sanctions In IP Spat

    Schlumberger Ltd. could be slapped with a $611,000 attorneys' fees bill plus additional sanctions if a Texas judge decides the oilfield giant’s suit accusing its former intellectual property general counsel of stealing trade secrets lacks merit, according to Tuesday court filings.

  • July 30, 2014

    Court Misused FLSA's Sales-Rep Exception, 6th Circ. Says

    The Sixth Circuit on Wednesday revived a collective action accusing KeHE Distributors LLC of stiffing employees on overtime pay, saying that a lower court was wrong to rule that an exception for outside salesman under the Fair Labor Standards Act applied.

  • July 30, 2014

    4th Circ. Says Noel Canning Kicks Nestle Case Back To NLRB

    The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday sent the National Labor Relations Board's case alleging Nestle Dreyer's Ice Cream Co. had violated federal labor law back to the board for reconsideration in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Noel Canning decision invalidating three NLRB recess appointments.

  • July 30, 2014

    GOP Sens. Filibuster ‘Insourcing’ Tax Credit Bill

    A bill to provide a tax credit for U.S. companies “insourcing” jobs while simultaneously ending a credit that purportedly rewarded outsourcing failed to advance in the U.S. Senate Wednesday, after Republicans filibustered the bill when their proposed amendments were not considered.

  • July 30, 2014

    Class Arbitration A Question For Courts, 3rd Circ. Says

    In a precedential ruling, the Third Circuit determined Wednesday that whether an arbitration agreement permits classwide arbitration is a question for courts — not arbitrators — to decide, siding with Robert Half International Inc. in its challenge to an arbitrator's ruling that its agreements with former staffing managers allowed class proceedings. 

  • July 29, 2014

    NJ High Court Cases Could Limit Whistleblower Protection

    New Jersey employees are protected under whistleblower laws that are among the broadest and most comprehensive in the country, but experts say that distinction could soon change depending on how the state Supreme Court decides two whistleblower cases.

  • July 29, 2014

    New Protections For Part-Time Workers Floated In SF

    A San Francisco supervisor on Tuesday introduced a proposed ordinance that would require retail, hotel, bank and restaurant chains operating in the city to provide more work hours for part-time employees before hiring additional staff members.

Expert Analysis

  • OPINION: Lawyers Should Think In Terms Of Big Data

    James H. Wendell

    The vast majority of civil cases in the United States settle before trial. Knowing how many on a particular topic were filed, how many settled, when they settled, and on what terms clearly would be useful to a lawyer advising a client. Big Data could make it possible — yet this type of research is generally ignored by lawyers, says James Wendell of Riddell Williams PS.

  • The Caremark Standard At Issue In Wal-Mart Bribery Case

    Celia Taylor

    The Delaware Supreme Court could use the ongoing Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW v. Wal-Mart Stores case — related to alleged bribery by Wal-Mart's Mexican affiliate — as an opportunity to revisit and clarify the Caremark standard of corporate board obligations, says Celia Taylor of Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver.

  • Gloves Off, Glasses On: Google Glass In The Workplace

    Khurram Nasir Gore

    To address the privacy risks wearable technologies like Google Glass present, corporate legal departments must develop or revise existing accessible-use policies based on intended use by, for example, restricting third-party applications and recording features, say Khurram Nasir Gore and Frederick Lah of Reed Smith LLP.

  • A New Certainty Under The Germany-US Tax Treaty

    Gotz T. Wiese

    S corporations — and other types of hybrid U.S. companies — can now benefit from the participation exemption provided in the Germany-U.S. tax treaty thanks to a recent judgment from the German Federal Fiscal Court, say Gotz Wiese and Stefan Suss of Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Dukes May Have Doomed Toxic Tort Class Certification

    Peter E. Seley

    Heightened focus on commonality and the other Rule 23 prerequisites post-Dukes has been a tremendous hurdle for toxic tort class action plaintiffs as courts reject classes based on the individual nature of exposure, causation and damages and the insufficiency of expert testimony, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • 4 Termination Considerations Before Signing A Contract

    Susan M. Hartman

    For in-house counsel who are under increasing pressure to "get the deal done" and do more with less, it's important to give due consideration to termination provisions when drafting and negotiating commercial agreements — and there are four questions that shouldn’t be ignored, say Susan Hartman and Emily Lowe of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • Death Rattle For Unfinished Business Claims?

    Angelo G. Savino

    In a departure from Jewel v. Boxer, the decisions in the cases of Thelen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP reflect a shift in the manner by which courts treat trustees’ claims for post-dissolution fees, say Angelo Savino and Julie Moeller Albright of Cozen O'Connor.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Top 10 Venue Arguments

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to the “Heart of America” for its July 31 hearing, this column will take a bit of a detour from its regular format and present a top 10 list of arguments — some strange, yet true — made in support of a particular MDL venue, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Defense Bar Risks Giving Bad Advice About Pregnant Workers

    Joan C. Williams

    A few weeks ago, for the first time in 30 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its guidance on pregnancy discrimination in response to a flood of pregnancy discrimination complaints. What followed was truly weird, says Joan Williams of the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

  • Litigator’s Perspective: 5 Tips On Arbitration Provisions

    Daniel T. McCloskey

    It happens all the time. When a dispute arises, two parties find themselves in arbitration, realizing that they might have had more leverage to dictate the terms of the process when they were negotiating the arbitration provision — but missed the opportunity, says Daniel McCloskey of Duane Morris LLP.