Employment

  • May 28, 2015

    Haynes And Boone Off The Hook In $1.7M Conspiracy Suit

    A Texas state appeals court on Thursday refused to revive a chemical engineer’s suit alleging Haynes and Boone LLP falsely led him to believe an environmental remediation company agreed to pay $1.7 million to settle a qui tam action that he then agreed to dismiss.

  • May 28, 2015

    6th Circ. Affirms Sarbanes-Oxley Violations For Bancorp

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday affirmed a jury’s finding that U.S. Bancorp Investments Inc. violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when it fired a certified financial planner after he complained about a co-worker’s questionable trades.

  • May 28, 2015

    Hartford Urges Calif. Justices To Let It Sue Squire Patton

    Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. told the California Supreme Court Thursday that it should be able to sue Squire Patton Boggs LLP directly to recover some of the $15 million it paid the firm to independently defend a policyholder, asserting that legal precedent and common law permit such an action.

  • May 28, 2015

    NYSDOL Proposes Rules For Reining In Payroll Card Fees

    The New York State Department of Labor on Wednesday published proposed rules for ensuring that workers can choose if they get paid through reloadable payroll cards and that they don’t get saddled with a heavy fee burden if they do make that choice.

  • May 28, 2015

    Company Illegally Fired Pregnant Woman, Judge Rules

    A Texas federal judge has awarded $74,564 to a woman who was fired from her job as a resource technician for a non-profit organization because she became pregnant, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Wednesday.

  • May 28, 2015

    NJ Development Agency Accused Of Firing Whistleblower

    A former finance officer for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority has sued the agency alleging he was ultimately fired for refusing his supervisor's directives to falsify ineligible applications for funding programs and to reject qualified applicants who complained to the agency.

  • May 28, 2015

    9th Circ. Says ERISA Appeal Period Can't End On Weekend

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday revived a former Federal Express Corp. worker’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit seeking long-term benefits, setting precedent that appeals sent on a Monday are still timely when the 180-day pre-suit administrative appeals period ends on a weekend.

  • May 28, 2015

    Workers Win Cert. In Suit Over SEIU Political Expenses

    A California federal judge has granted class certification to a group of nonunion California civil servants challenging the Service Employees International Union's practice of deducting money for political activities from employees' wages unless they annually opt out.

  • May 28, 2015

    Judge Suspicious Of White House Bid To Kill House ACA Suit

    A D.C. federal judge appeared hostile Thursday to the Obama administration's bid to scrap a constitutional lawsuit from House Republicans over allegedly unauthorized Affordable Care Act spending, regularly questioning the U.S. Department of Justice's assertions during oral arguments that the lawmakers lack standing.

  • May 28, 2015

    Chancery Puts Alpha On Hook For Ex-Massey CEO's Atty Fees

    Massey Energy Co.'s parent will have to pay former CEO Don Blankenship's legal expenses as he fights criminal charges over a deadly 2010 mine explosion, now that a Delaware Chancery judge ruled Thursday that an “unusual” undertaking pact does not allow for termination of the executive’s legal cover.

  • May 28, 2015

    Wheelchair Cos. Pay $7.5M To Settle FCA Allegations

    Two power wheelchair suppliers will pay $7.5 million to settle whistleblower False Claims Act allegations that they forged prescriptions for wheelchairs billed to Medicare, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday.

  • May 28, 2015

    Time Warner To Give Subscriber Info In Pilot Union Suit

    An Ohio federal judge on Wednesday ordered Time Warner Cable Inc. to hand information for two of its subscribers over to the pilots union for NetJets Aviation Inc., in the union’s suit accusing NetJets of accessing a confidential union message board.

  • May 28, 2015

    NY Farm Workers Forced To Sleep With Roaches, Suit Says

    The owners of a dairy farm in upstate New York stiffed a proposed class of workers on overtime and minimum wage pay, forced them to sleep among roaches and berated them because of their Hispanic ethnicity, a class action filed in New York federal court on Tuesday alleges.

  • May 27, 2015

    Fitbit Slapped With Trade Secrets Suit Ahead Of IPO

    Ahead of its initial public offering, Fitbit Inc. was hit with a lawsuit on Wednesday in California state court by rival Jawbone, which accused the maker of wearable fitness trackers of poaching employees and stealing trade secrets in order to “decimate” its competitor.

  • May 27, 2015

    Indian Health Service To Pay Workers $80M In FLSA Suit

    Indian Health Service has agreed to pay $80 million to thousands of current and former employees who said the federal agency mislabeled them as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and shorted them overtime pay, a labor union said Wednesday.

  • May 27, 2015

    5 Items To Watch On DOL's Spring 2015 Agenda

    The U.S. Department of Labor's recently released spring 2015 regulatory agenda lays out an ambitious forecast for the agency as the sun sets on President Barack Obama's White House tenure, employment lawyers say, pointing to a blockbuster overtime rule, sex bias guidelines for federal contractors and other regulations employers ought to have on their radar.

