• January 26, 2015

    High Court Pans 'Thumb On The Scale' In M&G Retiree Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in a class action battle between M&G Polymers USA LLC and retirees over the vesting of health care benefits warned courts against putting a "thumb on the scale" when analyzing collective bargaining agreements and will likely lead to a more uniform approach among courts tackling disputes over whether retiree benefits continue after a union contract expires, lawyers say.

  • January 26, 2015

    6th Circ. Says Employers' Bad Info Can Spur FMLA Coverage

    The Sixth Circuit on Monday revived a worker’s claims that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission violated his right to medical leave and retaliated against him for taking it, ruling that there was a question as to whether the agency misled him about his eligibility for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

  • January 26, 2015

    Wal-Mart Gun Appeal Could Unleash Shareholder Fights

    The Third Circuit could open companies up to a flood of shareholder proposals impacting routine business decisions if it rules against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a dispute over its sale of guns, an outcome attorneys say would disrupt three decades of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission guidance.

  • January 26, 2015

    Sam's Club Customers' FCRA Petition Denied By High Court

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday passed on an appeal by Sam's Club customers that sought to revive a proposed class action alleging the company improperly disclosed customer credit card numbers on receipts, a case plaintiffs claimed would resolve a circuit split over the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

  • January 26, 2015

    Target's 'Walk of Shame' Drove Cashier To Suicide, Suit Says

    The mother of a former Target Corp. cashier in California has accused the retailer of causing her son’s suicide after he was allegedly subjected to a handcuffed “walk of shame” in front of co-workers and customers meant for employees suspected of stealing.

  • January 26, 2015

    EPA Mercury Rule Ignores Billions In Costs, Industry Says

    Industry groups last week lobbied the U.S. Supreme Court to scrap the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, arguing the agency improperly ignored the billions of dollars in costs that the regulations will impose on electricity consumers.

  • January 26, 2015

    Saks Flips On Trans Worker Protection In Bias Suit

    Saks Fifth Avenue has dropped its position that federal anti-discrimination law does not cover transgender workers in a Texas lawsuit involving a former associate, saying Monday that it will instead challenge the merits of the employee's specific discrimination claims.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Wants New Ruling In M&G Retiree Benefits Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court vacated a Sixth Circuit decision Monday that left M&G Polymers USA LLC on the hook for a class of retirees' lifetime health care benefits and sent the case back for a lower court to analyze the collective bargaining agreements at issue under ordinary principles of contract law.

  • January 23, 2015

    Saks, EEOC Transgender Cases To Inspire More Worker Suits

    A sex bias suit by a transgender former Saks Fifth Avenue worker and similar litigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are focusing attention on the question of whether the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on gender expression, and lawyers say these cases will likely set off a torrent of new lawsuits by transgender workers.

  • January 23, 2015

    Ala. Federal Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    An Alabama federal judge on Friday struck down the state’s bans on same-sex marriage a week after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether such bans were unconstitutional, making Alabama the 37th state to allow same-sex marriage.

  • January 23, 2015

    Google Ruling Won't End Video Privacy Class Actions

    A New Jersey federal judge's recent dismissal of Video Privacy Protection Act claims against Google Inc. and Viacom Inc. is likely to provide relief to companies that collect information that can't be directly linked to their users, but it won't stop plaintiffs from wielding the privacy statute to go after businesses that take steps to attach an identity to the data they have collected.

  • January 23, 2015

    US Formally Implements WTO Trade Facilitation Pact

    The U.S. government on Friday officially ratified a World Trade Organization agreement to slash customs red tape at ports around the world that experts have estimated could add billions of dollars to the global economy.

  • January 23, 2015

    Financial Trade Groups Push Congress For Data Breach Law

    Financial industry trade groups on Friday pushed Congress for new cybersecurity legislation that would require retailers and other companies to meet the same level of preparedness as banks and set a uniform standard for breach notification and other data security standards.

  • January 23, 2015

    7th Circ. Urged To Revive Neiman Marcus Data Breach Suit

    Several Neiman Marcus Group LLC customers on Friday pressed the Seventh Circuit to resurrect their proposed class action alleging the luxury department store chain’s lax data security led to a 2013 hack that compromised the credit card numbers of 350,000 shoppers, finding a receptive audience to their cause on the appeals panel.

  • January 23, 2015

    EEOC Backs Former Saks Worker's Transgender Bias Suit

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission urged a Texas federal court Thursday to let the agency file an amicus brief in a transgender ex-worker's discrimination suit against Saks & Co. claiming Saks' argument that Title VII doesn't protect “transsexuals” ignores U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

  • January 23, 2015

    Google, Others Renew Push For Digital Privacy Law Reform

    Google Inc., Twitter Inc. and other tech companies, joined by public policy and civil liberties groups, pushed lawmakers on Thursday to strengthen digital privacy laws, urging Congress in a letter to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to better protect personal information stored in the cloud.

  • January 23, 2015

    Inversions Should Be Addressed In Tax Reform, Hatch Says

    Corporate tax reform that moves the country to a territorial system of taxation is the best solution to stemming the flow of companies moving abroad to take advantage of more favorable tax rates, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said Friday.

  • January 22, 2015

    Disney Unlikely To Duck Background Check Suit, Judge Says

    A California judge Thursday tentatively ruled to keep alive a putative class action alleging The Walt Disney Co. violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by using criminal background check reports to make employment decisions without providing copies to applicants, saying the plaintiffs presented sufficient questions of fact.

  • January 22, 2015

    Gov't Fires Back In ACA Subsidies Case At High Court

    The Obama administration late Wednesday delivered a highly anticipated rebuttal in a U.S. Supreme Court case over Affordable Care Act tax credits, arguing that challengers are subverting state sovereignty and the rule of law by trying to curtail consumer subsidies.

  • January 22, 2015

    Dems Cite 'Frivolous' Delays, Tout NLRB Election Rule

    A group of Democratic Senators urged the National Labor Relations Board's chairman Thursday to “vigorously defend” the board's recently finalized rule to streamline the union election process against lawsuits, saying employers have used “frivolous” challenges to delay elections too frequently.

Expert Analysis

  • NJ Independent Contractor Ruling Favors Employees

    Mark E. Tabakman

    Unemployment cases involving independent contractor determinations have shown that the ABC test is one of the toughest for employers trying to prove the absence of an employer-employee relationship. Accordingly, the New Jersey Supreme Court's recent decision in Hargrove v. Sleepy's LLC has decidedly and emphatically increased the coverage and protection of New Jersey wage and hour laws in favor of employees, says Mark Tabakman of F... (continued)

  • White Collar Exemption Changes May Increase Labor Costs

    Michael V. Abcarian

    When the U.S. Department of Labor publishes the specifics of its anticipated changes to the white collar exemption rule in February, it is a virtual certainty the DOL will impose a substantially higher minimum salary for valid application of the Fair Labor Standards Act's administrative, executive and professional exemptions, says Michael Abcarian of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Prepare Now For New Anti-Corruption Program Expectations

    Rex Homme

    The scrutiny surrounding Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance is about to become even sharper with a recent report that the FBI will triple the number of agents dedicated to investigating potential violations. The increased manpower, coupled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s continued investment in data analytics tools, sends a strong message, say members of StoneTurn Group LLP.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • State Of D&O Indemnification Under NY Business Corp. Law

    Joan M. Secofsky

    As recent case law demonstrates, attempts to use the power to indemnify directors and officers as a strategic weapon against minority shareholders may backfire, causing the corporation to pay legal fees for all combatants. Meanwhile, practitioners who believe they understand the New York rules on indemnification may be startled by how much of this area is controlled by statute, say Richard Janvey and Joan Secofsky of Diamond McCarthy LLP.

  • What Legal Departments Can Expect If Buying Into E-Billing

    David Houlihan

    Recent interviews with law departments in eight companies — ranging from $600 million to $70 billion in annual revenue, and spanning the financial services, telecommunications, hospitality, software and discrete manufacturing industries — reveals that e-billing and "spend management solutions" offer some of the clearer business cases for technology investment by an organization’s legal department, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • NLRB Joint Employer Redefinition Threatens Franchises

    Michael J. Lotito

    The impact of the National Labor Relations Board's redefinition of joint-employer status will be substantial and have profound implications across industries and on the franchise business model in particular because the threat of a “joint employer” finding may eliminate the economic benefit of franchising and shift the costs of the new model toward consumers, say attorneys at DLA Piper LLP (US) and Littler Mendelson PC.

  • State Of The Union Sets Stage For Privacy Legislation

    Mauricio Paez

    President Obama used the powerful State of the Union platform to advocate for new privacy legislation previously outlined during the days leading up to the address. The speech may have marked a new phase in the political discourse concerning privacy and cybersecurity, say attorneys with Jones Day.

  • 3 In-House Management Strategies For 2015

    James A. Merklinger

    Bank of America Corp.'s new litigation model boasts 80 percent fixed fees. At United Technologies Corp., 70 percent of legal fees were “alternative” as of 2013. And Caterpillar created a sophisticated “legal lane” strategy to save time and money. Companies looking to work smarter in 2015 should keep in mind that key to these achievements was appointment of a legal department chief operating officer, says James Merklinger of the Ass... (continued)

  • Takeaways From Oral Arguments In Mach Mining V. EEOC

    Gerald L. Maatman Jr.

    On Jan. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Mach Mining LLC v. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which may be one of the most important cases on EEOC litigation issues in years. In practical terms, the future ruling will shape how the EEOC investigates claims, negotiates settlements and prosecutes its lawsuits, says Gerald Maatman Jr. of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.