• August 29, 2014

    Exxon Ruling Gives Employers More Leeway In Bonus Plans

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld an Exxon Mobil Corp. plan that stripped a top executive of $5 million in nonvested stock rights when he joined a rival energy firm, paving the way for more employers to use incentive plans to keep top talent in place without running afoul of the state's noncompete laws.

  • August 29, 2014

    Amazon Not Liable For Affiliates' IP Violations: 9th Circ. Inc. is not vicariously liable for copyright infringement based on the conduct of Amazon Associates — participants in the online sales giant’s affiliate-marketing program — who use copyrighted photos without permission on their websites, the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday when affirming a district court decision.

  • August 29, 2014

    Comcast Class Was Rightly Decertified, Appeals Court Says

    A California appeals court on Thursday affirmed a lower court’s decision to decertify a class of technicians in a suit brought against Comcast Corp. for allegedly overworking them and denying them meal and rest breaks, holding that data from a system for measuring the technicians’ time was unreliable.

  • August 29, 2014

    Pressure Grows For Statewide Paid Sick Leave In NJ

    Paid sick leave measures pending in several New Jersey towns are increasing the pressure for a uniform statewide standard, and while a bill poised for consideration in September currently calls for more time off for workers than local proposals do, that could be a tough sell to Gov. Chris Christie.

  • August 29, 2014

    The 5 Most Fearsome EEOC Regional Offices

    Employers should beware of aggressive U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regional offices that are leading the agency's efforts to limit the use of criminal background checks, eradicate pregnancy discrimination and tackle other issues, attorneys say. Here's a look at five EEOC district offices on the leading edge of enforcement efforts.

  • August 28, 2014

    Domino's Case Shields Franchise Parents, Boosts Industry

    The California Supreme Court’s decision Thursday clearing Domino’s Pizza from a sex harassment case by a franchisee’s ex-worker strengthens the popular franchise business model, in which the franchisor imposes a uniform marketing plan while the franchisee handles the day-to-day operations, by making it tougher for franchisee workers to go after corporate parents in employment disputes, experts say.

  • August 28, 2014

    FTC Fires Back At LabMD's Sanctions Bid In Data Security Row

    The Federal Trade Commission has shot back at LabMD Inc.'s push to sanction the agency for its handling of a key piece of evidence in the parties' ongoing data security fight, arguing the request ignores evidence that “amply” demonstrates the company's allegedly lax data safeguards.

  • August 28, 2014

    EEOC Pregnancy Light-Duty View Points Way For Calif. Suits

    While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recent pregnancy discrimination guidance is likely to have more influence on states that lack pregnancy rules as comprehensive as those in California, the guidelines could spur Golden State cases by workers looking to champion the idea that employers already offering light-duty positions make them available to pregnant workers.

  • August 28, 2014

    IRS Delivers Guidance, Forms For ACA Employer Mandate

    The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday released draft forms and guidance instructing employers on how to comply with reporting requirements arising from the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

  • August 28, 2014

    Calif. High Court Rejects Rite Aid's Appeal Of Seating Class

    The California Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to hear an appeal from Rite Aid Corp. seeking to decertify a class of cashiers who allege the retailer had denied them suitable seating during their work shifts.

  • August 28, 2014

    Calif. High Court Clears Domino's In Harassment At Franchise

    The owner of a California Domino’s Pizza franchise was the sole employer responsible for handling a sexual harassment complaint in his store, the California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that shifted liability away from the pizza chain’s corporate headquarters.

  • August 28, 2014

    Calif. High Court Should Back Workers In Seating Row: AARP

    AARP urged the California Supreme Court to back former employees in seating suits against CVS Pharmacy Inc. and JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, saying in an amicus filing submitted Wednesday that the court should accept the workers' proposed interpretation of California's suitable-seating requirement.

  • August 28, 2014

    DOL Take On SOX Getting Fed. Court Deference, Lawyers Say

    Employers will have a tougher time getting Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower claims thrown out because of a string of federal court rulings — including one involving Fannie Mae — that have deferred to the U.S. Department of Labor's worker-friendly Sylvester v. Parexel ruling from 2011, lawyers say.

  • August 28, 2014

    Drone Group Backs Amazon's Bid For Unmanned Test Flights

    An organization representing the U.S. drone industry is throwing its weight behind Inc.'s bid to secure federal authorization to conduct experimental test flights of unmanned aerial vehicles in pursuit of a new delivery service, Prime Air.

  • August 28, 2014

    Vons Settlement Tossed After Clerk Didn't Notify Objectors

    A California appeals court on Wednesday vacated a class action settlement resolving wage-and-hour claims brought by Vons Companies Inc. pharmacists, ruling that a clerk's failure to serve an order to objectors of the deal prevented them from raising concerns about the settlement's fairness.

