Employment

  • December 19, 2014

    Calif. Strip Club, Dancers Get OK For Deal Over Taping, Tips

    A California judge on Friday granted final approval to a deal requiring the owner of Bare Elegance Gentlemen’s Club to pay $500,000 over claims by 443 exotic dancers that the club had illegally videotaped them and taken their tips, in violation of state labor laws.

  • December 19, 2014

    Calif. Panel Says Concepcion Defeats Broughton-Cruz Rule

    A California appellate panel Thursday bolstered the Federal Arbitration Act's preemption in the Golden State, finding the U.S. Supreme Court's Concepcion decision and the state high court's Iskanian ruling defeat a judge's reliance on the Broughton-Cruz rule to deny Citibank NA's bid to arbitrate an insurance consumer class' injunctive-relief claims.

  • December 19, 2014

    Former Sherman & Howard Atty Hits Firm With Sex Bias Suit

    An attorney on Thursday hit Denver, Colorado-based law firm Sherman & Howard LLC  with a sexual discrimination lawsuit in a Colorado federal court, accusing her former employer of subjecting her to a hostile work environment that included repeated sexual harassment from a former partner.

  • December 19, 2014

    Catholic Orgs Take ACA Challenge To High Court

    Religious organizations affiliated with the Catholic Church have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on their challenge to an Affordable Care Act mandate that stipulates they fill out paperwork before being excused from providing birth control to their employees.

  • December 19, 2014

    Judge Says Chipotle Must Hand Over Atty Docs In OT Suit

    Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. must turn over attorney-client communications because it did not meet a “good-faith” compliance requirement under federal labor law, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled on Thursday in a collective action brought by employees who allege the chain misclassified them as overtime-exempt executives.

  • December 19, 2014

    MetroPCS Settles NY, Calif. Overtime Pay Claims For $1.85M

    A New York state judge has approved a $1.85 million settlement between MetroPCS Wireless Inc. and account services representatives who accused the telecom of failing to pay them overtime wages, resolving New York and California labor law claims claims remaining from a federal collective action.

  • December 19, 2014

    High Court Pressed To Send Asbestos Suit To Fed. Court

    A shipyards products manufacturer is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Fourth Circuit decision keeping an asbestos suit in state court, arguing that the company has been improperly denied its right to a federal forum to pursue its government contractor defense.

  • December 19, 2014

    ACLU Urges Lift Of Gag Order In Coal Exec's Criminal Case

    The American Civil Liberties Union urged a West Virginia federal judge Thursday to lift a sweeping gag order in the criminal case of former Massey Coal Co. CEO Don Blankenship in connection with 29 miner deaths, saying in a sealed document that the order flies in the face of the Supreme Court's absolute prohibition of prior restraint under the First Amendment.

  • December 19, 2014

    Texas Justice's Union Defamation Dissent Cites Ferris Bueller

    The Texas Supreme Court missed an opportunity to bring “clarity and uniformity” to free speech law in the digital age by declining to review a defamation suit filed against a Houston-area service employees union, Justice Don Willett wrote in a dissenting opinion that quoted the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

  • December 19, 2014

    NLRB Targets McDonald's, Franchisees As 'Joint Employers'

    The National Labor Relations Board said Friday it has issued complaints targeting both McDonald's USA LLC and McDonald's franchisees over labor law violations, alleging that the "joint employers" violated the rights of workers who took steps to try to improve their working conditions that included participation in nationwide protests. 

  • December 18, 2014

    NJ Assembly Seeks Fed. Aid For Displaced Casino Workers

    The New Jersey General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution to lobby the federal government for a grant to assist former Atlantic City casino workers displaced by the closure of casinos, money that would be used to offer workforce education and training.

  • December 18, 2014

    Verdict Narrowed Against J-M In FCA Suit Over Shoddy Pipes

    A California federal judge Thursday limited the scope of a first-phase jury verdict finding pipe maker J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. liable for damages in a whistleblower False Claims Act suit over substandard plastic pipe used in water and sewer systems, saying the verdict applies only to five exemplar plaintiffs.

  • December 18, 2014

    Sports Giant IMG Latest Hit With Unpaid Intern Suit In NY

    A former intern for sports marketing giant IMG Worldwide LLC on Thursday filed the latest in a series of putative class actions in New York court that accuse companies of not paying their interns minimum wage for work that doesn't qualify as education or training.

  • December 18, 2014

    US Extends Job Bias Protection To Transgender People

    The government can now bring claims against employers on behalf of workers who say they’ve been discriminated against because they are transgender, according to a memo released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday.

