Benefits

  • January 01, 2022

    After Chaotic 2021, NCAA Faces Reckoning On Athlete Rights

    The NCAA’s grasp over college sports is slipping as schools begin to embrace athletes commercializing their names, images and likenesses and as a new set of legal challenges over athlete unionization and employment status are coming down the pike. Here’s a look at the key issues that could usher in further change in 2022.

  • December 23, 2021

    Federal Benefits Group Backs PBM's 8th Circ. Rehearing Bid

    A group representing insurers that provide benefits to federal workers urged the Eighth Circuit to reconsider its decision that North Dakota statutes regulating pharmacy benefit managers weren't preempted by federal benefits law, arguing the panel ruling relied on a misinterpretation of U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

  • December 22, 2021

    1st Circ. Resurrects Stock-Drop Suit Over Carbonite Product

    The First Circuit on Wednesday revived a securities suit against Carbonite Inc. over a data backup product that never worked, ruling that the complaint sufficiently alleges that the company's executives either inquired about the product or were reckless in failing to do so.

  • December 22, 2021

    Ill. Firm Accused Of Shorting Workers In $2.5B Stock Deal

    A former employee of a consulting firm launched a proposed class action Wednesday in Illinois federal court, alleging the company short-changed them to the tune of at least $50 million when it bought up their stock, then sold a stake to a private equity firm for a far higher price per share.

  • December 22, 2021

    CBD Co. Seeks Quick Win Over Ex-CEO In $5M Tax Bill Row

    CBD company CV Sciences Inc. asked a Nevada federal judge on Wednesday to dismiss a bid by the company's co-founder and ex-CEO to stick it with a $5 million tax bill he claims came from a failure to withhold taxes on stocks issued to him.

  • December 22, 2021

    Trans Ex-Staffer Says Walmart Used 'Deadname' To Harass

    A transgender Georgia woman has claimed Walmart and her former colleagues at a Monroe County store used her "deadname" assigned at birth to continuously harass her before she was wrongly fired.

  • December 22, 2021

    CWA Says NLRB Ignored Clear Contract In 401(k) Match Row

    The National Labor Relations Board ignored the clear language of a labor contract in favor of extraneous evidence when it ruled a Yellow Pages publisher did not unlawfully change its 401(k) match for employees, the Communications Workers of America told the D.C. Circuit.

  • December 22, 2021

    DOL Warns Retirement Managers About Private Equity's Risks

    The U.S. Department of Labor warned retirement managers of defined contribution plans like 401(k)s against making investments in private equity if they don't understand the potential pitfalls, citing possible confusion about Trump-era guidance from summer 2020.

  • December 22, 2021

    Attys Get $19M In Cognizant's $95M Bribery Deal

    Attorneys representing a proposed class of Cognizant investors who inked a $95 million settlement to resolve claims that the company bribed officials in India for tax breaks and labor benefits will receive $19 million for their work on the lawsuit, a New Jersey federal district court ordered Tuesday.

  • December 21, 2021

    GOP Reps. Say DOL 'Unresponsive' On Reopening Plans

    Two Republicans in the House of Representatives sent a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on Tuesday, criticizing him for not spending enough time in Washington, D.C., and accusing the U.S. Labor Department of failing to furnish information about its plans for in-person reopening.

  • December 21, 2021

    SEC Taps Law Prof, Ex-Ropes Atty For Key Regulatory Spot

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has named Chicago-Kent College of Law professor and former Ropes & Gray LLP attorney William Birdthistle to lead the Division of Investment Management, which oversees investment companies and mutual funds.

  • December 21, 2021

    Natixis Can't Sink Suit Alleging 401(k) Mismanagement

    A Massachusetts federal judge has refused to dismiss a proposed class action accusing Natixis Investment Managers LP of violating federal benefits law by saddling its $440 million 401(k) plan with excessive fees and underperforming mutual funds. 

  • December 21, 2021

    Prudential Says Refiled ERISA Class Action Still Falls Short

    The Prudential Insurance Co. of America asked a New Jersey federal court to toss the latest version of a proposed class action from employees alleging that the company mismanaged its employee 401(k) plan, panning the claims as "morning-after quibbling" with the company's decisions.

  • December 21, 2021

    Thai Cabinet Gives Sales, Excise Tax Holidays

    Thailand's cabinet approved tax cuts Tuesday to spur consumer spending next year, letting individuals claim a tax deduction of 30,000 baht ($893) for spending on goods and services from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15, according to a news release.

  • December 21, 2021

    Ex-USC Football Player Charged With COVID Benefits Fraud

    A former linebacker for the University of Southern California led a group of football players in a scheme to file for $900,000 worth of fraudulent COVID-19 unemployment benefits, Los Angeles federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment unsealed Monday.

  • December 20, 2021

    Chamber Backs Home Depot In Massive ERISA Class Action

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants a Georgia federal court to throw out a sweeping class action accusing Home Depot Inc. of mismanaging the retirement savings of hundreds of thousands of current and former workers.

  • December 20, 2021

    Ill. Accounting Firm Sued For Late Disclosure Of Data Breach

    The Chicago accounting firm Bansley & Kiener LLP has been hit with a proposed class action in an Illinois state court for allegedly waiting a full year to disclose it had been hit by a ransomware attack that compromised nearly 275,000 customers' personal data.

  • December 20, 2021

    Pension Fund Fights Sanctions Bid In ERISA Row

    A union pension fund urged a New Jersey federal court on Monday to deny a painting company's request for sanctions, which accused the fund's counsel of delaying litigation to obtain more withdrawal liability payments, saying the company's accusation is based on "fantastical speculation."

  • December 20, 2021

    Chicken Price-Fixing Deals Totaling $181M Get Final OK

    An Illinois federal judge Monday gave a final signoff to settlements totaling $181 million that six chicken producers have agreed to pay to resolve claims that they conspired to fix the price of broiler chicken.

  • December 20, 2021

    Software Co. Reaches $1.7M Deal To End 401(k) Suit

    Computer software company PTC inked a $1.7 million settlement with retirement plan participants to end their Massachusetts federal suit accusing the company of failing to curb excessive plan fees and stick to low-cost investments.

  • December 17, 2021

    Citgo Blasts Suit Alleging Workers Were Shorted On Benefits

    Citgo Petroleum Corp. wants an Illinois federal court to dismiss a proposed class action alleging workers were shortchanged on retirement benefits, blasting employees' argument that early retirement payouts were low-balled because calculations involved actuarial assumptions alleged to be 50 years out of date.

  • December 17, 2021

    Indiana Justices Toss FELA Injury Suit Against Rail Operator

    A commuter rail employee who was injured while working on the Chicago section of the South Shore Line can no longer sue the rail operator under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, the Indiana Supreme Court said, finding that state law required him to give pre-suit notice within 180 days of the injury.

  • December 17, 2021

    NJ Virus Benefit Recipients Sue BofA Over Debit Card Fraud

    Bank of America was hit with a proposed class action Friday, alleging it failed to apply proper fraud protections to debit cards issued to those who received COVID-19 pandemic job loss benefits from the state of New Jersey, resulting in unauthorized charges on the accounts and other scams.

  • December 17, 2021

    Pharmacy Benefit Manager Lobby Calls 8th Circ. Loss 'Wrong'

    The lobbying group for the sector that manages health insurance plans' prescription drug components asked a panel of Eighth Circuit judges to rethink largely striking its challenge to two North Dakota statutes that regulate the industry, saying "with due respect, the panel's contrary decision is deeply wrong."

  • December 17, 2021

    Produce Seller Owes $62M, Pension Fund Says

    A produce wholesaler owes $62 million in withdrawal liability for pulling out of a Teamsters benefits fund, claimed a lawsuit filed in Illinois federal court.

Expert Analysis

  • Perspectives

    Why Law Schools Should Require Justice Reform Curriculum

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    Criminal defense attorney Donna Mulvihill Fehrmann argues that law schools have an obligation to address widespread racial and economic disparities in the U.S. legal system by mandating first-year coursework on criminal justice reform that educates on prosecutorial misconduct, wrongful convictions, defense 101 and more.

  • Opinion

    Copyright Law's Employment Test Is Frighteningly Outdated

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    In Horror Inc. v. Miller, the Second Circuit's recent analysis of whether the defendant was an employee or an independent contractor, and thus able to terminate his copyright, illustrates why copyright employment principles need to be updated in view of the post-COVID-19 work context, says Matthew Fagan at Kacvinsky Daisak.

