Benefits

  • 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.

  • December 16, 2021

    Ill. Justices Say Failure To Refile Dooms Trucker's Crash Suit

    Illinois' high court said Thursday it must vacate a finding that a truck driver's settled workers' compensation claim bars him from seeking damages in a civil suit beyond the knee injury described in that claim and remand the entire case for dismissal, saying neither it nor the lower appellate court has the jurisdiction to address the issue.

  • December 16, 2021

    Chancery Tosses Suit Targeting $16B Kraft Heinz Value Plunge

    Chancery Court has dismissed a derivative stockholder suit seeking damages from the Kraft Heinz Co.'s directors and a controlling stockholder in connection with a $16 billion company value drop, citing failures to first demand board action or show that the effort would have been futile.

  • December 16, 2021

    Judge Gives Initial OK For $90M Deal To End Juul, Altria Suit

    A Virginia federal judge granted initial approval of a $90 million deal struck between a class of investors, tobacco company Altria Group Inc. and vaping company Juul Labs Inc., per an order filed Thursday, which would end claims the companies knowingly marketed to underage consumers.

  • December 16, 2021

    Construction Cos. Defend Fraud Suit Against Teamsters

    Two construction companies asked a New York federal judge to deny a Teamsters local's bid to toss a suit against the union alleging it tricked one of the businesses into signing a labor contract, saying the companies are not liable for a pension fund withdrawal payment.

  • December 16, 2021

    Fired McDonald's CEO Gives Back $105M To End Lawsuit

    Former McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook agreed to return $105 million in stock and cash to end a Delaware Chancery Court lawsuit alleging he secured his severance package by covering up sexual relationships with subordinates, the fast-food giant said Thursday.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Lifting The Veil On The Supreme Court's Shadow Docket

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    Following headline-making U.S. Supreme Court emergency orders on Texas’ new abortion law, COVID-19 restrictions and more, Vetan Kapoor, counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, examines the court's so-called shadow docket and its decision-making procedures, including questions around transparency, timing and precedential effect.

  • Unclear Cyber Guidance May Lead To ERISA Case Spike

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    As cyberattacks on retirement plans increase, Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuits could also spike, especially because case law and guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor lack clarity on the causation standard for ERISA claims involving lost assets due to online security breaches, says Joshua Gmerek at Hodgson Russ.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: United Natural Foods GC Talks Bottom Line

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    In prioritizing environmental, social and governance initiatives as strategic value drivers, corporate general counsel can leverage meaningful ESG progress to benefit both the business's bottom line and the wider world, says Jill Sutton at United Natural Foods.

  • 3 Attorney Ethics Considerations For Litigation Funding

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    The growth of the litigation finance industry has generated questions on the obligations of counsel when their clients are seeking outside capital to fund litigation, which litigators must understand when providing information to a third-party funder and discussing legal strategy with a client, says Matthew Oxman at LexShares.

  • Benefits Ruling Raises Jury Trial Question For ERISA Cases

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    An Ohio federal court's recent ruling in Phillips v. Sun Life Assurance has reopened the debate over the utility of jury trials in Employee Retirement Income Security Act benefit denial cases, highlighting how the law’s silence on the issue leads courts to make up rules that lack statutory support, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Sherman.

  • How ABA Opinion Shifts Alternative Biz Structure Landscape

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    A recent American Bar Association opinion approving lawyers' passive investment in nonlawyer-owned firms eliminates a hurdle for law firms wishing to scale their practice through alternative business structures, but aspiring investors should follow a few best practices, say Hilary Gerzhoy and Deepika Ravi at Harris Wiltshire.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: HPE Counsel Talk Effective Board Oversight

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    Governance teams can more effectively shape board oversight of environmental, social and governance issues by ensuring organizationwide agreement on the most relevant issues, building a materiality framework that reflects stakeholder input, and monitoring the integration of ESG into operations, say Rishi Varma and Derek Windham at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

  • Opinion

    Justice Gap Demands Look At New Legal Service Models

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    Current restrictions on how lawyers structure their businesses stand in the way of meaningful access to justice for many Americans, so states should follow the lead of Utah and Florida and test out innovative law firm business models through regulatory sandboxes, says Zachariah DeMeola at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.

  • What Forced Arbitration Ruling Means For Calif. Employers

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    As a result of the Ninth Circuit's surprising, peculiar decision this week in Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta, employers in California once again face the very real prospect of incurring criminal and civil penalties for simply requesting that employees and applicants agree to arbitrate future disputes, says Anthony Oncidi at Proskauer.

  • How ERISA Fiduciaries Can Use ESG: Part 2

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    While case law suggests fiduciaries face risk in using environmental, social and governance factors as the primary criterion in retirement plan investing, it also provides a road map for using ESG in a manner compliant with Employee Retirement Income Security Act duties, says Elizabeth Goldberg at Morgan Lewis.

  • How ERISA Fiduciaries Can Use ESG: Part 1

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    The U.S. Department of Labor's back-and-forth position on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's treatment of environmental, social and governance factors in investing has created significant confusion, but case law may provide the framework needed to use ESG in retirement plan investing, says Elizabeth Goldberg at Morgan Lewis.

  • Imposing Insurance Surcharges On Unvaccinated Workers

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    Employers that are not covered by President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 action plan or that want to further encourage vaccination may consider imposing a health insurance premium surcharge on unvaccinated workers, but compliance with myriad federal, state and local laws must be addressed before raising rates, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • Employer Considerations Ahead Of OSHA's Vaccine Rule

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    Paula Ketcham at Schiff Hardin highlights what employers should be on the lookout for when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announces its emergency temporary standard requiring large employers to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing, and offers insights on preparation, existing state laws and more.

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