• March 2, 2015

    Ala. Court Says Lesbian's Ex-Partner Has Custody Rights

    An Alabama appellate court ruled Friday that a never-married, same-sex former couple could share custody of three children by granting second-parent status to the estranged partner of the children's biological mother, who objected to her former partner’s parental rights.

  • March 2, 2015

    Carnival Seaman Takes Injury Arbitration Row To High Court

    A former Carnival Corp. worker injured while working on a cruise ship wants the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether the company can use an arbitration clause in an employment contract to exempt itself from liability under the Jones Act.

  • March 2, 2015

    NJ City Can't Shake Cop's Suit For Criminal Defense Fees

    A judge has denied summary judgment to Newark, New Jersey on a former police officer's demand for nearly $1 million in legal fees from two criminal trials over alleged official misconduct, which both ended in deadlocked juries, according to a decision posted Friday.

  • March 2, 2015

    GOP Says Obama Can't Duck ACA Suit And 'Neuter Congress'

    House Republicans are pressing a D.C. federal judge to reach the merits of their lawsuit challenging implementation of the Affordable Care Act, accusing the Obama administration of trying to “neuter Congress” by raising procedural objections to the complaint.

  • March 2, 2015

    US Faults Lax Labor Law Enforcement In Honduras

    The Obama administration on Friday voiced “serious concerns” over the Honduran government's failure to enforce labor laws within its agricultural, manufacturing and shipping sectors, which could put the country in violation of its Central American Free Trade Agreement commitments.

  • March 2, 2015

    Philly Housing's Fired Top Cop Launches Whistleblower Suit

    The ousted top cop of the Philadelphia Housing Authority has launched a whistleblower suit in Pennsylvania court, alleging he was fired after finding himself at loggerheads with the agency’s CEO over a pair of disputed personnel moves.

  • March 2, 2015

    ACA Cadillac Tax Could Hit Less Expensive Plans

    The federal government's recent call for comments on the Affordable Care Act's so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost insurance plans signals the start of what attorneys say will be a long and complex regulatory process likely dominated by concerns that the scheme's cost-of-living adjustment could subject less expensive plans to the tax.

  • March 2, 2015

    EEOC Fights To Keep Race Bias Analysis From BMW

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission told a South Carolina federal court Friday that BMW Manufacturing Co. LLC has offered no valid reason for why the agency should hand over its “privileged” pre-litigation analysis of the luxury automaker’s background check policy in a race bias suit.

  • February 27, 2015

    Calif. Court To Weigh If Attys’ Fees Need Stricter Review

    The California Supreme Court plans to hear a class member’s challenge claiming a $6.3 million fee award in staffing firm Robert Half International Inc.'s $19 million labor violations settlement is too high, and lawyers say a ruling in his favor could place class attorneys’ fee award proposals under greater scrutiny by judges and class members.

  • February 27, 2015

    Kroger Unit Sends Calif. Managers' Unpaid OT Class Packing

    A California judge on Friday denied certification for over 1,300 Ralphs Grocery Co. managers who say the Kroger Co. subsidiary improperly classifies them as overtime-exempt, ruling plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that the managers engaged in mostly nonmanagerial duties as a standard practice.

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas High Court Says Workers’ Comp Bars False Arrest Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court held Friday that a worker injured at an Asarco LLC plant is barred from pursuing malicious prosecution and other claims against his insurer and claims service provider, saying state workers’ compensation law requires that the disputes over his false arrest be heard in the Texas Department of Insurance.

  • February 27, 2015

    Kleiner Men Dished About Sex, Porn On Work Trip, Jury Told

    Interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao told Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLP top brass that she'd been subjected to discussions about porn stars and male colleagues' sexual preferences during a work trip, according to emails shown to a California jury Friday in Pao's gender-discrimination trial against the venture capital giant.

  • February 27, 2015

    FCA Suit Lacks Physician Wrongdoing, Hospice Says

    A hospice provider on Thursday urged a Nevada federal court to dismiss a False Claims Act complaint that alleges bogus billing of Medicare and Medicaid for serving patients who weren’t terminally ill, saying whistleblowing former employees and the U.S. Department of Justice failed to show that physicians acted improperly.

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas High Court Won't Rehear Exxon Bonus Plan Suit

    The Supreme Court of Texas on Friday denied an appeal to rehear a former Exxon Mobil Corp. top executive's case against the company for stripping him of $5 million in nonvested stock rights when he joined a rival energy firm, re-confirming the court's decision granting employers more leeway in bonus plans.

  • February 27, 2015

    Workers Fight McDonald's Bid To Nix Class Claims

    Workers pursuing minimum wage suits against McDonald's Corp. and franchisees shot back on Thursday at the fast food giant’s bid to nix their class allegations, saying that the defendants haven’t shown any proof that they won’t be able to meet class certification requirements after discovery is over.

  • February 27, 2015

    Disability Services Co. Faces ADA Leave Policy Suit

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission slapped an Arizona disability support services company with an Americans with Disabilities Act suit on Wednesday over its “inflexible” leave policy, claiming the company terminated disabled workers who could have used extra unpaid time off.

