Employment

  • May 27, 2020

    WilmerHale, Toyota Agency Posted Sealed Info, Loses Gag Bid

    A Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday criticized a legal staffing agency's lack of evidence against a former employee it accused of leaking sensitive information, rejecting a bid to gag the attorney and noting the agency itself had posted sealed documents on the public docket.

  • May 27, 2020

    Pandemic Fueling Disability Accommodation Claims

    Workers are filing more charges alleging their employers failed to accommodate their disabilities during the pandemic than any other allegation tied to COVID-19, the head of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's New York office and her state and city peers said Wednesday.

  • May 27, 2020

    Nonprofit Battelle Says Ex-Employee's FCA Suit Is Hollow

    The Ohio research nonprofit Battelle Memorial Institute is looking to shut down a former employee's lawsuit claiming he was fired because he sounded the alarm over misuse of government funding, as Battelle said the staffer's unease with a contract does not add up to fraud.

  • May 27, 2020

    Plantronics Can't Duck Cisco's Trade Secret Suit

    A California federal judge refused a request by electronics company Plantronics and one of its executive vice presidents to dismiss Cisco's trade secret suit, but did dismiss claims against two other ex-Cisco employees and sent claims against a third to arbitration.

  • May 27, 2020

    Royal Caribbean Urges Court To Ax Workers' COVID-19 Suit

    Royal Caribbean on Wednesday asked a Florida federal judge to dismiss a proposed class action accusing the cruise line company of negligently exposing workers to COVID-19, which led to three crew members' deaths, saying the named plaintiff did not personally incur the alleged injuries.

  • May 27, 2020

    Labor Dept. Watchdog Flags Fraud Risks In Benefit Guidance

    The U.S. Department of Labor's internal watchdog has criticized the agency's recommendation that states allow gig workers to collect unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic without showing proof of past earnings, telling the department that "the associated risk of fraud is significant."

  • May 27, 2020

    Enterprise Hit With WARN Act Suit Over COVID-19 Mass Layoff

    A 34-year Enterprise Rent-A-Car employee laid off amid the novel coronavirus pandemic hit the company with a proposed class action in Florida federal court Wednesday, alleging its failure to notify its workers of coming mass layoffs "had a devastating economic impact" and violated the WARN Act.

  • May 27, 2020

    Judge Urges Sides To Settle PNC Bank Sex Assault Case

    A New Jersey state judge on Wednesday urged PNC Bank and a former employee to try to strike a deal amid their competing bids for new trials in the ex-worker's suit against the financial institution over being attacked by a customer, saying the matter "should be settled."

  • May 27, 2020

    Split 8th Circ. Revives CRST's Driver Recruitment Dispute

    A split Eighth Circuit panel on Wednesday revived trucking giant CRST Expedited Inc.'s suit alleging rival TransAm Trucking Inc. improperly recruited long-haul truck drivers who were under contract with CRST and bound by a noncompete provision.

  • May 27, 2020

    Non-Medical Faculty Launch Own Duke No-Poach Suit

    The same attorneys who signed a $54.5 million settlement with Duke University over its alleged deal not to poach University of North Carolina medical school faculty filed a new proposed class action against Duke on Wednesday alleging that the schools' no-poach arrangement covered non-medical faculty as well.

  • May 27, 2020

    5th Circ. Says Lufthansa Worker Must Arbitrate Race Bias Suit

    A manager for airport services company ISS Facility Services Inc. and Lufthansa German Airlines who claims she was fired for complaining about widespread discrimination against black and brown workers must pursue her suit in arbitration, the Fifth Circuit ruled Wednesday.

  • May 27, 2020

    Pandemic Shows Need For Gig Worker Tax Tweaks, Benefits

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the crucial role that self-employed workers play in providing hailed rides, child care and other on-demand services, but it has also revived longstanding questions about underreported income and the needs of independent contractors traditionally excluded from federal unemployment benefits.

  • May 27, 2020

    Contractor Must Fork Over $3M In Union Fund Contributions

    A Manhattan federal court affirmed a $3 million arbitration award against a highway and bridge contractor for making deficient payments to various carpenters union benefit funds.

