Employment

  • July 25, 2014

    BJ's Managers Fight Arbitration In OT Suit

    Dozens of BJ's Wholesale Club middle managers who claim they have been stiffed overtime pay are fighting the company's bid to send their dispute to arbitration, saying on Friday that the retailer hasn't provided evidence supporting its position that the employees were made aware of a corporate dispute-resolution program.

  • July 25, 2014

    Industry Warns NY Of Overreach On Tipped-Worker Pay Hike

    The Cuomo administration has sweeping power to give legions of waiters and other tipped workers across New York a raise, but industry sources warned ahead of high-profile hearings that a move simply to pay them the regular minimum wage and treat tips as gravy on top would arguably run afoul of legislative intent and would draw a court fight.

  • July 25, 2014

    10th Circ. Won't Revive FMLA Claim Against Utah County

    The Tenth Circuit refused Friday to revive a fired benefits administrator's claim that a Utah county interfered with her Family and Medical Leave Act rights, saying the county had established that she would have been dismissed even if she hadn't taken FMLA leave. 

  • July 25, 2014

    Nucor's Appeal Of Race Bias Class 3 Years Late: 4th Circ.

    Nucor Corp.’s quest for decertification of a class of black workers claiming they were subjected to a hostile work environment hit another roadblock Friday when the Fourth Circuit said a petition for review of the lower court’s refusal to decertify is three years too late.

  • July 25, 2014

    3 Tips For Workable FCA Release Programs

    As qui tam False Claims Act lawsuits continue to rise, health care companies and their attorneys are working to bolster internal compliance programs and eyeing employee litigation releases as a way to limit exposure. But those agreements require some careful handling. Here, attorneys share three tips to crafting an employee release that won't be thrown out in court.

  • July 25, 2014

    No Need To Hold Up TRW Health Benefits Fight, Retirees Say

    A pending U.S. Supreme Court case over retiree health care benefits shouldn't block TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.'s bid for rehearing in a separate health benefits class action because the union contracts underlying each case are different, the TRW plaintiffs told the Sixth Circuit on Thursday. 

  • July 25, 2014

    Employees' Claims Against BOK Time-Barred, Judge Says

    An Oklahoma federal judge on Friday pared misclassification and off-the-clock claims in a class action brought by mortgage loan officers against BOK Financial Corp., ruling that they had not proven that the bank had willfully violated federal labor law and so their claims were time-barred.

  • July 25, 2014

    Editor Axed Over Homophobic Blog Post Files EEOC Claim

    A fired editor-in-chief slapped an Iowa newspaper with a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint Wednesday, claiming he had been terminated for airing his Christian beliefs in a personal blog post that reportedly accused the “Gaystapo” of trying to change the Bible.

  • July 25, 2014

    Mercedes' Handbook Policy Held Up Union Efforts, NLRB Says

    Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. maintained an overly broad handbook policy that appeared to ban employees from solicitation of other employees during breaks in the workday, a National Labor Relations Board judge said Thursday, finding the carmaker had violated federal labor law.

  • July 25, 2014

    Conagra Plant Workers Fight To Keep Overtime Suit Alive

    A conditionally certified class of ConAgra Foods Inc. supervisors who claim they were improperly denied overtime urged an Arkansas federal judge on Thursday to nix the company’s bid for judgment, arguing that questions still remain over whether they had the ability to hire or fire other workers.

  • July 24, 2014

    NJ Superior Court Hit With Disability Bias Suit

    The New Jersey Judiciary was hit Wednesday with a disability bias suit by a courtroom clerk at Camden, New Jersey’s Superior Court who said she faced reprisal when she complained about the rescission of reasonable accommodations allowing her to work despite a chronic nerve condition.

  • July 24, 2014

    Agencies Finalize Rule On Contractor Whistleblower Costs

    The U.S. Department of Defense, General Services Administration and NASA will publish a final rule on Friday to block government contractors from charging the government for legal costs related to whistleblower retaliation lawsuits.

  • July 24, 2014

    Stryker Can't Ax Counterclaims In Customer Sabotage Row

    A Michigan federal judge shot down Stryker Corp.'s attempt to nix an ex-employee's counterclaims concerning a noncompete agreement in a suit over an alleged scheme to harm the company's relationships with customers, finding Thursday that the allegations were not a “mirror image” of the company’s own breach of contract claim.

  • July 24, 2014

    Texas Court OKs Sempra Energy Ex-Exec's Back Pay Award

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday affirmed a judgment that requires Sempra Energy Trading LLC to pay its former managing director back salary, severance and additional bonuses he was promised orally by the company’s former CEO but never got in writing.

  • July 24, 2014

    NCAA, EA Win OK For $60M College Athlete Class Deals

    A California federal judge indicated on Thursday that she will preliminarily approve $60 million in settlements in college athletes' cases accusing the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Electronic Arts Inc. of improperly using their likenesses in video games, but sidelined the NCAA's effort to include antitrust claims in the release.

  • July 24, 2014

    Schwan's Workers Cite State High Court In Cell Bill Fight

    Schwan's Home Service Inc. sales representatives on Thursday urged a California appeals court to revive their putative class action alleging the home food delivery giant didn't pay for cellphones they needed to work, saying a recent California Supreme Court decision supports their plan to prove liability with statistical sampling.

  • July 24, 2014

    Fed Can't Escape ADA Suit Over Ex-Worker's PTSD

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday denied a bid by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to escape a disability suit brought by an employee who says his post-traumatic stress disorder was exacerbated when he was relocated to a building near the World Trade Center site.

  • July 24, 2014

    Clearing Firm Looks To Pare Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Case

    Clearing services provider COR Clearing LLC on Wednesday told a Nebraska federal judge that a former executive alleging she was fired after reporting potential securities fraud should not be able to pursue negligence and breach of contract claims because she hasn't done enough to support them.

  • July 24, 2014

    8th Circ. Snubs Ex-Napster CEO's Employment Contract Suit

    The Eighth Circuit on Thursday rejected a former Napster Inc. CEO's claims that he was improperly denied a $2.9 million performance award after he resigned and Best Buy Co. Inc. sold the file-sharing service, finding he had failed to state a breach of contract claim.

  • July 24, 2014

    Ivy League Connection Tutors Are Employees, NY Court Finds

    Home tutors dispatched by Ivy League Tutoring Connection Inc. to New York clients seeking help with school work and test preparation operated under terms that made them employees, not contractors, an appellate court said Thursday, turning aside the business' bid to cut its unemployment insurance bill.

Expert Analysis

  • NY Whistleblower Suits Are Now Harder To Dismiss

    Elena Chkolnikova

    The New York Court of Appeals' recent ruling in Webb-Weber v. Community Action For Human Services Inc. overrules prior appellate decisions and is bad news for New York employers as it will increase the number of whistleblower cases advancing beyond the initial, pre-answer stages of litigation, requiring employers to engage in costly discovery before any dispositive motions can be filed, says Elena Chkolnikova of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • Inside Philadelphia's Immigration IMPACT Program

    Katharyn Christian McGee

    This collaborative program differs from the more traditional legal aid model. Through Philadelphia Immigration IMPACT, law firm attorneys and paralegals perform all of the planning and case management, enabling the legal services organizations to limit their participation to providing substantive assistance, say members of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • High Court Sets Stage For Showdown On 2 Big FCA Issues

    Patrick Hagan

    Three pillars of the False Claims Act provide limitations on relators. Unfortunately, the 2010 FCA amendments weakened the public disclosure bar, and the Fourth Circuit’s holding in KBR Inc. v. U.S. undermines both the statute of limitations and the first-to-file rule. If the Fourth Circuit’s reasoning is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, companies doing business with the government could face lawsuits for alleged FCA violations th... (continued)

  • A Key Call On Calif. Independent Contractor Classification

    Elizabeth Brown

    The California Supreme Court's recent ruling in Maria Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers Inc. is significant because it clarifies the test for independent contractor status, explains how litigants and courts should approach certification of alleged independent contractor disputes and recognizes that employee contractor status is only a stepping stone to liability. Still, questions remain, says Elizabeth Brown of Grube Brown & Geidt LLP.

  • Storming The Castle: Employee Whistleblowing Under ACA

    Todd J. Horn

    A simmering rebellion among part-time employees and independent contractors over a lack of access to their employers' health insurance plans has been aided by the formidable whistleblowing armaments and vast bounties offered by the Affordable Care Act. Even more worrisome, the ACA also clads these warriors in armor to protect them from employer retaliation — even if their whistleblowing accusations are wrong, says Todd Horn of Venable LLP.

  • Examining Arguments Made (And Not Made) In Hobby Lobby

    Martin Bienstock

    Had the government made and supported an argument in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. that the option of cancelling employer-based coverage and making the shared responsibility payment does not impose a substantial burden on employers, then the majority might have had a difficult time rejecting it, says Martin Bienstock of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC.

  • Harris V. Quinn: Roadmap For The End Of Fair Share?

    Ronald J. Kramer

    While the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Harris v. Quinn is technically limited to so-called partial public employees, the majority’s blistering attack and critique of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education does raise questions as to whether the current majority would vote to uphold Abood if it faced a case involving full-fledged public-sector employees, say Ronald Kramer and Joshua Ditelberg of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • 4 Things Every Law Firm Should Do Upon A Cyberbreach

    Shari L. Klevens

    Hackers breached the defenses of approximately 80 percent of the 100 largest law firms in the United States in 2011, according to the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. There are four things every law firm should do when faced with a cyberattack, say attorneys with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.

  • 11 Compliance Lessons Learned In Lagos, Nigeria

    Sharie Brown

    While providing anti-bribery, ethics and internal controls training to a new, publicly listed Nigerian company, I was pleased to learn several positive lessons that reflect some “bright spots” of anti-corruption compliance progress in Nigeria. Some of these lessons might be helpful to other newly public companies in emerging countries, says Sharie Brown of Troutman Sanders LLP.

  • VIDEO: Seattle’s Minimum Wage Affects Employers Nationwide

    Portia R. Moore

    Seattle recently enacted the highest minimum wage in the nation, and companies nationwide may be effected. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP attorneys Portia Moore and Paula Simon discuss what every employer needs to know about Seattle's new $15 minimum wage.