  • February 27, 2015

    NFL Players Won't Take A Knee On Revised $765M Settlement

    Several former professional football players objected Friday to an amended $765 million proposed settlement in multidistrict litigation regarding concussions with the National Football League, saying the amendments create a situation in which players with a certain brain condition would have incentive to commit suicide before the cutoff date for benefits.

  • February 27, 2015

    Prudential Reps Win Partial Cert. In Wage Suit On 2nd Try

    Current and former Prudential Financial Inc. and Prudential Insurance Co. of America financial representatives were awarded class certification in New Jersey federal court on Thursday for claims that their pay was improperly docked for work expenses, but not ones for their overtime wage claims.

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas High Court Won't Touch $1B Dallas Back Pay Suits

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to weigh in on a state appellate court’s decision to allow Dallas first responders to move forward with their claims for $1 billion in back pay, returning their cases to a state trial court.

  • February 27, 2015

    Staffing Co. Doles Out $1.25M To Engineers In FLSA Suit

    Staffing agency Randstad Engineering has agreed to pay up to $1.25 million to settle a class and collective action alleging the company failed to pay its workers overtime in violation of state and federal labor law, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Expert Analysis

  • When Customers And FCA Whistleblowers Collide

    Nancy E. Harris

    An employee claiming she has discovered wrongdoing at her company and then seeking compensation or claiming protection as a whistleblower is an evermore common risk that every business must be prepared to address. But what happens when the whistleblower reports fraud against the government by an important business customer but no wrongdoing by the company? asks Nancy Harris of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Pensions Are Now On The Restructuring Table, For Real

    Karol K. Denniston

    Thanks to Judge Chris Klein’s recently issued confirmation opinion in Stockton’s bankruptcy case, no longer will cities be able to avoid dealing with pensions in California out of a fear of facing off with CalPERS and its massive bank account, says Karol Denniston of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • In Retrospect: Brinker V. Superior Court

    Joshua R. Dale

    Three years after the much-anticipated California Supreme Court opinion in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, employers are still grappling with how it affects employers’ obligations toward their employees — for example, there are still questions as to what an employer must do to “provide” the required meal and rest breaks, says Joshua Dale of Michel & Associates PC.

  • Medical Marijuana Cards: A New Scarlet Letter?

    Trish Higgins

    In states where medical or recreational use of marijuana is permissible but with no discrimination protection, employers should be aware that any adverse employment action taken on the basis of marijuana use could be a litigation risk, whether based on a violation of disability laws in those states where courts have not spoken or applicable off-duty conduct laws, say attorneys at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • A Look At New Labor Laws In DC

    Julia E. Judish

    District of Columbia employers now face — and are soon to face several more — new employment laws affecting a wide range of issues, including wage payments, recording of hours worked, pregnancy accommodations, concealed weapons in the workplace and the use of criminal background checks and drug testing during the hiring process, say attorneys at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • 2nd Circ. Lays Out New Rules For Restitution

    Harry Sandick

    The Second Circuit's recent ruling in U.S. v. Cuti seems to place a notable limitation on the ability of a victim of white collar crime to recover expenses incurred in the course of investigating and reporting the defendant’s criminal activity. This decision does not take into account how internal investigations are typically conducted when the allegations concern wrongdoing by senior management, say attorneys with Patterson Belkna... (continued)

  • In-House Counsel's Dirty 'Little' Secret: Data Leakage

    Jennifer Topper

    Not every data breach is a massive headline-grabbing theft of consumer credit card information. As significant as these events may seem, the more dangerous and prevalent threats are the least visible — occurring through "data leakage." Put simply, this is raw meat awaiting a strike by the plaintiff’s bar, says legal industry adviser Jennifer Topper.

  • Your Employee Is On-Call, But Is Your Employee Working?

    Jennifer Palagi

    Whether employees are entitled to be paid for every hour they are on-call requires a fact-intensive analysis and must be determined on a case-by-case basis. It is essential to understand the appropriate circumstances under which nonexempt employees can be designated as on-call and how to effectively draft on-call policies in order to avoid triggering hourly compensation requirements, says Jennifer Palagi of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore LLP.

  • Taking A Crack At Calif.'s Workplace Anti-Bullying Law

    Joseph W. Deng

    Although California's A.B. 2053 does not specifically prohibit bullying in the workplace, proper and expanded training and updated policies may assist in an employer’s affirmative defense that it took reasonable steps to prevent unlawful discrimination or harassment caused by alleged bullying. This can put employers ahead of the curve if and when abusive conduct becomes unlawful, say Joseph Deng and Angela McIsaac of Baker & McKenzie LLP.

  • Recasting Claims Under CGL Policies Is Rough In 5th Circ.

    Jon T. Neumann

    The Fifth Circuit’s rejection of the Gum Tree defendants’ argument in Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Gum Tree Property Management LLC that misappropriation of a business’ proprietary information is akin to violation of a “person’s” privacy rights under a general commercial liability policy has immediate significance for policyholders who may face claims for misappropriation of trade secrets from business competitors, say Jo... (continued)