A new California law barring companies from retaliating against workers who internally report alleged legal violations is expected to trigger a rise in whistleblower retaliation claims against employers, but lawyers say companies can protect themselves from liability by following through on any complaints and keeping a key adage in mind: Don’t shoot the messenger.
The U.S. Supreme Court pressed attorneys on both sides of an Employee Income Retirement Securities Act suit on Monday about how to establish a clear rule on the deadline for appealing a decision that leaves a contractual request for attorneys' fees unresolved.
A Missouri federal judge on Monday took back a holding that Travelers Indemnity Insurance Co. of America had to indemnify an Arch Coal Inc. unit against lawsuits brought by workers who were injured in a crane accident, agreeing that her initial ruling went too far.
Littler Mendelson PC, the largest management-side labor and employment law firm in the world, is set to merge with a team of 22 attorneys from Puerto Rico's leading law firm Schuster Aguilo in an effort to expand its global footprint, it said Monday.
The Human Rights Campaign on Monday awarded a record 81 law firms a perfect score in its 2014 Corporate Equality Index, which rates companies based on their policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Ruby Tuesday Inc. has agreed to pay $575,000 to settle an age bias lawsuit in which the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accused several of the chain's restaurants of discriminating against applicants over 40, according to court documents filed Monday in Pennsylvania federal court.
A new inspector general's report indicates that federal regulators are relying on whistleblowers and corporate honesty instead of proactive audits to enforce privacy protections covering sensitive health information, suggesting many companies are getting a free pass on shoddy compliance, experts say.
Skadden Arps Meagher Slate & Flom LLP on Friday asked a New York federal judge to toss a putative collective action accusing the firm of violating federal labor law by denying overtime pay to lawyers hired on a temporary basis for document review work.
The Federal Circuit on Monday revived a military veteran's widow's claim for survivor benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, finding that the withdrawal of the woman's attorney prior to a filing deadline for an appeal could form a basis for equitable tolling.
A leading machinists union urged Congress on Monday to slow the government's rush to adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement union leaders say is being brokered through back-room negotiations and could lead to a massive loss of American jobs.
An attorney has sued Livingston, N.J.-based Braff Harris and Sukoneck for alleged pregnancy discrimination, claiming the civil defense firm praised her work but then unceremoniously dumped her after she announced she was having a child.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to let an attorney representing all 45 Senate Republicans participate in oral arguments in the National Labor Relations Board's appeal of the D.C. Circuit's invalidation of the president's recess appointments to the board.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Friday clarified standards for admitting expert testimony in product liability cases in a precedential decision upholding a victory by a Dow Chemical Co. unit over allegations that a contract employee developed brain cancer from exposure to toxic chemicals.
A group of doctors who previously worked at the Weill Cornell Residency Program pushed back Friday against a hospital's bid to toss their class action, saying administrators should not be able to escape a decade-old fraud that robbed the doctors of millions in Federal Insurance Contributions Act, or FICA, tax refunds.
The First Circuit on Friday tossed a whistleblower’s closely watched False Claims Act suit accusing Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. of defrauding Medicare by concealing drug risks, finding insufficient specifics but declining to endorse a district court’s ruling that such misconduct could never support FCA liability.
Contractors who perform building maintenance for California oil refineries sued Thursday to block a recently passed safety law that they claim is actually aimed at shifting work to members of particular unions, saying the statute is unconstitutional and preempted by federal law.
Barnes & Noble Inc. told investors Thursday that it is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its accounting, including an employee’s allegation that the company improperly reported some of its information technology expenses.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shares a “high degree of culpability” for evidence being discarded by a worker Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP allegedly fired after cancer treatment left her disabled, Womble Carlyle said, urging a North Carolina federal court to impose sanctions.
One of the authors of a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce report calling for an overhaul of the False Claims Act on Friday defended the report’s reform proposals, despite claims from a whistleblowers’ advocate that the act was an effective anti-fraud tool that did not need revision.
National Labor Relations Board member Nancy Schiffer should step away from a long-running legal battle over whether Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Point Park University faculty members can unionize because of her previous employment as an AFL-CIO attorney, the school told the NLRB last week.
The U.S. Supreme Court will have no shortage of issues to address concerning the rights of religious for-profit corporations in Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties Inc. v. Sebelius. Their answers will likely fracture the court — as they have the federal appellate courts — and could potentially lead to surprising results, say Darren Nadel and William Trachman at Littler Mendelson PC.
In light of the proposed e-discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, businesses need to set themselves up to efficiently respond to discovery and requests for information from their counsel by implementing and following document-control policies as part of normal business practices. The failure to do so will eventually consume vast amounts of employee time, say Steven Cvitanovic and Colin Murphy of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.
While some fear the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would bring an uptick in discrimination-related litigation, companies such as Apple, Accenture, Bank of America, Capital One, Citigroup, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and many others have expressed support for the proposed law, says Katharine Parker of Proskauer Rose LLP.
Every appellate court to consider the issue has now rejected the National Labor Relations Board’s anti-arbitration position in D.R. Horton as out of step with the Federal Arbitration Act and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision interpreting the statute in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion. And that growing consensus is a positive development for employers and employees alike, say Archis Parasharami and Scott Noveck of Mayer Brown LLP.
While the sheer volume of tips received this year underscores the impact the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission whistleblower program has had on enforcement activities in its second year of operation, the continuing pattern of diversity among whistleblowers is also noteworthy. Any concerns about the commission’s ability to adequately publicize the program have seemingly been laid to rest, says Steven Goldschmidt of Ropes & Gray LLP.
While the Obama administration delayed the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act until next year, employers will soon have to determine whether an employee is classified as full-time and is therefore eligible for coverage — which may lead to staffing decisions that could expose them to liability. Remember, section 510 of ERISA generally prohibits interfering with employee benefits, say Adam Solander and Kara Maciel of Epstein Becker Green PC.
The European Commission’s recent proposal to establish a common definition of "trade secrets" and set of remedies in all 28 EU members states is likely to increase confidence that this element of intellectual property policy can be addressed effectively in the trade agreement currently in negotiation between the EU and U.S., say Jan-Diederik Lindemans and Mark Klapow of Crowell & Moring LLP.
Regarding the petition for certiorari in Dudenhoefer v. Fifth Third Bancorp, the solicitor general recently opined that only the presumption of prudence regarding employer stock being a proper legal standard for evaluating breach of fiduciary duty claims warrants the U.S. Supreme Court's review. Although presumably the high court will show deference to the solicitor general’s opinion, the high court should do just the opposite, say H. Douglas Hinson and Emily Costin of Alston & Bird LLP.
If it’s the holiday season — a time for charity and good deeds — it must also be the time for nonprofit scandals, mismanaged money and outright fraud. The United Way of America and Progressive Policy Institute cases offer many lessons that boards of charities should take to heart, says Terry Lenzner of Investigative Group International.
Two recent decisions in the Fifth Circuit and the Federal Circuit involving Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. dealt with vicarious liability under the Anti-Kickback Act for subcontractor kickbacks accepted by KBR’s employees. Both decisions are flawed, but they should alert contractors to a serious need to revisit ethics and compliance programs to address kickback situations, says John Pachter of Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC.