• March 30, 2015

    Pao’s Defeat To Chill Sex Bias Claims In Tech Industry

    Ellen Pao’s high-profile loss in her $100 million gender discrimination battle against former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC is likely to deter other female professionals from sticking their necks out and waging similar fights against venture capital firms and technology companies, lawyers say.

  • March 30, 2015

    JC Penney Takes $3M Atty Fee Battle To Texas High Court

    JC Penney Co. Inc. on Friday asked the Texas Supreme Court to overturn a $3.1 million attorneys' fee awarded by a trial judge in a shareholder derivative suit against the retailer that alleged an improper executive compensation scheme, arguing that the lower courts erred in refusing to use the lodestar method to calculate the fees.

  • March 30, 2015

    Tenn. Justices Say Whistleblower Can't Just Tell Wrongdoer

    Tennessee’s high court ruled Friday in a case of first impression that a worker can’t qualify as a “whistleblower” under state law unless they report their employer’s wrongdoing to someone besides the perpetrator, which might require contacting an outside entity.

  • March 30, 2015

    Paterno Family’s Contract Claim Axed Again In NCAA Suit

    A Pennsylvania judge ruled the family of the late Joe Paterno can’t sue Penn State University and the NCAA for breach of contract over fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, according to an order released Monday, the second time the judge has thrown out the claims.

  • March 30, 2015

    Orrick Partner Slams Ex-Handler Atty's Suit Over Firing

    An Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP partner on Friday urged a New York federal judge to toss a suit claiming that he got an ex-Handler Thayer LLP attorney fired after he was sanctioned by the Second Circuit for trying to disqualify the firm, calling it "the latest in a campaign of harassment."

  • March 30, 2015

    Judge OKs Tentative Tyson Foods Class Action Settlement

    A Kansas federal judge on Monday gave preliminary approval of a proposed more than $730,000 settlement of a years-long employment class-action suit that has pitted current and former Tyson Foods Inc. workers against the company.

  • March 30, 2015

    US Sues Okla. University For Bias Against Transgender Worker

    The federal government on Monday sued Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Regional University System of Oklahoma for allegedly discriminating against a transgender employee by denying her application for tenure and later terminating her because of her gender identity.

  • March 30, 2015

    The 2015 Rising Stars, By Firm

    Law360's Rising Stars recognizes attorneys under 40 who have demonstrated outstanding career accomplishments. This year, King & Spalding LLP and Sidley Austin LLP led the pack with seven Rising Stars each, followed by Gibson Dunn and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP with six Rising Stars each, and Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis LLP with five Rising Stars apiece.

  • March 30, 2015

    Whole Foods Can't Bag Ex-Employees' Background Check Suit

    A Florida federal judge on Monday refused to dismiss a proposed class action accusing Whole Foods Market Group Inc. of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act with its employee background check notification methods, ruling the suit alleged Whole Foods’ liability release was included in a disclosure document.

  • March 30, 2015

    DOL Extends Comment Period For Contractor Sex Bias Regs

    The U.S. Department of Labor said on Friday that it was extending the deadline for comments on a proposed rule to revise sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors, in light of  a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that revived a pregnancy bias case against United Parcel Service Inc.

  • March 30, 2015

    Justices Told To Defer To Voters On Same-Sex Marriage Bans

    Four states looking to keep in place bans on same-sex marriage told the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday that it should be up to their voters to define marriage, not the federal judiciary.

  • March 30, 2015

    Relators Dispute Atty Fee Bid Over $320M FCA Mortgage Deal

    Two relators in a False Claims Act row involving Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. and Home America Mortgage Inc. have hit back at their former counsel’s claim to fees stemming from a $320 million settlement, urging a Georgia federal judge to invalidate a lien on their share of the deal.

  • March 30, 2015

    Dioceses Seek Another Birth Control Showdown In 3rd Circ.

    A pair of Pennsylvania dioceses and affiliated nonprofits are asking the Third Circuit to reconsider requiring them to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate, saying the court misunderstood the Catholic faith when ruling that merely waiving participation in the program wasn’t a substantial burden on their religious beliefs.

  • March 30, 2015

    American Apparel Clarifies Media Rule After NLRB Complaints

    American Apparel Inc. has clarified its media policy after four employees filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board alleging the newly implemented guidelines were intended to silence its workers from speaking to the press.

  • March 30, 2015

    Top Contractors' Policies May Chill Fraud Reports, OIG Says

    Thirteen of the biggest contractors with the U.S. Department of State have policies that could dissuade employees from reporting fraud, although none have ever enforced those policies, the Office of Inspector General said in a report made available Monday. 

  • March 30, 2015

    Au Pair Suit Brings Domestic Worker Abuse Into Spotlight

    As a class action unfolds in Colorado alleging au pairs on the J-1 visa program have had their wages fixed at $4.35 per hour, Law360 takes a closer look at the exploitation of domestic workers by abusive employers who range from middle-class families to high-ranking diplomats.

  • March 30, 2015

    Google Engineer Nixes Objections To $415M Anti-Poach Deal

    A Google Inc. software engineer on Monday withdrew his objections to a $415 million settlement in the antitrust class action accusing Apple Inc., Google Inc. and others of illegally agreeing to not poach engineers, asking a California federal judge to disregard concerns he raised Friday.

  • March 30, 2015

    IRS Finalizes Rules For Deducting Excessive Compensation

    The IRS said in final regulations released Monday that limitations on deducting excessive compensation for executives of publicly held companies apply to all types of equity-based compensation, not just stock options and appreciation rights.

  • March 30, 2015

    KBR Whistleblower In Iraq FCA Case Sent To Arbitration

    An Illinois federal judge on Monday pushed a whistleblower into arbitration and out of a False Claims Act suit alleging mismanagement and kickbacks by KBR Inc. and two subcontractors in Iraq, saying the former employee was subject to arbitration contract provisions.

  • March 30, 2015

    Hotel Slams EEOC Conduct During Discovery In Bias Suit

    Pioneer Hotel Inc. urged a Nevada federal judge Friday to toss a suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that claims that the hotel discriminated against a group of Mexican employees, alleging the agency “unabashedly flouted its discovery obligations.”

Expert Analysis

  • Following The FCA's Public Disclosure Bar

    Lori L. Pines

    Although further clarification is needed, courts appear to be leaning toward interpreting the Affordable Care Act's amendments to the False Claims Act's public disclosure bar as a nonjurisdictional defense. Litigants in FCA cases must therefore be prepared for corresponding changes in motion practice, timing and overall burdens, say Lori Pines and Shireen Nasir at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Ride App Class Actions May Impact 1099 Business Model

    Richard J. Reibstein

    The separate decisions by federal judges in class actions against Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to permit juries to decide whether the companies' drivers are employees or independent contractors may have far-reaching implications for companies that use a 1099 business model and fail to properly structure and document independent contractor relationships, say attorneys at Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Mediation And The Thorny Issue Of Settlement Authority

    Douglas H. Flaum

    Many mediation orders state that attendees must have “full settlement authority” without providing clarity as to what that term actually means. Attendance by just outside counsel or a corporate spokesperson is not enough, even if someone else with full settlement authority is just a phone call or keystroke away, say Douglas Flaum and Kevin Broughel of Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Mixed Messages On The Impact Of Young V. UPS

    Neal D. Mollen

    While the U.S. Supreme Court's extension of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in Young v. United Parcel Service Inc. may well have little impact on employer policies, for Title VII litigation, the high court's description of the shifting burdens of proof is problematic, say Aaron Ver and Neal Mollen of Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Whistleblower Policies Could Create Contractual Rights

    Matthew S. Stiff

    After Leyden v. American Accreditation Healthcare Commission, employers might begin to reconsider their longtime affection for internal policies that profess a company’s commitment to protecting whistleblowers from retaliation, say Matthew Stiff and Debra Katz of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • What Experts Can Say About Inadmissible Facts During Trial

    Jason McDonell

    For reliance material that is not admitted on the stand, consider bolstering the testimony by having the expert describe the evidence generally, but in a way that signals to the jury that the expert has a strong foundation of supporting facts and data. If done well, such testimony can open the door to admitting the evidence, say Jason McDonell and Heather Fugitt of Jones Day.

  • NLRB Appears Poised To Overturn Brown University Ruling

    Daniel V. Johns

    The recent reversal of earlier dismissals of two union representation petitions from graduate students by the National Labor Relations Board has boosted unionization efforts by teaching and research assistants at private universities — the move could even pave the way for the NLRB to overturn its 2004 Brown University decision, say Daniel Johns and Emilia McKee Vassallo of Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • Determining ERISA Duties Post-Dudenhoeffer

    H. Douglas Hinson

    It is hard to imagine how a new, separate, distinct duty to disclose inside information about public companies under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, along with the specter of ERISA fiduciaries becoming a new source of “material” information about public companies, would not cause more harm than good, say H. Douglas Hinson and Emily Costin of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • IRS Gives Good Directions On ACA Cadillac Tax

    Sarah L. Fowles

    An employer can use the Internal Revenue Services' recent notice on the Affordable Care Act's so-called Cadillac tax to approximate the cost of coverage for employees. Since the cost will likely vary by employee, employers may want to estimate costs under a range of coverage scenarios, say attorneys at Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • Top Tips For Data Breach Readiness And Response

    Elizabeth C. Rogers

    Until Congress agrees on uniform responsibilities and liabilities for data breaches, companies operating in the U.S. must traverse a patchwork of laws in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Still, firms can and should develop a written information security response plan and maintain relationships with breach response vendors, say Elizabeth Rogers and Alan Sutin of Greenberg Traurig LLP.