  • August 27, 2014

    JPMorgan Chase, Several Other Banks Attacked By Hackers

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. and several other banks have reportedly been hit by coordinated hacker attacks this month, prompting a federal investigation, though the significance of the breaches remained unclear.

  • August 27, 2014

    Hulu Looks To Finish Off Privacy Suit Over Facebook 'Likes'

    Hulu LLC moved on Tuesday to toss what remains of a suit brought by a putative class of users unhappy that it is sharing their information with third parties, hitting back at arguments that the presence of Facebook Inc.'s “Like” button violates a federal privacy law.

  • August 27, 2014

    5 Tips For A Transgender-Friendly Workplace

    Though federal legislation banning on-the-job discrimination based on gender identity has so far failed to become law, employers that engage in or turn a blind eye to bias against transgender workers can still get slapped with suits under state laws or Title VII. Here, lawyers identify five tips to help avoid litigation and make the workplace welcoming to transgender employees.

  • August 27, 2014

    Schlumberger Fined, Trade Secrets Suit Against Ex-Atty Gutted

    Schlumberger Ltd. was ordered to pay $600,000 in attorneys' fees and sanctions on Wednesday after a Texas judge threw out the majority of a lawsuit the company had filed accusing its former chief intellectual property lawyer of sharing trade secrets with Acacia Research Group.

  • August 27, 2014

    9th Circ. Says FedEx Drivers Employees, Not Contractors

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday ruled that FedEx Ground misclassified truck drivers in California and Oregon as independent contractors, saying the drivers were employees who could, in turn, pursue class allegations that they were short-changed on benefits and wages.

Expert Analysis

  • Monitoring Employees: How Far Can Employers Go?

    Michael V. Abcarian

    It is increasingly important for employers to know their legal limits when monitoring employee conduct since employees may question the legality of employer's monitoring their off-site conduct, especially when they are off-duty, says Michael Abcarian of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • How To Protect In-House Legal Privilege Internationally

    Martje Verhoeven-de Vries Lentsch

    Many companies regularly communicate with in-house legal advisers all over the globe. Are these communications privileged? By answering five questions, companies and attorneys can perform a high-level, initial assessment of legal privilege protection in a multijurisdictional context, says Martje Verhoeven-de Vries Lentsch of De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • Capital One's Record Settlement May Spur More TCPA Suits

    Lewis S. Wiener

    As with the growing trend of high-dollar settlements that preceded it, Capital One Financial Corp.'s recent $75 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act-related settlement — the largest yet — only makes it more likely that there will be an uptick in such class actions and related individual cases, say attorneys at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • How Did Employers Fare This Supreme Court Term?

    Teeka K. Harrison

    Overall, the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions this term presented some differences from last, when all five of the major decisions impacting labor and employment issues were employer-friendly but they were all 5-4 opinions, says Teeka Harrison of Polsinelli PC.

  • Call And Record Me Maybe: The State Of CIPA Class Actions

    Ryan C. Nier

    The opinion in Young v. Hilton Worldwide Inc. signals a significant shift away from case law trending dangerously toward liability for California companies recording calls for service monitoring, say Ryan Nier and Elizabeth Dorsi of Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Tax-Free REIT Spinoffs Could Be The Next Big Thing

    Thomas A. Humphreys

    Windstream Holdings Inc.’s recent tax-free real estate investment trust spinoff highlights an intriguing option for U.S. corporations — particularly those in the technology, telecommunications or utility sector — as the IRS continues to expand the range of “real estate” assets that can be held by an REIT, say Thomas Humphreys and Matthew Lau of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • New Limits On Employers During Union Organizing Efforts

    Nelson D. Cary

    The National Labor Relations Board's decision in Intertape Polymer regarding employer surveillance will affect future union organizing efforts by restricting employer communications to "ordinary" activity during organizing campaigns, says Nelson Cary of Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP.

  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance — FinCEN Ups The Ante

    Kevin L. Petrasic

    The failure of a financial institution to comply with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's heightened Bank Secrecy Act anti-money laundering compliance expectations may lead to substantial consequences beyond compliance costs or enforcement activity — it may impact the ability of management to carry out strategic corporate initiatives, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Fresenius Opens Door To FCA Tax Breaks

    Lawrence Hill

    Fresenius Medical Care Holdings Inc. v. U.S, recently decided by the First Circuit, opens the door for corporations to seek deductions for the double damages portion of False Claims Act awards in the absence of a tax characterization agreement, say attorneys with Shearman & Sterling LLP.