Employment

  • January 26, 2015

    Nat'l Origin Bias Didn't Drive Auto Worker's Firing, Judge Says

    A South Carolina federal magistrate judge recommended granting summary judgment to Drive Automotive Industries of America, a subsidiary of Magna International Inc., in federal court Monday, saying a national origin discrimination suit filed by a former employee doesn’t establish the company retaliated against him when it fired him in 2012.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Pans 'Thumb On The Scale' In M&G Retiree Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in a class action battle between M&G Polymers USA LLC and retirees over the vesting of health care benefits warned courts against putting a "thumb on the scale" when analyzing collective bargaining agreements and will likely lead to a more uniform approach among courts tackling disputes over whether retiree benefits continue after a union contract expires, lawyers say.

  • January 26, 2015

    US Enrichment Sues Feds For $43M In Pension Costs

    United States Enrichment Corp. slapped the federal government with a breach of contract suit on Friday, alleging that the U.S. Department of Energy stiffed it for $42.8 million of retiree benefit costs after it finished work on a contract at a nuclear fuel plant in Portsmouth, Ohio.

  • January 26, 2015

    Army Corps Contractor Dealt Blow In FCA Discovery Fight

    A Louisiana federal court said Masonry Solutions Inc. must hand over documents in a False Claims Act suit brought by a whistleblower who alleged the contractors overbilled the U.S. Army and violated the Buy American Act, denying the company’s bid to reverse a magistrate’s decision Monday.

  • January 26, 2015

    Calif. Trucking Co. Hit With Unpaid Wages Class Action

    A truck driver slapped California Cartage Company LLC with a putative class action Friday in California state court claiming the trucking and delivery company cheated him and other drivers out of their fair share of pay by misclassifying them as independent contractors.

  • January 26, 2015

    6th Circ. Says Employers' Bad Info Can Spur FMLA Coverage

    The Sixth Circuit on Monday revived a worker’s claims that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission violated his right to medical leave and retaliated against him for taking it, ruling that there was a question as to whether the agency misled him about his eligibility for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

  • January 26, 2015

    NJ Lawmakers Try To Force Offshore Wind Farm Approval

    The New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee on Monday pushed forward legislation that would force the Board of Public Utilities to approve the first wind farm off the state's coast, even though the project has been blocked twice.

  • January 26, 2015

    Target's 'Walk of Shame' Drove Cashier To Suicide, Suit Says

    The mother of a former Target Corp. cashier in California has accused the retailer of causing her son’s suicide after he was allegedly subjected to a handcuffed “walk of shame” in front of co-workers and customers meant for employees suspected of stealing.

  • January 26, 2015

    Diamond McCarthy Ex-Partner Can't Escape Texas Court

    A Texas district judge on Friday rejected a former Diamond McCarthy LLP partner’s bid to dodge Texas jurisdiction in a $1.4 million breach of contract suit over fees she generated as Dreier LLP’s Chapter 11 trustee.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Denies River Shipper's Oil Pollution Act Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition brought by river shipping company American Commercial Lines LLC on whether the Oil Pollution Act trumps general maritime law in a suit seeking to recover payments the U.S. made to two oil cleanup companies after a 2008 accident.

  • January 26, 2015

    Ex-Rohm & Haas Worker's Retaliation Trial Begins In Philly

    A Pennsylvania federal judge heard opening arguments on Monday in a bench trial over an ex-Rohm & Haas Co. worker’s claims that the company tried to undermine her independent research in retaliation for complaints she filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

  • January 26, 2015

    Workers Say ConAgra Wrongly Avoided $160M Injury Verdict

    Grain workers and a salvage contractor have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit a decision releasing ConAgra Foods Inc. from a $160 million jury verdict stemming from an Illinois grain mill’s explosion, saying the appeals court created a new defense doctrine that replaces existing Illinois law.

  • January 26, 2015

    Mich. Fights Delphi Workers' Comp Ruling At High Court

    A recent Second Circuit decision freeing two insurers from assuming workers' compensation liabilities from Delphi Corp. sets a precedent that allows federal bankruptcy courts to usurp state sovereignty in violation of the U.S. Constitution, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette argued in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • January 26, 2015

    Aerospace Part Maker Hit With Unpaid Wages Class Action

    Aerospace and defense electronics parts maker Conesys Inc. was hit with a putative class action in California state court Friday, accusing it of failing to pay overtime and depriving workers of required meal and rest breaks.

  • January 26, 2015

    K&L Gates Adds Schwabe Williamson Labor Atty In Portland

    K&L Gates has strengthened its labor, employment and workplace safety practice group with the addition of a former Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt attorney who focuses on employment law, labor law and business litigation and has experience serving as lead defense counsel in class actions.

