Employment

  • August 20, 2014

    Whistleblower Law No Guarantee Of Jury Trial, Pa. Court Says

    The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Tuesday that the state’s whistleblower law does not guarantee a right to a jury trial, upholding a judgment that a western Pennsylvania substance abuse treatment facility justly fired an employee over forging a document.

  • August 20, 2014

    DOJ Says Subcontractor Should Stay In KBR False Claims Suit

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday blasted First Kuwaiti Trading Co.'s attempts to evade a False Claims Act suit accusing it and KBR Inc. of filing fraudulent claims while working on a massive logistical support contract in Iraq, saying an Illinois federal court has jurisdiction over the subcontractor's portion of the suit.

  • August 20, 2014

    SpaceX Workers Launch 3rd Suit, Allege Racist Policies

    Space Exploration Technologies Corp. employees on Monday launched a putative class action suit in California court accusing it of fostering a racist working environment in which certain workers were subjected to slurs and passed over for promotions, making this the third employee suit to befall the rocket manufacturer in less than a month.

  • August 20, 2014

    Food Lion Hit With EEOC Suit Over Jehovah’s Witness Firing

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday slapped Food Lion LLC with a federal employment discrimination suit alleging the North Carolina-based grocery retailer fired an employee because he was unavailable to work on days he had to attend Jehovah's Witness services and meetings.

  • August 20, 2014

    Pa. High Court Says Casino Dealer's Theft Fine Is Excessive

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a $75,000 fine imposed on a Rivers Casino employee for stealing $200 in poker chips was unconstitutionally excessive, and remanded the case back to the trial court.

  • August 19, 2014

    Samsung To Pay $2.3M To End FCA Suit Over Trade Breach

    Samsung Electronics America Inc. has agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle a whistleblower suit in Maryland federal court accusing the tech giant of violating the False Claims Act by providing resellers with inaccurate information regarding its products’ country of origin, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

  • August 19, 2014

    Skechers Pays $1.2M To Settle Missed Break, OT Class Action

    A California judge on Tuesday tentatively approved a $1.2 million settlement to resolve class claims by about 4,800 Skechers USA Inc. employees who alleged the shoe retailer failed to pay them for overtime worked and deprived them of meal and rest breaks.

  • August 19, 2014

    Fla. Biz Sued For Using HUBZone To Get $11M In Contracts

    The U.S. intervened Monday in a whistleblower suit in Florida federal court against construction company Air Ideal Inc. for allegedly falsely using a Historically Underutilized Business Zone address to obtain more than $11 million in government contracts.

  • August 19, 2014

    UK Lehman Bankers Will Get Pensions In $306M Settlement

    Nearly 2,500 U.K.-based former Lehman Brothers bankers will receive their pension benefits in full under a $306 million settlement that will see Lehman Brothers International (Europe) fund the pensions with contributions from other companies in the group, a British regulator said Tuesday.

  • August 19, 2014

    College Profs Seek Final OK Of $19.5M Retirement Row Deal

    College professors accusing retirement funds of profiting off their savings by delaying trades asked a Vermont federal judge to approve a $19.5 million settlement in their Employee Retirement Income Security Act consolidated class action on Tuesday, almost six months after he granted preliminary approval.

  • August 19, 2014

    Ex-DuPont Engineer Wants No Prison For Trade Secret Plot

    A former DuPont Co. engineer convicted of taking part in a conspiracy to steal the company's proprietary information and sell it to Chinese government-owned companies urged a California federal judge to sentence him to just home confinement — far less than the 15 years his partner in crime got last month.

  • August 19, 2014

    Schlumberger Suggests Ex-GC Is Behind Second Patent Suit

    Schlumberger Ltd. has filed an amended trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit in Texas state court that suggests its former chief intellectual property lawyer is behind a second patent infringement suit Acacia Research Group launched against the oilfield services company earlier this year.

  • August 19, 2014

    Hotel Union Urges 7th Circ. To Rehear Coercive Tactics Case

    The Seventh Circuit should revisit a ruling that held a local Unite Here chapter may be liable under federal labor law if a Chicago hotel can show the union harassed its corporate customers during a labor dispute, the union said Monday.

  • August 19, 2014

    PE Firm Can't Shake WARN Claims From Cuts At Bankrupt Unit

    A Delaware federal judge refused Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit against private equity firm Navigation Capital Partners Inc. over layoffs at a bankrupt unit in 2013, ruling the former employees had adequately alleged the firm had de facto control over its affiliate and could thus be liable.

  • August 19, 2014

    11th Circ. Tosses Discrimination Suit Against Ritz-Carlton

    The Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday dismissed a suit brought by two Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. LLC employees alleging racial discrimination by the company, calling many of their arguments “frivolous” and saying they hadn’t shown an arbitrator who ruled for the company was biased.