  • May 27, 2015

    Pa. Justices Narrow Employer Liability Exclusions

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently brought the commonwealth in line with most other jurisdictions regarding the scope of an employer's liability exclusions by sharply limiting insurers' ability to use a 50-year-old precedent to bar coverage for those sued by an employee of another company insured under a policy.

  • May 27, 2015

    Boss-Related Stress Not A 'Disability,' Calif. Court Says

    A California state appellate court on Tuesday held that an employee's inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress regarding oversight is not a disability under state law, affirming a lower court's dismissal of a wrongful termination and disability discrimination case against Sutter Medical Foundation.

  • May 27, 2015

    EEOC Sues Oilfield Co. After Worker Urinated On By Manager

    A North Dakota oilfield company has been accused of harassing a Filipino former employee based on his race and national origin with a manager allegedly going as far as urinating on the worker, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in North Dakota federal court by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

  • May 27, 2015

    Nurses' Whistleblowing Protected Under FCA, 4th Circ. Says

    The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday resurrected a False Claims Act retaliation suit from two nurses allegedly fired by a U.S. Department of State contractor, finding that quality-of-care concerns expressed by the duo are protected activities under a recent ruling that expanded FCA liability.

Expert Analysis

  • Don’t Let Mental Illness Fly Under Your Workplace Radar

    Dianna D. Bowen

    In high-risk industries such as transportation, education, construction or utilities, employers may decide stricter standards for mentally ill employees they suspect are in crisis will be worth the risk of a discrimination lawsuit if it may prevent a catastrophe, such as a plane crash or school shooting, says Dianna Bowen of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Statistical Analysis And Class Actions: Part 2

    Nathan D. Woods

    There are a number of methodologies with which to conduct more rigorous certification analysis of wage-and-hour class actions and statistically test whether common issues predominate. Among them, multivariate approaches, such as regression analysis, are perhaps the most commonly used, says Nathan Woods of Edgeworth Economics LLC.

  • KBR Ruling Likely To Encourage More FCA Litigation

    Blanca Young

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in KBR Inc. v U.S. gives defendants an important victory on a statute of limitations question and provides much-needed certainty regarding their potential exposure to civil fraud litigation. The court's holding relating to the False Claims Act's first-to-file rule, however, creates substantial uncertainty and may make it more difficult to settle qui tam disputes, says Blanca Young of Mung... (continued)

  • Persuasive Experts At Trial: 3 Times A Charm

    Nancy J Geenen

    Attorneys spend significant hours finding, vetting and legally qualifying subject matter experts who will offer the opinion that supports the client’s “truth.” The expert spends considerable time as well — from research and analysis to issuing the report and defending the opinion at deposition. These pretrial skills do not necessarily translate to persuasive testimony at trial, say Nancy Geenen and Suann Ingle of Suann Ingle Associates LLC.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: The MDL Lexicon

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to Minneapolis, Minnesota — currently home to 10 MDL proceedings — for its post-Memorial Day hearing, this month’s column recaps the March session and explores the “MDL Lexicon,” says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Statistical Analysis And Class Actions: Part 1

    Nathan D. Woods

    Recent legal decisions and commentary follow a growing trend among courts requiring greater scrutiny of class certification topics earlier in judicial proceedings. Under Rule 23 and the Fair Labor Standards Act's "similarly situated" threshold, courts now hesitate to presume commonality within a proposed class or collective action based on a summary result of aggregate effects, says Nathan Woods of Edgeworth Economics LLC.

  • DOL 'Best Interest' Exemption Not The Best Way To Get Sued

    Patrick C. DiCarlo

    The U.S. Department of Labor contends that the proposed best interest contract prohibited transaction exemption would allow consumers to hold fiduciary advisers accountable through a private right of action. It is not such a positive development for those who make a living by providing investment advice to plans governed by ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code, say Patrick DiCarlo and Elizabeth Wilson Vaughan of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • The More Important Part Of High Court's KBR Ruling

    R. Scott Oswald

    While defendants have grabbed media attention with a victory on the wartime rule question in KBR Inc. v. U.S., Justice Samuel Alito's common-sense interpretation of the False Claims Act “first-to-file” rule is the true headline, and will affect FCA practice across a large swath of the country, says R. Scott Oswald of The Employment Law Group PC.

  • Insurance Risks Surrounding Legal Cannabis

    John G. Nevius

    For companies engaged directly in cannabis-related business, the starting point in this nascent industry is identifying the risks and rewards present. Identifying these risks, particularly for employees, doctors and dispensaries, can be difficult when insurance laws dramatically vary among the states, says John Nevius of Anderson Kill PC.

  • NY Handicap Icon May Empower Plaintiffs Under ADA

    John W. Egan

    The symbolism underlying the design of the "accessible" icon that New York adopted is unquestionably positive. However, it has created uncertainty for public accommodations that must comply with both federal and state law and may be fodder for opportunistic plaintiffs' attorneys who intend to file accessibility claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act in the future, says John Egan of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.