Employment

  • April 24, 2015

    Munger Tolles Sued Over Firing After Workload Complaint

    A former Munger Tolles & Olson LLP paralegal sued the firm in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, alleging that a litigation associate imposed a grueling work schedule with little time for sleep and that she was fired soon after complaining to a Munger Tolles partner.

  • April 24, 2015

    Blankenship Judge's Law Clerk Quarantined From Suit

    A law clerk allegedly friendly to mine workers' rights has been quarantined from the trial in which former coal magnate Don Blankenship is accused of mandating mine-safety obstructions that killed 29 Massey Coal Co. employees.

  • April 24, 2015

    Social Media Class Notices Gain Traction But Carry Risks

    A New York federal judge’s recent decision allowing ex-Gawker Media LLC interns to use LinkedIn and Twitter to contact potential collective action members about opting in to their wage dispute shows that courts are warming up to using social media notification programs, but attorneys crafting such plans should be careful not to trample on individual privacy rights and company reputations, experts say.

  • April 24, 2015

    Migrant Workers Fight To Keep HR Co. In Discrimination Row

    A group of Haitian workers who claim a Florida blueberry farm discriminated against them urged a federal judge Thursday not to release a human resources firm from the class action, saying the company is trying to escape on a technicality.

  • April 24, 2015

    5 Questions To Watch At High Court Marriage Arguments

    The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear historic oral arguments Tuesday on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, and the justices will have to navigate a thicket of thorny issues to decide the matter. Here, Law360 looks at five pivotal questions to watch.

  • April 24, 2015

    House Bill Would Increase VA Secretary's Firing Power

    The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs introduced legislation on Thursday that would give the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs secretary more power to punish underperforming or corrupt department employees.

  • April 24, 2015

    Dallas Hospital Sued For Firing FCA Whistleblowers

    Two former employees of a Dallas hospital filed suit Thursday claiming they were fired for reporting flagrant False Claims Act and other violations, including "up-coding," false billing and texting unencrpted patient information.

  • April 24, 2015

    BMW, EEOC Trade Barbs In Racial Bias Discovery Spat

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shot back Thursday against BMW Manufacturing Co. LLC’s bid to compel the agency to fork over its analysis of the automaker’s background check policy in a racial discrimination suit in South Carolina federal court, saying the spreadsheet at issue was just a draft.

  • April 23, 2015

    Texas Court Pauses CB&I Suit Against Ex-GC, Hogan Lovells

    A Texas appellate court on Thursday declined to allow Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. to move forward with breach of fiduciary duty allegations against its former general counsel, now a Hogan Lovells partner, in light of the anticipated arbitration of an underlying dispute.

  • April 23, 2015

    Jury Hits Insulation Co. With $3.5M Asbestos Verdict

    A Washington state jury has delivered a $3.5 million award against Brand Insulation Inc. in favor of the estate of a woman who died of mesothelioma that she allegedly developed through exposure to asbestos on her husband's clothing from his job as a refinery worker.

  • April 23, 2015

    Kleiner Perkins Won't Seek $1M Fees If Pao Backs Down

    Following Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC's jury trial victory against interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao in her $100 million gender-bias case, the venture capital firm has requested some $972,800 in legal fees from her — which it would drop if Pao agrees not to fight the verdict, the firm said Thursday.

  • April 23, 2015

    9th Circ. OKs $6.6M Award Against UPS In Employment Suit

    The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s punitive damages award of $6.6 million to a former employee of United Parcel Service Inc. who had alleged wrongful termination in connection with a previously filed overtime class action suit, ruling that the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict.

  • April 23, 2015

    Rising Star: Sanford Heisler's Felicia Medina

    Just nine years after graduating law school, Felicia Medina is already a managing partner at plaintiffs firm Sanford Heisler Kimpel LLP, where she handles a slate of employment-related suits against major companies like Daiichi Sankyo Inc., making her one of Law360’s top employment lawyers under 40.

  • April 23, 2015

    Call Center Worker Says Co. Did Illegal Background Checks

    A national call center operator illegally obtained the credit reports of its employees and took adverse action based on the information, a proposed class action filed Wednesday in California federal court alleges.

  • April 23, 2015

    College Profs Tell 8th Circ. To Nix Gay Marriage Ban Appeal

    A group of 25 college professors filed an amicus brief Wednesday urging the Eighth Circuit to toss an appeal brought by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts seeking to revive the state’s same-sex marriage ban, saying that marriage has served many purposes beyond procreation throughout American history.

  • April 23, 2015

    Big Awards Pushing Compliance Pros To Be Whistleblowers

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recent announcement of a $1.5 million whistleblower award to a compliance officer is evidence that SEC tips from in-house compliance personnel are surging, lawyers say, a trend that's expected to continue in light of compliance officers' access to information and the potential for more seven-figure payouts.  

  • April 23, 2015

    Subpoenas Necessary In EEOC 'I Love You' Suit, Co. Says

    A health network accused of making workers take part in a belief system called “Onionhead” and tell colleagues “I love you” told a Brooklyn federal court Wednesday that subpoenas challenged by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a religious bias suit were necessary for the company's defense.

  • April 23, 2015

    Utah Clerk Awarded $280K For Judge's Sexual Harassment

    A Utah federal jury awarded nearly $280,000 in damages to a former Weber County clerk who claimed Justice Court Judge Craig D. Storey sexually harassed her by touching her and writing explicit poems, then retaliated against her for rejecting his advances.

  • April 23, 2015

    Pa. Judge Halts Part Of Gov.’s Home Care Worker Plan

    A Pennsylvania state judge on Thursday temporarily blocked portions of an executive order by Gov. Tom Wolf that critics say make it easier for home health care workers to organize.

  • April 23, 2015

    AIG To Pay $40M In Pension Plan Class Action Settlement

    American International Group Inc. will pay $40 million to settle proposed class action allegations that the insurer's employee pension plans improperly invested in its own poorly performing stock following the 2008 mortgage crisis, the plaintiffs said on Thursday in New York federal court.

Expert Analysis

  • 'Primary Users' May Be On Speed Dial For TCPA Suits

    Robert A. Scott

    Recent case law appears to reflect a growing willingness among courts to allow claims by plaintiffs under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act who receive calls on cellphone lines paid for by their employers or some other party. This may expose creditors and debt collectors that use automated dialing equipment to contact customers on their cellphones to additional claims, says Robert Scott of Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • Tips For Guiding Your Client Through The Mediation Process

    Raphael Lapin

    With all the tangible and intangible costs associated with litigation today, mediation is becoming more common as a means of resolving disputes. Yet attorneys trained and experienced in litigation do not always have the skills to guide their clients through a mediation process, says Raphael Lapin, an adjunct professor at the Whittier School of Law and principal of Lapin Negotiation Strategies.

  • Contractor Employee Confidentiality Policies In The Spotlight

    Dave Nadler

    The government has recently stepped up its efforts to preclude government contractors from using overly restrictive confidentiality and nondisparagement clauses in employment contracts that might discourage employees from reporting waste, fraud and abuse, say attorneys with Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • Stakes Are High In McDonald’s Joint-Employer Case

    Donald S. Krueger

    The National Labor Relations Board’s case against McDonald’s, charging that the franchisor and its franchisees are joint employers and seeking to hold McDonald’s liable for unfair labor practices allegedly committed by its franchisees, has the potential to fundamentally alter the way employers conduct business with franchisees and third-party contractors, say Donald Krueger and Steven Swirsky of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Virginia's ‘Rocket Docket' Continues To Roar

    Robert M. Tata

    The Eastern District of Virginia ― known as the “Rocket Docket” ― had the fastest trial docket in the country in 2014, for the seventh year in a row. The median time interval to trial was 12.5 months. That’s compared to a nationwide average of 24.9 months to try a case, says Robert Tata, managing partner of Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.

  • Moving On Up The Value Chain: Here Is What Legal Can Do

    Lance Ellisor

    At a time of increasing litigation costs and rising claims, legal departments are facing pressures to lower overall legal spending and evolve from a company cost center into a strategic business partner. As a result, smart legal departments are increasingly focusing on brand management, predictive decision-making and commercial acceleration, says Lance Ellisor of Mitratech Holdings Inc.

  • 2 Routes To Hourly Rates For Lawyers

    Gerald G. Knapton

    If we were developing a system to determine legal fees from a clean slate, we would price our professional services according to quality, efficiency and results — tasks and team would be agreed upon. Instead, we have an hourly system that discourages tight management, can lead to padded bills and includes time for work that may not have been necessary, says Gerald Knapton of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC.

  • Loose Lips Have Lots Of Leeway At The NLRB

    Stephanie M. Caffera

    In light of Pier Sixty LLC, the National Labor Relations Board will construe both employer “provocation” and employee “impulsiveness” much more broadly than employers would expect. The “one bad supervisor” may create a legal environment that essentially condones an outburst from an employee and may prevent an employer from taking disciplinary action, says Stephanie Caffera of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Catch Me If You Can: NLRB Union Election Rules Edition

    Terence P. McCourt

    While we can't say with certainty how quickly on average the National Labor Relations Board's regions will schedule elections under new union election rules, faster elections will surely benefit unions as employers will lose campaign time and have fewer opportunities to express their views on unionization to employees, say Terence McCourt and Justin Keith of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Comes Around On CAFA

    Sean D. Unger

    Taken together, three recent cases demonstrate the Ninth Circuit’s new fidelity to Congress’ stated intent that Class Action Fairness Act cases be heard in federal courts. However, they also confirm that, where Congress limited CAFA, the Ninth Circuit will not ignore that limitation, say attorneys at Paul Hastings LLP.