  • January 26, 2015

    Saks Flips On Trans Worker Protection In Bias Suit

    Saks Fifth Avenue has dropped its position that federal anti-discrimination law does not cover transgender workers in a Texas lawsuit involving a former associate, saying Monday that it will instead challenge the merits of the employee's specific discrimination claims.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Wants New Ruling In M&G Retiree Benefits Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court vacated a Sixth Circuit decision Monday that left M&G Polymers USA LLC on the hook for a class of retirees' lifetime health care benefits and sent the case back for a lower court to analyze the collective bargaining agreements at issue under ordinary principles of contract law.

  • January 23, 2015

    Saks, EEOC Transgender Cases To Inspire More Worker Suits

    A sex bias suit by a transgender former Saks Fifth Avenue worker and similar litigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are focusing attention on the question of whether the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on gender expression, and lawyers say these cases will likely set off a torrent of new lawsuits by transgender workers.

  • January 23, 2015

    Ala. Federal Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    An Alabama federal judge on Friday struck down the state’s bans on same-sex marriage a week after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether such bans were unconstitutional, making Alabama the 37th state to allow same-sex marriage.

  • January 23, 2015

    Kaiser Can't Duck Calif. Home Care Nurses' Wage Row

    A California judge on Friday rejected Kaiser Foundation Hospitals’ bid for a quick win in a putative class action alleging the company pressured unionized home care nurses to underreport their hours worked, rejecting Kaiser’s argument that the dispute should be handled by the plaintiff's union.

Expert Analysis

  • Is OSHA About To Ramp Up Its Whistleblower Program?

    Debra S. Friedman

    The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is exploring additional ways to increase damage awards from its whistleblower program given its recent announcement that it plans to lower the investigatory standard for cases from a preponderance of the evidence to reasonable cause. If it does, employers can expect OSHA investigators to find more cases meritorious and push for more monetary settlements, says Debra Friedman of ... (continued)

  • 5 Employment Laws Calif. Businesses Should Know In 2015

    Hilary Weddell

    The California Legislature recently enacted a number of wide-ranging employment laws that will affect California businesses in 2015, including expanded discrimination protections to interns, required anti-bullying training and a codified joint employer liability, says Hilary Weddell of McManis Faulkner.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Preemption Questions For Ill. Payroll Deduction IRA Plan

    Joni Andrioff

    There are important differences between the federal myRA program and Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act and it remains an open question whether a state law requiring employers to participate in a state-run payroll deduction individual retirement account program is preempted by Section 514(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, say Joni Andrioff and Eric Serron of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • 10 Tips For Downsizing Workforces In An Energy Crunch

    Steve Shardonofsky

    While the energy sector is no stranger to the employment effects of cyclical oil prices, small and midsized oil field services companies that grew up during the recent U.S. energy boom will likely bear the brunt of falling oil prices. Further, these companies face new legal risks and obligations when downsizing that were nonexistent during the oil bust of the 1980s, say Steve Shardonofsky and Brian Wadsworth of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • Examining Return-To-Work Issues Under The FMLA

    John W. Hargrove

    The most important concept to remember when dealing with an employee who is about to use up all of his medical leave, but who has little chance of returning to work, is that fulfilling the Family and Medical Leave Act's 12-week leave requirement does not mean a company has met all its legal obligations in all situations, says John Hargrove of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • NLRB Joint Employer Redefinition Threatens Franchises

    Michael J. Lotito

    The impact of the National Labor Relations Board's redefinition of joint-employer status will be substantial and have profound implications across industries and on the franchise business model in particular because the threat of a “joint employer” finding may eliminate the economic benefit of franchising and shift the costs of the new model toward consumers, say attorneys at DLA Piper LLP (US) and Littler Mendelson PC.

  • Top 10 Trade Secrets Developments Of 2014: Part 2

    Randy Kahnke

    While the world of patentable subject matter shrinks, the world of trade secret protection may be expanding, say attorneys with Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Takeaways From Oral Arguments In Mach Mining V. EEOC

    Gerald L. Maatman Jr.

    On Jan. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Mach Mining LLC v. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which may be one of the most important cases on EEOC litigation issues in years. In practical terms, the future ruling will shape how the EEOC investigates claims, negotiates settlements and prosecutes its lawsuits, says Gerald Maatman Jr. of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • Unions Are Poised To Make Gains In South's Auto Industry

    Michael V. Abcarian

    Volkswagen AG's Community Organization Engagement policy at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant, in addition to recent cases and initiatives from the National Labor Relations Board, has created a new landscape for labor that will undoubtedly be significant to the future of the auto industry in the South, say Michael Abcarian and Janet Hendrick of Fisher & Phillips LLP.