Employment

  • June 30, 2015

    Final OT Rule May Go Beyond Salary Hike, Lawyers Say

    The U.S. Department of Labor's newly proposed rule to expand overtime pay protections won plaudits from worker advocates, but some management-side lawyers warned that the final version could contain changes to the duties tests for overtime eligibility that weren't pitched when the proposal was unveiled Tuesday.

  • June 30, 2015

    Citing Tibble, 11th Circ. Revives SunTrust ERISA Suit

    The Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday revived two putative class actions accusing SunTrust Banks Inc. of unfairly compromising its employees' retirement plans by allegedly selecting poorly performing mutual funds managed by its own affiliates in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Tibble ruling.

  • June 30, 2015

    Fort Dix Contractors Sentenced In Bribery, Extortion Case

    Two Pennsylvania construction company officials were sentenced Tuesday on federal charges concerning employee extortion in connection with a project at the New Jersey military base formerly known as Fort Dix as well as a bribery scheme to secure federally subsidized construction work, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

  • June 30, 2015

    Tech Cos. Agree To Pay $75.5M To Settle FCA Claims

    Two technology companies will pay $75.5 million to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act by charging the government more for software and related products than what private customers paid, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday.

  • June 30, 2015

    H-2B Worker Class Settles Wage Suit With Carnival Co.

    A New Hampshire-based carnival company accused of underpaying employees and forcing them to pay expenses related to H-2B visas has reached a $900,000 settlement with the workers, according to court documents filed in Massachusetts federal court on Tuesday.

  • June 30, 2015

    Pa. House OKs Pension Reform Bill Promising $10B Savings

    A Republican-led effort to overhaul public employee pensions cleared the Pennsylvania state House on Tuesday, with backers claiming the bill is key to dealing with a $53 billion shortfall and opponents questioning the reality of savings and the constitutionality of the measure.

  • June 30, 2015

    US Demands Up To $3.35B From Novartis In FCA Suit

    The government is seeking up to $3.35 billion in a False Claims Act suit accusing Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp. of paying illegal kickbacks to pharmacies to recommend iron-reduction drug Exjade and transplant drug Myfortic, according to filings in New York federal court.

  • June 30, 2015

    $1B Uber Trade Secret Row Should Be Remanded, Court Told

    A California federal judge was urged Monday to remand a $1 billion suit accusing Uber Technologies Inc. of stealing technology to create the popular service, with the owner of Celluride Wireless Inc. saying it is a straightforward state law contract and trade secrets suit.

  • June 30, 2015

    Benihana's Haru Accused Of Bias Against Hispanic Workers

    A Hispanic worker for the Benihana Inc.-owned Haru restaurant chain filed a putative class action against the company Monday in New York federal court, claiming it discriminates against its Hispanic employees, mostly bussers and runners, by denying them promotions and creating a “racially charged and hostile workplace.”

  • June 30, 2015

    Arnstein & Lehr, Ex-Secretary Resolve Harassment Suit

    Following a stipulation from the parties, a Florida federal court on Tuesday dismissed a former secretary's lawsuit against Arnstein & Lehr LLP that claimed the law firm discriminated and retaliated against her after she contributed information against a partner in a harassment investigation.

  • June 30, 2015

    Blue Cross Can't Block New Trial In $26M Contract Suit

    A jury that cleared Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana in a $26 million breach of contract suit received improper instructions that held a medical equipment supplier and surgery staff provider to an unfair standard, a Texas federal judge ruled Tuesday, granting a new trial.

  • June 30, 2015

    NCAA Slams College Basketball Coach's Suit Over Firing

    The National Collegiate Athletic Association told a New Jersey federal court that a former women's basketball coach at Kean University who says investigations by the NCAA resulted in a hostile work environment and violated her right to equal protection has not stated a viable claim and is wasting the court’s time, asking it to dismiss the suit.

  • June 30, 2015

    AIG Presses Court To Trim Office Depot FCA Coverage Suit

    AIG Specialty Insurance Co. shot back at Office Depot Inc. in a suit by the retailer seeking coverage for a whistleblower action, telling a California federal court on Monday that, contrary to the company's argument, state insurance law bars coverage for negligent misrepresentations.

  • June 30, 2015

    Judge Won't Recuse Himself In Soap Opera Employment Spat

    A California federal judge on Monday said that he would not recuse himself from a retaliation suit filed by a former star of the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” against her employers, finding that a Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. executive with whom he has a relationship has no involvement in the case.

  • June 30, 2015

    Anapol Schwartz Pushes For Sanctions Win Against Ex-Atty

    Anapol Schwartz on Monday redoubled its efforts to have the gay former attorney who lost a state court employment lawsuit against the firm sanctioned for making inconsistent statements over the course of the litigation while also hitting back at the attorney’s own sanctions bid.

  • June 30, 2015

    High Court To Hear Calif. Teachers' Union Fee Challenge

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to revisit its 1977 Abood ruling, which gave states approval to require public workers to pay union agency fees, granting a request for review by a group of California teachers challenging the precedent and validity of so-called agency shop fees.