  • 2nd Circ. ERISA Ruling Offers Lessons On Proof Of Loss

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    The Second Circuit’s recent decision in Sacerdote v. New York University, reviving several retirement plan fiduciary breach claims, illustrates why defendants must avoid terminology that conflates loss and damages, and why they should develop affirmative evidence to show plans were not harmed by alleged breaches, say Deanna Rice and Randall Edwards at O'Melveny & Myers.

  • Tax-Exempt Orgs, Beware This 403(b) Plan Compliance Pitfall

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    A recent Internal Revenue Service publication puts 403(b) retirement plan sponsors on notice about a contribution aggregation compliance failure often identified in audits of government and tax-exempt entities, but risk can be minimized by ensuring plan documents and communications address the issue directly, say Greg Needles and Michael Gorman at Morgan Lewis.

  • Girardi Scandal Provides Important Ethics Lessons

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    The litigation and media maelstrom following allegations that famed plaintiffs attorney Thomas Girardi and his law firm misappropriated clients' funds provides myriad ethics and professional responsibility lessons for practitioners, especially with regard to misconduct reporting and liability insurance, says Elizabeth Tuttle Newman at Frankfurt Kurnit.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Jabil GC Talks Compliance Preparation

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    Tried-and-true compliance lessons from recent decades can be applied to companies’ environmental, social and governance efforts, especially with regard to employee training and consistent application of policies — two factors that can create a foundation for ESG criteria to flourish, says Robert Katz at Jabil.

  • 3 Ways CLOs Can Drive ESG Efforts

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    Chief legal officers are specially trained to see the legal industry's flaws, and they can leverage that perspective to push their companies toward effective environmental, social and governance engagement, says Mark Chandler at Stanford Law School.

  • Public Agency Risks Grow Under New Calif. Pension Law

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    Most public agencies will likely face reimbursement demands from the California Public Employees' Retirement System under a new state law that shifts the costs of reporting errors from retirees to employers, so affected agencies should scrutinize their collective bargaining agreements and specialty pay practices for potential risks, says Steven Berliner at Liebert Cassidy.

  • How Law Firms Can Rethink Offices In A Post-Pandemic World

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    Based on their own firm's experiences, Kami Quinn and Adam Farra at Gilbert discuss strategies and unique legal industry considerations for law firms planning hybrid models of remote and in-office work in a post-COVID marketplace.

  • A Primer On DOL Probes For ERISA Plan Service Providers

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    As the U.S. Department of Labor shifts its enforcement resources from Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan sponsors to financial institutions that service such plans, nonfiduciary providers should know what to expect and how to respond to agency investigations, say attorneys at Groom Law Group.

  • Opinion

    5th Circ. Opinion Is Right To Question ERISA Review Norms

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    A concurrence in the Fifth Circuit’s recent J. P. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas decision rightly criticizes the standard of review in Employee Retirement Income Security Act cases as misplaced, nearly impossible for claimants to meet, and at odds with the holistic assessment required by the U.S. Supreme Court, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Sherman.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Baker Hughes CLO Talks Sustainability Team

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    For businesses focused on addressing environmental, social and governance considerations, a legal team that can coordinate sustainability efforts across the company can help to manage risk and compliance issues, anticipate and prepare for change, and identify new opportunities, says Regina Jones at Baker Hughes.

  • College Athlete Employee Status Would Raise Novel Issues

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    A recent declaration that the National Labor Relations Board's office of general counsel now considers certain college athletes employees, if formally adopted by the NLRB, could bring new questions for colleges and athletes on workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, tax liability and more, says Mike Ingersoll at Womble Bond.

  • What Mainstreaming Of Litigation Finance Means For Industry

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    The rush of new capital and investors into the litigation funding space is expected to bring heightened competition on price and other key deal terms, but litigants will need to be more in tune with individual financiers' proclivities, says William Weisman at Therium Capital Management.

  • What 9th Circ. Privilege Test Means For Dual-Purpose Advice

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    While the Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in In re: Grand Jury confirms that courts should use the primary-purpose test to determine whether communications with both legal and business purposes are shielded by the attorney-client privilege, questions on the application of the test remain, says Scott Tenley at Michelman & Robinson.

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