  • May 27, 2020

    8th Circ. Won't Revive Race Bias Claims Against Allina Health

    The Eighth Circuit refused Wednesday to revive a former Allina Health lab technician's suit claiming she was discriminated against because she is black and British, finding that a colleague's accusation that the ex-employee was in a gang wasn't enough to prove bias.

  • May 27, 2020

    Feds Urge Govs. To Label Telecom Workers As 'Essential'

    Federal officials are urging governors to recognize certain types of telecom workers as "essential" during the COVID-19 pandemic, to better help them build and maintain the country's communications infrastructure at a time when Americans are relying more than ever on telehealth, telework and distance learning.

  • May 27, 2020

    Trade Groups Join Chamber's Push For Virus Liability Shield

    As lawsuits stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic crop up, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of trade organizations are ramping up calls for Congress to pass legislation protecting businesses from legal liability as they reopen.

  • May 27, 2020

    Lyft Rips NJ Drivers' Bid To Gain Transpo Worker Exemption

    Lyft urged a New Jersey federal court to reject a group of drivers' attempt to "gerrymander" what it means to be a transportation worker engaged in interstate commerce to dodge having to arbitrate their proposed wage and hour class action.

  • May 27, 2020

    DOL Shuts Down Media's Pre-Release Access To Jobs Data

    The U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday that it's ending its long-standing practice of giving media access to monthly jobs reports and other data shortly before their public release, citing concerns that some outlets are getting a head start on selling this data to traders.

  • May 27, 2020

    New OSHA COVID-19 Guidance Talks Construction Job Safety

    New federal guidance aimed at bolstering construction workers' safety during the COVID-19 pandemic advises employers to keep in-person meetings as short as possible, assess the risk of coronavirus exposure posed by a job site before entering and stagger employees' work schedules.

  • May 26, 2020

    'Criminal Minds' Set Riddled With Sex Harassment, Suit Says

    For more than a decade, the set of the CBS series "Criminal Minds" was rampant with "unchecked" sexual harassment and assault that the show's executive production team knew about and condoned, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

  • May 26, 2020

    LA Attys Say Former Firm Made Them Partners 'In Name' Only

    Three Los Angeles lawyers have filed a lawsuit accusing their former firm of violating labor laws by making them partners "in name" only and then using illegal business tactics against them when they left to start their own shop.

  • May 26, 2020

    Feds Tell High Court Nestle Can't Be Held Liable For Slavery

    The Trump administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take up Nestle USA Inc.'s fight against claims it aided slavery on Ivory Coast cocoa farms, saying the high court should rule that domestic corporations can't be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute.

  • May 26, 2020

    WilmerHale, Toyota Agent Told Extortion Claim Is 'Overstated'

    A Manhattan federal judge on Tuesday was unimpressed with what he called paltry proof of alleged extortion by a legal staffing agency's former employee as the judge mulled the agency's request to order the attorney not to share what he learned on a WilmerHale project for Toyota.

  • May 26, 2020

    Fla. Employment Practice Hit With Wage, OT Suit

    The Tampa, Florida-based Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott PLLC, which specializes in labor and employment law, was hit with a lawsuit Tuesday alleging it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay a former administrative assistant for her work.

  • May 26, 2020

    Age Bias Suit Against Car Parts Maker Stalls At 6th Circ.

    A split Sixth Circuit panel on Tuesday said German auto parts maker ZF Group opted to fire a veteran executive secretary amid a restructuring because of her performance, and not because she was pushing 60 and occasionally missed work because of her asthma.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Virginia LGBTQ Anti-Bias Law Is Unfair To Employers

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    While the recently enacted Virginia Values Act is laudable for providing anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers, the availability of unlimited damages and difficulties in obtaining pretrial summary judgments create too much risk for Virginia businesses, says Todd Leeson at Gentry Locke.

  • 8 Tips For Retaining An Expert During COVID-19 And Beyond

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    Caroline Crump at Exponent and Natalie Baker Reis at Medical Research Consultants outline some strategies for creating a successful attorney-expert team, including unique considerations for pandemic-related closures and economic uncertainties.

  • Workplace Safety Class Claims Loom As Cos. Plan To Reopen

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    Employers preparing to reopen can avoid liability for pandemic-related class claims by implementing robust safety policies to protect workers and tracking guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, say Robert O'Hara and David Garland at Epstein Becker.

  • Public Injunctive Relief Vs. Arbitration: An Ongoing Debate

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    As the U.S. Supreme Court considers two petitions arguing for the enforceability of arbitration agreements that waive public injunctive relief rights, Stefan Love and Ashley Simonsen at Covington examine a long-time conflict between the two doctrines stemming from the California Supreme Court’s 1999 Broughton ruling and 2017 McGill ruling.

  • Opinion

    Reopening Economy Requires Liability Shield For Businesses

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    Without responsibly limiting COVID-19 liability for the business community — as the Senate Judiciary Committee discussed Tuesday — no amount of encouragement to reopen the economy will get the country back to work, says Samuel Olens, counsel at Dentons and former attorney general of Georgia.

  • Opinion

    Pandemic Response Shouldn't Trigger H-1B No-Benching Rule

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    While the U.S. Department of Labor has not provided recent guidance on its no-benching rule, this requirement that an employer continue to pay an H-1B worker's wage during any period of nonproductive status that is at the direction of the employer should not apply to forced business interruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, say JoAnna Gavigan and Aron Finkelstein at Murthy Law Firm.

  • What It's Like To Move From Army JAG To BigLaw

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    Lawyers who have served in the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps can provide tremendous value to law firms, but the transition to firm life has its challenges, says former JAG attorney Vinnie Lichvar, now at Snell & Wilmer.

  • A Path To Privacy Protections For Employee Contact Tracing

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    As companies face privacy challenges related to employee contact tracing to limit the spread of COVID-19, nationwide data protection legislation should look to key principles in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, say Kelly Belnick and Kenneth Jones at Tanenbaum Keale.

  • How Law Firms Can Maximize COVID-19 Insurance Coverage

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    Law firms struggling due to the pandemic should identify relevant insurance policies and provisions, be mindful of notice requirements that could interfere with coverage, and push back against policy exclusions, say Robin Cohen and James Smith at McKool Smith.

  • 6 Lessons On Jury Advocacy In The Wake Of A Crisis

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    Cases tried during earlier times of disaster and tragedy — including the beginning of the Gulf War, Hurricane Sandy, and the 9/11 attacks — teach us that attorneys must not exaggerate the degree to which juror decisions will be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, say Francis Morrison and John Tanski at Axinn.

  • Adapting Information Governance For The COVID-19 Era

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    As companies embrace changes brought on by the pandemic, they will need to address information governance issues related to privacy, employment and discovery compliance, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Adapting Defense Strategy To Twombly Plausibility Standard

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    Very few litigators have altered the manner in which they practice since the U.S. Supreme Court adopted the new "plausibility" standard in Twombly and Iqbal, but providing courts with materials that can shine light on the plausibility of the purported facts in the complaint can lead to a successful motion to dismiss, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • Virtual Caucuses Can Improve The Mediation Process

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    Both during the current crisis and in the future, integrating virtual, private caucuses between the mediator and each party into the mediation timetable would create an overall superior process, says mediator Marc Isserles at JAMS.

  • Beware WARN Act Liability For Pandemic-Related Layoffs

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    Two early class action claims that allege violations of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act portend a wave of litigation questioning whether certain decisions to terminate employees were unforeseeable, necessary, or truly caused by COVID-19, say Barbara Roth and Tyler Hendry at Herbert Smith.

  • What Attys Should Consider Before Waiving Jury Trial Right

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    As courts slowly reopen in the wake of the pandemic, and amid a likely shortage of jurors for civil trials, attorneys may be forced to decide whether to opt for a bench trial or wait for an unknown period of time to have their matter tried to a jury, say attorneys at Dentons.

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