• December 19, 2014

    Calif. Strip Club, Dancers Get OK For Deal Over Taping, Tips

    A California judge on Friday granted final approval to a deal requiring the owner of Bare Elegance Gentlemen’s Club to pay $500,000 over claims by 443 exotic dancers that the club had illegally videotaped them and taken their tips, in violation of state labor laws.

  • December 19, 2014

    Calif. Panel Says Concepcion Defeats Broughton-Cruz Rule

    A California appellate panel Thursday bolstered the Federal Arbitration Act's preemption in the Golden State, finding the U.S. Supreme Court's Concepcion decision and the state high court's Iskanian ruling defeat a judge's reliance on the Broughton-Cruz rule to deny Citibank NA's bid to arbitrate an insurance consumer class' injunctive-relief claims.

  • December 19, 2014

    Former Sherman & Howard Atty Hits Firm With Sex Bias Suit

    An attorney on Thursday hit Denver, Colorado-based law firm Sherman & Howard LLC  with a sexual discrimination lawsuit in a Colorado federal court, accusing her former employer of subjecting her to a hostile work environment that included repeated sexual harassment from a former partner.

  • December 19, 2014

    Catholic Orgs Take ACA Challenge To High Court

    Religious organizations affiliated with the Catholic Church have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on their challenge to an Affordable Care Act mandate that stipulates they fill out paperwork before being excused from providing birth control to their employees.

  • December 19, 2014

    Judge Says Chipotle Must Hand Over Atty Docs In OT Suit

    Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. must turn over attorney-client communications because it did not meet a “good-faith” compliance requirement under federal labor law, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled on Thursday in a collective action brought by employees who allege the chain misclassified them as overtime-exempt executives.

  • December 19, 2014

    MetroPCS Settles NY, Calif. Overtime Pay Claims For $1.85M

    A New York state judge has approved a $1.85 million settlement between MetroPCS Wireless Inc. and account services representatives who accused the telecom of failing to pay them overtime wages, resolving New York and California labor law claims claims remaining from a federal collective action.

  • December 19, 2014

    High Court Pressed To Send Asbestos Suit To Fed. Court

    A shipyards products manufacturer is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Fourth Circuit decision keeping an asbestos suit in state court, arguing that the company has been improperly denied its right to a federal forum to pursue its government contractor defense.

  • December 19, 2014

    ACLU Urges Lift Of Gag Order In Coal Exec's Criminal Case

    The American Civil Liberties Union urged a West Virginia federal judge Thursday to lift a sweeping gag order in the criminal case of former Massey Coal Co. CEO Don Blankenship in connection with 29 miner deaths, saying in a sealed document that the order flies in the face of the Supreme Court's absolute prohibition of prior restraint under the First Amendment.

  • December 19, 2014

    Texas Justice's Union Defamation Dissent Cites Ferris Bueller

    The Texas Supreme Court missed an opportunity to bring “clarity and uniformity” to free speech law in the digital age by declining to review a defamation suit filed against a Houston-area service employees union, Justice Don Willett wrote in a dissenting opinion that quoted the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

  • December 19, 2014

    NLRB Targets McDonald's, Franchisees As 'Joint Employers'

    The National Labor Relations Board said Friday it has issued complaints targeting both McDonald's USA LLC and McDonald's franchisees over labor law violations, alleging that the "joint employers" violated the rights of workers who took steps to try to improve their working conditions that included participation in nationwide protests. 

  • December 18, 2014

    NJ Assembly Seeks Fed. Aid For Displaced Casino Workers

    The New Jersey General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution to lobby the federal government for a grant to assist former Atlantic City casino workers displaced by the closure of casinos, money that would be used to offer workforce education and training.

  • December 18, 2014

    Verdict Narrowed Against J-M In FCA Suit Over Shoddy Pipes

    A California federal judge Thursday limited the scope of a first-phase jury verdict finding pipe maker J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. liable for damages in a whistleblower False Claims Act suit over substandard plastic pipe used in water and sewer systems, saying the verdict applies only to five exemplar plaintiffs.

  • December 18, 2014

    Sports Giant IMG Latest Hit With Unpaid Intern Suit In NY

    A former intern for sports marketing giant IMG Worldwide LLC on Thursday filed the latest in a series of putative class actions in New York court that accuse companies of not paying their interns minimum wage for work that doesn't qualify as education or training.

  • December 18, 2014

    US Extends Job Bias Protection To Transgender People

    The government can now bring claims against employers on behalf of workers who say they’ve been discriminated against because they are transgender, according to a memo released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday.