  • August 19, 2014

    6th Circ. Revives EMT's Gender Discrimination Suit

    The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday ruled that required psychological counseling at the center of an emergency medical technician’s long-running discrimination suit against her former employer was not a job-related medical exam under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reversing a lower court decision to toss the case.

  • August 19, 2014

    NLRB Faults Aluminum Co. For Firing 'Cut Throat' Worker

    The National Labor Relations Board ruled on Monday that Nichols Aluminum LLC unlawfully fired an employee who allegedly made a "cut throat" gesture to another worker not long after returning from a strike, reversing an NLRB judge's conclusion that the worker was discharged for violating Nichols' anti-harassment policy.

  • August 19, 2014

    Tyson Can't Escape $4M Damages, Fees In Don-Doff Suit

    A Tenth Circuit panel on Tuesday rejected Tyson Foods Inc.’s attempts to reverse a $4 million verdict and attorneys’ fee award in an employee class action over unpaid wages for time spent putting on protective equipment, finding there was enough evidence to support the jury’s finding.

  • August 19, 2014

    KBR Insists Business Gifts Aren't The Same As Kickbacks

    Kellogg Brown & Root Inc. on Monday shot back against the government's attempt to win partial summary judgment in a suit over alleged kickbacks under its Iraq War contract, saying that the government hadn't established that the kickbacks were anything but commonplace business gifts accepted by low-level KBR employees.

  • August 19, 2014

    6th Circ. Rejects Mine Safety Rule Dispute Over Jurisdiction

    The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday rejected an industry challenge to a revised U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration rule cracking down on safety enforcement in the nation's purported most dangerous mines, saying it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

Expert Analysis

  • Consider Hearsay Issues Before A Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition

    Susan F. DiCicco

    To avoid the risk of multiple depositions or inadmissible testimony, all counsel should focus prior to a deposition — and before designating a witness — on knowledge and hearsay issues that may arise at Rule 30(b)(6) depositions, say Susan DiCicco and Stephen Scotch-Marmo of Bingham McCutchen LLP.

  • Law Firms May Be Violating Copyrights

    Roy Kaufman

    On average, a legal professional forwards content to 14 different people per week. Yet many attorneys and staff lack an understanding of copyright and their firm’s specific policies regarding shared third-party materials, says Roy Kaufman of Copyright Clearance Center.

  • 2 Calif. Cases Professional Liability Insurers Must Know

    James P. Koelzer

    MacRae v. HCR Manor Care Services could be seen as helpful to professional liability insurers because it makes the applicable standard for nursing hours per patient day clear, while also making it more difficult for residents to assert class action claims against these type of facilities, say James Koelzer and Charles Cannizzaro of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.

  • The Use Of Statistical Sampling Post-Duran

    Sarah Butler

    As the California Supreme Court pointed out in Duran vs. U.S. Bank, determining the appropriate sample size in a class action needs to be based on scientific principles and some understanding of the underlying population’s distribution — if the variation in the population is significant a large sample size may be required, says Sarah Butler of National Economic Research Associates Inc.

  • Plenty Of Commuter Benefit Options For Calif. Employers

    Stephen H. Harris

    The San Francisco Bay Area Commuter Benefits program provides employers with significant flexibility to choose the commuter benefit option that best suits their needs and employers with multiple worksites can offer different benefits at different sites, say attorneys at Paul Hastings LLP.

  • A Close Look At NY's New Privilege Log Rule

    Joseph B. Schmit

    In addition to significantly reducing costs incurred in the preparation of privilege logs, the new categorical approach to privilege logs in New York will allow parties to identify and frame legal issues requiring the court’s attention more clearly — thus positively impacting the efficiency of the dispute resolution process as well, say Joseph Schmit and Aaron Schue of Phillips Lytle LLP.

  • Courtroom Challenge: Preparing For A First Trial

    John S. Worden

    Trials are stressful and, while there is a certain kind of nervousness from the fear of being embarrassed among inexperienced lawyers, learning how to examine and cross-examine witnesses as well as how to craft arguments are not mechanical and can only be mastered through experience, say John Worden and Lindsey Berg of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • CMS Medical Staffing Rule Leaves Questions Unanswered

    Douglass A. Marshall

    The ambiguity of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' recent rule relating to how medical staffs in a multihospital system may either opt in or opt out of the unified and integrated medical staff should be the focus of stakeholder concern, say Douglass Marshall and Roy Bossen of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.

  • Try Not To Get Burned By Summer OFCCP Enforcement

    Kenneth Rosenberg

    While federal contractors may have been looking forward to a break from new affirmative action regulations and related enforcement activities, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs have turned up the heat on federal contractors this summer, says Kenneth Rosenberg of Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Calif. Employers Should Sweat Over Cooldown Breaks

    Benjamin J. Kim

    California's Code of Regulations does not definitively determine what employers are responsible for providing cooldown periods to employees in accordance with heat illness prevention rules, thus they could apply to a variety of industries with workers who perform at least some of their job duties outdoors, says Benjamin Kim of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP.