Employment

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Justices Take On Retaliation Suit Against Utility

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a $1.3 million suit over whether a San Antonio woman was illegally let go for counseling a former boss at San Antonio Water System against having lunch with female employees.

  • November 21, 2014

    Judge Strikes Down $100B Ill. Public Worker Pension Reform

    An Illinois state judge Friday struck down legislation that tried to close a $100 billion gap in the state's pension budget by raising the retirement age for government workers and cutting cost-of-living adjustments, deeming the law unconstitutional.

  • November 21, 2014

    Altair Clinches New Damages Trial In MSC Secrets Fight

    A Michigan federal judge has ordered a new trial on damages in MSC Software Corp.'s case claiming former employees breached confidentiality agreements and misappropriated trade secrets when they left for rival Altair Engineering Inc., calling MSC's $26.4 million damages win “excessive.”

  • November 21, 2014

    Costco Removes $162M OT Class Action To Federal Court

    Costco Wholesale Corp. on Thursday removed to federal court a putative class action on behalf of some 28,000 California employees who allege wage theft and unpaid overtime wages, among other labor violations, saying the suit could cost the warehouse retailer more than $162 million.

  • November 21, 2014

    Coal Co. Says Religious Worker Accommodated In Hand Scan

    The way Consolidation Coal Co. handled a worker's religious objection to a biometric hand-scanning system for tracking employee time satisfied federal law, the company told a West Virginia federal court Friday, despite the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's argument that the company had violated Title VII.

  • November 21, 2014

    Walgreen Says Unwanted Refill FCA Suit Lacks Evidence

    Walgreen Co. on Thursday urged a California federal court to toss a whistleblower’s suit accusing it of wrongly charging Medicare and Medicaid for unwanted prescription refills, saying he had not provided any evidence to back his allegations.

  • November 21, 2014

    GM Wants To Limit Discovery In Defect Cover-Up Suit

    General Motors told a New York federal court on Friday that it only wants to submit discovery documents that are related to claims that the automaker hid key details about its defective ignition switches, and not years of employee records, in multidistrict litigation related to a massive recall earlier this year.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Supreme Court Buries TCEQ Worker's Retaliation Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday held that a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality worker’s report to a state senator and her supervisor alleging the agency improperly paid illegal immigrants under a vehicle emissions reduction program doesn’t qualify for protection under the Texas Whistleblower Act.

  • November 21, 2014

    Job Applicants Not 'Employees' Under FCA, 6th Circ. Says

    The False Claims Act's whistleblower protections don't extend to job applicants because they don't qualify as employees, the Sixth Circuit held, upholding the dismissal of a landfill manager's retaliation suit against EnergySolutions Inc. under the FCA and several environmental statutes.

  • November 21, 2014

    Antitrust Professors Back NCAA Appeal Of Athlete Pay Ruling

    Antitrust professors from law schools at 13 universities on Friday urged the Ninth Circuit to reverse a finding that the National Collegiate Athletic Association broke antitrust law by barring compensation for college athletes for the use of their names, images and likenesses, saying the ruling turns courts into regulators.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas High Court To Weigh Dow's Liability In Asbestos Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear an appeal in an asbestos suit from survivors of an independent contractor who say an appeals court reversed a $2.6 million jury verdict against Dow Chemical Co. by wrongfully applying state law limiting liability for a property owner’s negligence.

  • November 21, 2014

    Schlumberger Questions SLAPP Ruling In Trade Secret Appeal

    Schlumberger Ltd. on Wednesday appealed a $600,000 award entered against it after a Texas judge threw out the majority of a lawsuit accusing its former chief intellectual property lawyer of sharing trade secrets, questioning whether the state's anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation statute had been properly used.

  • November 21, 2014

    SEC Grows Global Whistleblower Empire As Bounties Boom

    The sun never sets on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program. But judging from fresh data about tips the agency receives from around the world, if you are an SEC whistleblower seeking a potential payday, chances are you’re from the Golden State.

  • November 21, 2014

    Dems Scramble To Renew Aid For Trade-Displaced Workers

    Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced legislation late Thursday to extend a program providing training to workers whose jobs are eliminated by foreign trade flows, lining up with his Democratic colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to save the measure from expiration at year's end.

  • November 21, 2014

    Regulators Closing In On Final Incentive Compensation Rule

    Federal financial regulators hope to have a rule limiting incentive-based compensation at financial institutions completed in the near term, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said on Friday.

  • November 21, 2014

    SoulCycle Ban On Ex-Worker's Atty Unlawful, Suit Says

    SoulCycle LLC violated New York and California anti-retaliation law when it banned an attorney and SoulCycle patron from its premises for pursuing a proposed class action accusing the indoor cycling fitness chain of stiffing instructors on wages, according to a suit filed Thursday.

  • November 21, 2014

    Ill. High Court Sinks False Claims Suit Over Gas Rate

    The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a whistleblower state False Claims Act suit alleging a natural gas utility had fudged safety records to back a rate increase, finding that the state utilities regulator — and not the courts — has jurisdiction over the dispute.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Top Court: Worker Who Lost Hand Can't Sue Insurer, Yet

    The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that a worker who lost his hand operating a tortilla press can’t sue Essex Insurance Co., because direct actions against insurers are prohibited in Texas until it has been established that an insurer has a legal obligation to pay damages to an injured party. 

  • November 21, 2014

    AutoZone Says Attys Schmoozed With Jury For $185M Verdict

    Legal counsel for a former AutoZone Stores Inc. manager consorted with a member of a California jury before it awarded the client an unprecedented $185 million punitive damages award and then invited the entire jury out for drinks afterward, AutoZone said in a bid for mistrial Thursday.

  • November 21, 2014

    GOP Hits Obama With Long-Awaited ACA Lawsuit

    The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Friday filed a long-awaited lawsuit against the Obama administration challenging delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate and government payments to health insurance companies under the law.

Expert Analysis

  • Obama's Immigration Action Is Cause For Celebration

    Robert S. Whitehill

    Though implementation of President Obama's announced changes to U.S. immigration policy on Nov. 20 will take some time and may be slowed by legal action or accelerated by Congress enacting immigration reform, the president's executive action will give hope and relief to millions, which is cause for celebration, says Robert Whitehill of Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Differentiate Your Litigation Practice With Data Security

    Jennifer Topper

    Despite the significant tilt toward technology in how litigation is now conducted, many senior lawyers still delegate tech-related issues to e-discovery specialists or associates at their firms. This is a missed opportunity not just for client development, but also for shaping the way the firm and lawyer are seen in the eyes of corporate counsel, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Paper Chase: Winning The Removal Race

    Alan E. Rothman

    The First Circuit's ruling in October in a wage-and-hour dispute — Romulus v. CVS Pharmacy Inc. — broadens the type of docementation that will permit removal of a class action to federal court and provides defendants with yet another valuable tool in winning the removal race, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Updating Our Understanding Of The FMLA: Part 3

    Linda Dwoskin

    The Seventh Circuit's Ballard v. Chicago Park District and Gienapp v. Harbor Crest decisions highlight the broad nature of family care leave under the Family Medical Leave Act and serve as an important reminder to employers that FMLA cases often turn on thin distinctions in the law and are significantly influenced by the specific facts in a given case, say Linda Dwoskin and Melissa Squire of Dechert LLP.

  • Factors PE Firms Must Consider To Avoid WARN Act Liability

    Brad Eric Scheler

    The District of Delaware’s recent decision in a case involving Sun Capital Partners Inc. is an important reminder to private equity firms that in order to minimize the risk of single-employer liability under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, it is crucial to keep in mind the five factors set out by the U.S. Department of Labor, say attorneys with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

  • Does Dodd-Frank Protect Foreign Whistleblowers?

    Matthew K. Edling

    In Liu v. Siemens, the Second Circuit upheld a ruling from the Southern District of New York, concluding that Congress did not envision the Dodd-Frank Act protecting foreign whistleblowers. Neither Liu court, however, attempted to reconcile this conclusion with the fact that Dodd-Frank governs violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act — a definitively extraterritorial law, say Matthew Edling and Ben Fuchs of Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy LLP.

  • Novartis FCA Case Reaffirms Importance Of Company Policies

    Michael Loucks

    To the extent other courts adopt the New York federal court's analysis in U.S. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, the collateral consequence of an employee breach of internal policy or industry code of ethics and a corporate failure to appropriately sanction those employees could yield adverse consequences in the event of follow-on federal False Claims Act litigation, say attorneys with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • The Print Room: How To Spend Less And Get More

    Senthil Rajakrishnan

    Our estimates indicate that some law firms spend up to $8,000 per attorney each year on print-related costs. Although we live in a digital world, hard copy printing will remain an important part of business for years to come. Changing technology, however, offers opportunities to improve efficiencies and save money, say Senthil Rajakrishnan and Ryan Mittman of HBR Consulting LLC.

  • How Hotels Can Protect Their Proprietary Information

    David Tryon

    Storing customer contact information on the “cloud” and employees’ personal devices potentially renders the information unprotectable, unless you have clear, written policies on data usage on those devices and on social media. However, there is a better approach, says David Tryon of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.

  • Updating Our Understanding Of The FMLA: Part 2

    Linda Dwoskin

    While the Family Medical Leave Act allows an employer to require various medical certifications to support an employee’s request for leave — or return from that leave — understanding what documents may be required and what an employer may do with those it finds insufficient or incorrect is critical to avoiding FMLA liability, say Linda Dwoskin and Melissa Squire of Dechert LLP.