  • December 18, 2014

    Sony Hit With 2 More Suits Over 'The Interview' Hack

    Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. is facing two more putative class actions from employees whose personal information was leaked as part of a massive hack directed at the movie studio over its comedy “The Interview,” about a plot to kill North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

  • December 18, 2014

    Judge Snubs KBR's 'Old Args' On Privilege In Kickbacks Row

    A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday rejected Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc.’s "old arguments" that attorney-client privilege protected its business-conduct documents from being compelled by a whistleblower alleging kickback activity in Iraq, but limited the whistleblower’s access to witness statements from KBR’s internal monitoring.

  • December 18, 2014

    NFL Dodges Players' Painkiller Class Action

    A California federal judge on Wednesday tossed ex-National Football League players' class action claiming that the league encouraged them to abuse painkillers, ruling that a collective bargaining agreement preempted the claims.

  • December 18, 2014

    Amid Union Fight, Icahn Pledges $20M To Save Taj Mahal

    Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. senior creditor Carl Icahn said Thursday that he would put in $20 million of additional financing to keep the company’s only remaining casino operating, the same day the union representing Taj Mahal workers claimed he backed out of a more comprehensive deal to save it from closing.

  • December 18, 2014

    Military Solvent Contractor Can't Kick Whistleblower Suit

    An Alabama federal judge on Wednesday refused to toss a False Claims Act suit against Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. alleging the company grossly overbilled for cleaning solvents used by a military depot, saying a whistleblower had submitted strong enough evidence to allow the case to advance.

  • December 18, 2014

    Mount Sinai Says Whistleblowers Misused Patient Info

    Mount Sinai Hospital on Wednesday urged a New York federal judge to dismiss a whistleblower suit claiming the hospital fraudulently billed Medicare and the New York Medicaid program, arguing that the relators in the case took advantage of their positions at the hospital to improperly access patient records used in the suit.

Expert Analysis

  • A Wake-Up Call To Counsel Over ESI Discovery

    Eric P. Mandel

    There are two important takeaways from Brown v. Tellermate Holdings Ltd. — search terms often produce both over-inclusive and under-inclusive results and it's imperative counsel test the accuracy of electronically stored information search methodology before committing to use it or to a firm production timetable, say Charles Ragan and Eric Mandel of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • EB-5 Visa Unavailability Will Have A Large Impact

    Mona Shah

    The EB-5 visa program has evolved into a multibillion-dollar industry, and clarification from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on issues surrounding the visa backlog is necessary to stabilize the program and capital markets in the U.S., say Mona Shah and Yi Song of Mona Shah & Associates.

  • 7th Circ. Limits FCA 'Worthless Services' Theory

    Ty Howard

    While Absher v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center Inc. leaves open the potential that a worthless services theory could give rise to False Claims Act liability, the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation severely limits such liability to those cases in which a defendant effectively provided no service of value at all, says Ty Howard of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • Best Business Planning Practices For Lawyers

    Jenn Topper

    Each lawyer's practice is a self-run business, even within the platform of a firm, and yet the level of entrepreneurialism within the practice of law is oftentimes marginalized, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Noncompetes And At-Will Employment At Issue In Wis.

    Brandon M. Krajewski

    An eventual decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Runzheimer International Limited v. Friedlen should provide critical guidance to employers looking to secure new restrictive covenants with existing at-will employees without additional consideration, says Brandon Krajewski of Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • Mental Health Concerns Give Way To Broader Audit Concerns

    Daniel Chudd

    It remains to be seen whether the Senate bill intended to identify security-cleared personnel who are at risk of becoming unstable will pass and, if so, whether it will be effective. We have our doubts on both points, say Daniel Chudd and Esteban Morin of Jenner & Block LLP.

  • 5 Things To Consider Before Posting Social Media Policies

    Michael C. Schmidt

    The takeaway from recent National Labor Relations Board rulings concerning social media policies in the workplace is that it is critical to adopt best practices regarding employee communications — avoid overly broad, subjective and undefined terms when regulating potentially concerted activities, says Michael Schmidt of Cozen O'Connor PC.

  • Job Applications Can Cut Short Protracted Litigation

    Keith J. Rosenblatt

    With the decision in Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Company Inc., New Jersey’s judiciary joined federal or state courts in several other states that have permitted parties to the employment relationship to “agree” upon shorter limitations periods for employment-related claims. Employers following this approach should consider five guidelines, say Keith Rosenblatt and Rachel Seaton of Littler Mendelson PC.

  • Calif. Employers Should Be Ready To Reimburse Under BYOD

    Paula M. Weber

    The California Second District Court of Appeal's ruling in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Services Inc. radically expands employers’ obligation to reimburse employees and does so without any significant support outside of the court’s own thinking, say attorneys at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Document Storage Tips: Inside The Email Vault

    Jon Kessler

    The ability to make an informed decision when approaching any evidentiary collection or e-discovery project — ideally before your company’s IT team or legal counsel is under the gun of an active investigation or litigation — is key to smoothing what can be a complex and expensive process. Get to know your email archive system, says Jon Kessler of Epiq Systems Inc.