Employment

  • October 24, 2014

    Ex-Anapol Schwartz Atty Says Jury Must Hear Gay Bias Row

    An ex-Anapol Schwartz Weiss Cohan Feldman & Smalley PC attorney who alleges that a culture of anti-gay bias at the firm derailed a lucrative job opportunity told a Pennsylvania state judge on Thursday that disputes over the events leading up to his departure require a jury trial.

  • October 24, 2014

    Special Counsel Finds Bias Against Transgender Army Worker

    The U.S. Office of Special Counsel on Thursday announced a landmark ruling that the U.S. Department of the Army had discriminated against a civilian employee after she announced a gender transition from male to female.

  • October 24, 2014

    Medical Pot Law Trumps Unemployment Law, Mich. Court Says

    A Michigan appeals court ruled Friday that workers fired solely for failing a drug test because of their legal use of medical marijuana qualify for unemployment benefits, affirming lower court decisions that the state’s medical marijuana law preempted its unemployment law.

  • October 24, 2014

    Deferred Annuities Won't Violate 401(k) Discrimination Rule

    The Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday said employer-sponsored 401(k) plans can now include annuities that are limited to older individuals without running afoul of federal nondiscrimination requirements, in a bid to promote annuity usage among taxpayers.

  • October 24, 2014

    Exotic Dancers Win Cert. In Miami Club OT Suit

    A Florida magistrate judge conditionally certified a collective class of exotic dancers Thursday in their lawsuit accusing a Miami strip club of stiffing them on wages and overtime, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

  • October 24, 2014

    Sheehan Phinney Snags Jones Day Labor Pro in Boston

    Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA announced that it has lured a veteran labor law practitioner from Jones Day to its Boston office.

  • October 23, 2014

    $62M FCA Suit Against Northrop Grumman Mostly Survives

    An Illinois federal judge on Thursday refused to toss most of an ex-employee's $62 million False Claims Act suit accusing Northrop Grumman Corp. of defrauding the U.S. over a program designed to create technology protecting commercial aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles, finding plausible allegations that Northrop had lied.

  • October 23, 2014

    Quinn Emanuel Fights DQ Ruling In Wrongful Firing Suit

    Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP on Thursday asked a New York appeals court to allow it to represent an investment management firm in a former employee’s wrongful termination suit, saying a lower court misapplied conflict of interest standards when it disqualified the law firm from the case.

  • October 23, 2014

    Funds Dissatisfied With Simon Property CEO's Pay Revision

    Two pension funds launched another challenge to Simon Property Group CEO David Simon's pay in a derivative lawsuit unsealed late Wednesday, arguing revisions to his compensation made in the midst of a prior Delaware Chancery Court fight weren’t good enough and could hand him more than $150 million.

  • October 23, 2014

    Gay Worker Fired Over God's Will Keeps Bias Suit In Play

    A New Jersey federal judge refused Thursday to nix a lawsuit brought against the owner of several Ashley Furniture HomeStore locations by an ex-human resources director who was allegedly fired because of her sexual orientation and told the termination was ordained by God.  

  • October 23, 2014

    Judge Koh Agrees To Take On Oracle Anti-Poaching Suit

    U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh agreed Wednesday to take on a proposed class action accusing Oracle Corp. of conspiring to suppress employee pay by entering an anti-poaching agreement with Google Inc., finding the new suit was related to an ongoing case about similar recruitment agreements.

  • October 23, 2014

    7th Circ. Shuns Review Of $180M ConAgra Blast Suit

    The Seventh Circuit on Thursday refused to rehear en banc a ruling that released ConAgra Foods Inc. from its portion of a $180 million jury verdict stemming from an explosion at an Illinois grain mill that severely burned three workers.

  • October 23, 2014

    San Bernardino Creditors Demand Deadline For Ch. 9 Plan

    A bank and an insurer urged the judge handling San Bernardino, California’s two-year-old bankruptcy case on Wednesday to fix a March 1 deadline for the city to submit a Chapter 9 exit plan, saying that a firm timeline will pressure recalcitrant unions into accepting benefit cuts.

  • October 23, 2014

    Chevron Pays $4M To End Refinery Wage Fight

    Chevron USA Inc. on Thursday won approval from a California judge for its $4.2 million settlement of class claims that it stiffed almost 1,400 current and former oil refinery employees by not paying wages for time spent on required pre- and post-shift meetings.

  • October 23, 2014

    Fla. High Court Overturns Atty Fee Ruling In Pension Case

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that attorneys' fees awarded to Tampa firefighters and police officers in a dispute over missed pension fund payments should be paid by the fund’s board, quashing a 2013 state appellate decision.

  • October 23, 2014

    NY Top Court Urges SimplexGrinnell Wage Recovery

    The New York Court of Appeals on Thursday advised the Second Circuit they should not give the Department of Labor deference in deciding whether SimplexGrinnell LP government contractors may pursue claims of past underpayment, and should read the relevant statute as requiring prevailing wages for all the contractors’ work.

  • October 23, 2014

    Calif. Court Stops Firm's Wells Fargo OT Row $5M Fee Grab

    A California appeals court on Wednesday refused to allow Initiative Legal Group APC to collect nearly $5 million that it said it believed were attorneys’ fees obtained in a settlement over Wells Fargo Bank NA mortgage consultants’ claims that the bank denied them overtime.

  • October 23, 2014

    JC Penney Ruling Urges Swiftness For FLSA 'Pick-Off' Bids

    J.C. Penney Co. Inc.'s recent failed attempt to end a potential Fair Labor Standards Act collective action by offering to pay the named plaintiffs' wage claims prompted a New York federal court ruling that attorneys say demonstrates the need to act quickly — for employers looking to complete an FLSA “pick-off” as well as plaintiffs looking to avoid one.

  • October 23, 2014

    HSBC Faces New Retaliation Suit Over Alleged Harassment

    HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. was hit with yet another suit in New York federal court Tuesday alleging it fired an employee who reported a colleague's alleged sexual harassment.

  • October 23, 2014

    Walgreen Workers' Attys Blasted For 'Form Declarations'

    The California Court of Appeal refused Thursday to revive a putative class action accusing The Walgreen Co. of not giving employees meal breaks, after dozens of witnesses recanted mostly identical declarations overseen by the plaintiff's lawyers, raising questions about how the documents were prepared.

Expert Analysis

  • The Coming Tide Of Website Disability Claims Under ADA

    Steven R. Becker

    Actions taken by large retailers and the U.S. Department of Justice hint at a movement toward requiring private sector websites to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, says Steven Becker of Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP.

  • 12 Tips For Franchisors To Reduce Joint-Employer Risks

    Rochelle Spandorf

    In a joint-employer or vicarious liability case, providing a template employee manual is a bad fact — it does not matter how skeletal the template may be, says Rochelle Spandorf, chairwoman of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP's national franchise practice.

  • Pushing Employees To Work During FMLA Leave Can Backfire

    Anne R. Yuengert

    Although we don't know if the Eleventh Circuit's ruling in Evans v. Books-A-Million Inc. is a trend to provide expanded protection to pregnant workers, the case does make clear that simply paying employees who work during leave will not insulate the employer from an interference claim, says Anne Yuengert of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • Timing Is Everything In 'Take-Home' Asbestos Cases

    Douglas B. Pfeiffer

    Foreseeability continues to be the most important consideration in "take-home" asbestos exposure cases and Bootenhoff v. Hormel Foods Corp. demonstrates the importance of the time frame of the employee’s alleged exposure in cases based on negligence, say attorneys at Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • Pension Plan Minefields For Distressed Auto Equipment Cos.

    Jim Lukenda

    Few people understand the complexities of defined benefit pension plans, particularly those of distressed companies. For attorneys who work with clients or lenders in the automotive equipment business, these issues can be difficult to navigate without guidance on the complicated and sometimes arcane issues involved, say Laura Marcero and Jim Lukenda of Huron Consulting Group.

  • Should FIRREA Whistleblower Bounties Be Higher?

    Andrew W. Schilling

    The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act’s whistleblower bounties at False Claims Act levels could lead to absurdly high and wastefully excessive awards. At the same time, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder may be right when he suggests that awards capped below annual bonuses may not be enough to encourage confidential reporting by well-placed Wall Street insiders, says Andrew Schilling of BuckleySandler LLP.

  • Will DC Circ. Sidestep Dispute A Decade In The Making?

    Mike Wagner

    In the wake of the recent oral argument in UPMC Braddock v. Perez, it appears that the wait for definitive guidance on whether Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan network providers are "government subcontractors" may continue, say Jennifer Plitsch and Mike Wagner of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Use Economic Analysis To Fight Class Certification

    Charles Fields

    Boelk v. AT&T Teleholdings Inc. provides a constructive example of the value of expert testimony at the class certification stage in a wage and hour matter, say Charles Fields and Erica Blom of Edgeworth Economics LLC.

  • Saving Face: DOJ Prosecutes Executives Over Corporations

    Peter R. Zeidenberg

    Feeling the sting from criticism over its failure to prosecute individuals responsible for the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice is now shifting its prosecutorial priorities — the DOJ will no longer focus on the corporate entity, now it will target corporate executives responsible for the misconduct of their companies, says Peter Zeidenberg of Arent Fox LLP.

  • EEOC Case Is Cautionary Tale Of Systemic Discrimination

    Garrett L. Boehm Jr.

    U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Supervalu, Jewel-Osco and American Drug Stores may be a harbinger of things to come for corporate employers suspected of systemic discrimination — a consent decree relating to such a charge resulted in costly sanctions, lost productivity and fees, says Garrett Boehm of Johnson & Bell Ltd.