  • June 30, 2015

    Labor Department Unveils Massive Overtime Expansion Plan

    The U.S. Department of Labor unveiled a proposed rule Tuesday that would broaden federal overtime pay regulations to cover nearly 5 million more people and raise the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act's “white collar” exemption to $50,440 per year.

  • June 29, 2015

    WWE Sues Dynamite Kid, Others To Block Brain-Injury Claims

    World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. on Monday launched a Connecticut federal suit trying to block Dynamite Kid, Black Jack Mulligan and other wrestlers who used to work for the company from filing claims alleging traumatic brain injuries.

  • June 29, 2015

    Small Biz Group Urges Repeal Of IRS Health Care Rule

    The National Federation of Independent Business on Monday lashed out at the IRS over a “schizophrenic” rule that penalizes small businesses that choose to compensate employees for health care-related expenses rather than provide group health insurance, throwing its weight behind repeal efforts in Congress.

  • June 29, 2015

    High Court Declines American Eagle Pilots' Seniority Suit

    The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a class action in which two pilots for American Airlines Inc.’s regional carrier allege that an arbitration agreement reached after the company acquired Trans World Airlines unfairly gave seniority to that company’s pilots.

Expert Analysis

  • The Sharing Economy's Next Phase: The Active Venue Firm

    Michael A. Troncoso

    Grocery delivery startup Instacart’s new worker classification approach reflects an emerging trend in how the sharing economy navigates its central dilemma — ensuring flexibility and freedom for its workforce, while maintaining quality and safety. More sharing economy firms are likely to use Instacart’s approach — becoming what I call an "active venue firm" — especially for services that are complex, sensitive or require intensive ... (continued)

  • Citizen-Employee Speech After Lane V. Franks

    Kyle D. Winnick

    Lower court decisions are in disagreement as to what extent, if at all, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Lane v. Franks qualified Garcetti v. Ceballos' central holding that only public employees' "citizen speech" is protected. Because courts characterize job responsibilities differently, their definitions of employee and citizen speech vary, says Kyle Winnick of Maduegbuna Cooper LLP.

  • The Truth About Variable Annuities

    Rhett Owens

    It seems there is no more vehemently decried investment product than the variable annuity. But the truth is that variable annuities can form part of a balanced, effective portfolio if you avoid the red flags that can spawn annuity-related litigation, says Rhett Owens of Burr & Forman LLP.

  • Inside New ITAR Rules For US Defense Service Providers

    Tamer A. Soliman

    The U.S. Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has released a proposed rule amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations with respect to the provision of defense services by U.S. persons working for non-U.S. entities. U.S. employees of unaffiliated non-U.S. companies are disproportionately impacted by this proposed rule, but the rule does not provide a practical path to compliance for such companies, s... (continued)

  • New DOL Overtime Pay Rules Are Coming Soon

    Andrew P. Sherrod

    Though we don't yet know the Obama administration's proposed changes to the U.S. Department of Labor's overtime pay rules — which are due any day now — a meaningful increase in the salary threshold for the white collar exemptions will almost certainly be among the expected revisions and will likely impact managers and supervisors in the retail, fast-food and janitorial industries, says Andrew Sherrod of Hirschler Fleischer PC.

  • Filing Class Actions Against Wage-Dodging Trucking Cos.

    Brian S. Kabateck

    Truck drivers pursuing class actions against trucking companies should not be discouraged by the recent trend of these companies attempting to avoid paying wages owed by filing for bankruptcy. Attorneys should investigate which individual controls employees’ wages, hours or working conditions and name that individual as a second employer-defendant, say Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP's Tsolik Kazandjian and Brian Kabateck, a former pres... (continued)

  • Uniforms And Unpaid Interns And Minimum Wage! Oh, My!

    Michael J. Puma

    Three hot topics in wage-and-hour law for employers today are uniform policies, unpaid internships and minimum wage requirements. With pressure from media coverage, political and social justice organizations and plaintiffs’ counsel, employers should adopt certain best practices to avoid liability and reduce the risk of class action litigation, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • The Top 3 New Do’s And Don’ts For Law Firm Websites

    Stephan Roussan

    In legal marketing circles, there are few topics peddled about more than “hot tips” for improving your law firm’s website. Google it. You’ll find more advice than you could ever digest. However, there are larger trends in technology, culture and user behavior that are impacting firms in very significant ways and are not being talked about nearly as much as they should be, says Stephan Roussan, founder of consulting and web developm... (continued)

  • Weigh TMs Before Reacting To NLRB McDonald’s Complaints

    Allyson Fair

    Until a resolution is reached in the National Labor Relations Board's McDonald’s USA LLC case, companies and employment lawyers focusing on how to frame the franchisor/franchisee relationship should keep in mind that trademark issues are intertwined with the joint liability question, says Allyson Fair of Sideman & Bancroft LLP.

  • Grooming Lessons For Biotech From Abercrombie & Fitch

    Jennifer A. Kearns

    The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc. poses unique questions for many nonretail industries — especially biotech companies — which may require applicants to meet certain clinical or safety standards, says Jennifer Kearns at Duane Morris LLP.