  • December 18, 2014

    Sony Hit With 2 More Suits Over 'The Interview' Hack

    Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. is facing two more putative class actions from employees whose personal information was leaked as part of a massive hack directed at the movie studio over its comedy “The Interview,” about a plot to kill North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

  • December 18, 2014

    Judge Snubs KBR's 'Old Args' On Privilege In Kickbacks Row

    A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday rejected Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc.’s "old arguments" that attorney-client privilege protected its business-conduct documents from being compelled by a whistleblower alleging kickback activity in Iraq, but limited the whistleblower’s access to witness statements from KBR’s internal monitoring.

  • December 18, 2014

    NFL Dodges Players' Painkiller Class Action

    A California federal judge on Wednesday tossed ex-National Football League players' class action claiming that the league encouraged them to abuse painkillers, ruling that a collective bargaining agreement preempted the claims.

  • December 18, 2014

    Amid Union Fight, Icahn Pledges $20M To Save Taj Mahal

    Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. senior creditor Carl Icahn said Thursday that he would put in $20 million of additional financing to keep the company’s only remaining casino operating, the same day the union representing Taj Mahal workers claimed he backed out of a more comprehensive deal to save it from closing.

  • December 18, 2014

    Military Solvent Contractor Can't Kick Whistleblower Suit

    An Alabama federal judge on Wednesday refused to toss a False Claims Act suit against Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. alleging the company grossly overbilled for cleaning solvents used by a military depot, saying a whistleblower had submitted strong enough evidence to allow the case to advance.

  • December 18, 2014

    Mount Sinai Says Whistleblowers Misused Patient Info

    Mount Sinai Hospital on Wednesday urged a New York federal judge to dismiss a whistleblower suit claiming the hospital fraudulently billed Medicare and the New York Medicaid program, arguing that the relators in the case took advantage of their positions at the hospital to improperly access patient records used in the suit.

Expert Analysis

  • Seminal Supreme Court Employment Cases In 2014

    Keenya Harrold

    National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. Lawson v. FMR LLC. The highly anticipated 2013-2014 U.S. Supreme Court term did not disappoint employment lawyers as it was filled with cases that had a major impact on presidential power, union claims and religious freedom, says Keenya Harrold of Cozen O'Connor PC.

  • A Murky Trade Secret Landscape: What Employers Can Do

    Robert Hanna

    The Arizona Supreme Court’s recent decision in Orca Communications Unlimited LLC v. Noder permitting common law tort claims for misappropriation of confidential information that do not fall under the definition of trade secret may indicate a trend toward state courts reconsidering their positions on this issue, say Robert Hanna and Stephanie Rzepka of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • IRS Guidance On Full-Time Status May Help Employers

    Ryan Gorman

    The Internal Revenue Service's recent guidance may be of particular relevance for employers with variable hour, seasonal and part-time employees that want to simplify, reconcile or consolidate differing measurement periods or methods for determining the full-time status of their workforce for purposes of the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act, say Samuel Choy and Ryan Gorman of King & Spalding LLP.

  • SDNY Widens Split On Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection

    Michael Filoromo III

    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York's decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC makes it the latest court to hold that Dodd-Frank only covers employees who report suspected violations of securities laws to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — the ruling reflects a deepening split on the issue among federal courts, say David Marshall and Michael Filoromo III of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • Blankenship Case Shows Perils Of Post-Crisis Assurances

    Jeremy Peterson

    Attorneys and executives would do well to take note of the recent federal indictment of Massey Energy Co.'s former CEO, which shows that, in at least some circumstances, relatively general and open-ended corporate statements can be the basis for criminal charges, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • A Year For Whistleblower Rewards And Protections

    Jason Zuckerman

    2014 has been a transformative year for the development of whistleblower law between whistleblowers obtaining record recoveries through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's whistleblower rewards program, the U.S. Supreme Court's Lawson v. FMR ruling and the strengthening of protection provisions in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, say Jason Zuckerman and Dallas Hammer of Zuckerman Law.

  • Essential Health Benefits Rules Will Still Burden States

    Caroline Brown

    Requiring state compliance with the Affordable Care Act's commercial essential health benefits rules recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has resulted in an unnecessarily complex benefit design process for certain commercial plans and Medicaid alternative benefit plans, say Caroline Brown and Philip Peisch of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • EEOC Year In Review: Lots Of Action, Mixed Results

    Judith Langevin

    2014 has been a notable year for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission given its historic litigation and increased scrutiny of background checks, however it has also faced harsh criticism from employer groups, discord among its commissioners and setbacks in court, say Judith Langevin and Kate Bischoff of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Top 10 Trade Secrets Developments Of 2014: Part 1

    Kerry Bundy

    Trends we saw in trade secret law this year — including the growing importance of specifically identifying trade secrets early in litigation and the continuing trend toward large damages awards and settlements in trade secrets cases — promise to shape developments in the years ahead, say attorneys with Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.