While the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling that federal civil rights law protects LGBTQ employees resolved a closely watched question that had been brewing for years, the justices also devoted time to workplace law issues like religious employers' rights and causation standards in civil rights cases. Here, Law360 looks at five of the high court's most notable employment decisions this term.
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TOP NEWS

Analysis

High Court's LGBT Bias Blockbuster Headlines Packed Term

While the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling that federal civil rights law protects LGBTQ employees resolved a closely watched question that had been brewing for years, the justices also devoted time to workplace law issues like religious employers' rights and causation standards in civil rights cases. Here, Law360 looks at five of the high court's most notable employment decisions this term.

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Feature

The Firms That Won Big At The Supreme Court

Supreme Court oral arguments are always a high wire act. This term, a global pandemic, a docket of hot-button cases and an experiment with remote technology took the challenge to new heights. Here’s a look at the law firms that argued the most, and how they fared.

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Feature

The Majority Of One: How Roberts Is Shaping The Court

The 2019 term has removed all doubt: Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. is the power broker on the U.S. Supreme Court. But unlike past swing justices, the nation's top jurist puts the reputation of the court before his own conservative instincts and is willing to compromise when he needs to.

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Feature

Breaking Down The Vote: The High Court Term In Review

A docket packed with divisive cases. Experiments in remote oral arguments. Defining moments for the court’s new swing justice. Here, Law360 takes a data dive into the numbers behind this historic court term, when the unexpected reigned supreme.

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LA Labor Partner Accused Of Sexually Harassing Associate

The head of the labor and employment practice at Los Angeles-based law firm Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs APLC is facing allegations he engaged in an extended campaign of "creepy" behavior toward an associate that peaked with a "nightmarish" incident during a work trip overseas.

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Firms Wanted PPP Money, But Will It Prevent More Cuts?

Law firms accounted for a large portion of the recipients of federal bailout funds designed to save small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, but some observers speculate that, for a number of those shops, the funds won't be enough to prevent future cuts if COVID-19 continues to drag down the market.

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RISING STARS

Rising Star: Sanford Heisler's Russell Kornblith

Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP's Russell Kornblith represents a group of female attorneys who charge white shoe firm Jones Day with pay discrimination, forcing Big Law to reckon with its own gender inequality in the "black box" compensation model and earning him a spot among the five employment law practitioners under age 40 honored as Law360 Rising Stars.

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DISCRIMINATION

USC Atty Says School Interferes In Workplace Investigations

The University of Southern California purposefully interferes with and hinders investigations that threaten to expose its top employees' misconduct, an anonymous attorney who works as an investigator for the school has alleged in a proposed class action in California federal court.

Complaint attached | Read full article »

WeWork Facing Another Suit Claiming Hostile, Biased Culture

A former WeWork program manager in New York has slapped the embattled real estate company with a sexual harassment lawsuit just a day after two Black WeWork defectors accused the firm of racism.

Complaint attached | Read full article »

Transport Biz Settles Former Staff Atty's Pregnancy Bias Suit

Transportation company SP Plus Corp. has reached an undisclosed settlement with a former staff attorney to end her suit alleging it unlawfully eliminated her position after she disclosed her pregnancy, according to a notice filed in Illinois federal court Thursday.

Motion attached | Read full article »

LABOR

New AFL-CIO Task Force Will Take On Racial Injustice

The AFL-CIO announced Friday that it has formed a task force on racial justice to carry out recommendations adopted by the labor federation's board "focused on taking concrete action to address America's long history of racism and police violence against Black people."

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8th Cir. Refuses To Overturn Exide's Arbitration Loss To Union

The Eighth Circuit ruled on Friday that Exide Technologies should have gone to the National Labor Relations Board instead of to court to challenge an arbitrator's determination that its unilateral changes to its Family and Medical Leave Act procedure were an unfair labor practice.

Opinion attached | Read full article »

NFL Players Union Hit With Suit Over Disability Cuts In CBA

Two disabled, retired NFL players have hit the players union with a proposed class action that aims to undo "devastating" disability benefit cuts contained in the league's new collective bargaining agreement, claiming the union "misled" current players into voting yes on the controversial deal.

Complaint attached | Read full article »

Hollywood Agents Target Remaining WGA Antitrust Claims

Hollywood's major talent agencies urged a California federal judge on Friday to dismiss the Writers Guild of America's remaining counterclaims alleging antitrust violations over so-called "packaging fees," rejecting the WGA's assertion that the agencies are seeking to relitigate arguments the judge has already ruled on.

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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

3rd Circ. Revives Consulting Firm's Claim Against Ex-CEO

The former CEO of global management consultancy Hay Group Management Inc. must face his ex-employer's claims that he initiated a sham investigation against a fellow executive, as the Third Circuit ruled Friday that the allegation wasn't precluded by parallel litigation in Germany.

Opinion attached | Read full article »

WHISTLEBLOWER

Mental Health Care Giant Inks $122M Deal To End FCA Suits

Universal Health Services has promised to pay $122 million to end 19 suits under the False Claims Act that had accused the behavioral health hospital company of cheating federal health care subsidy programs and putting profit over patient care, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

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WRONGFUL TERMINATION

Server Says Getting Screened For Virus Caused His Firing

A beachside restaurant near Charleston, South Carolina, has been sued by a former server who says he was fired after he left work to get tested for COVID-19, invoking a new law Congress passed to let workers take job-protected leave to deal with the novel coronavirus.

Complaint attached | Read full article »

PRIVACY

Analysis

The Top Cybersecurity And Privacy Rulings So Far In 2020

From a Maryland federal judge recognizing the value of personal data in today's economy to a Virginia court sending companies scrambling to keep post-data breach discussions secret, it's been a busy few months in cybersecurity and privacy litigation. Here are five rulings worth revisiting as we head into the year's second half.

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WORKER SAFETY

5th Circ. Won't Overturn Sanderson Farms' OSHA Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's review commission correctly cited Sanderson Farms Inc. for safety violations at a chicken processing plant in Texas, the Fifth Circuit has held.

Opinion attached | Read full article »

PEOPLE

Ex-Google CCO Joins Employee Misconduct App Developer

Google's chief compliance officer of more than 13 years confirmed Friday that he has left the company and joined the board of advisers for Los Angeles-based NotMe Solutions, Inc., a company that makes a mobile application under the "#NotMe" moniker that allows employees to anonymously report misconduct.

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EXPERT ANALYSIS

What COVID-19 Can Teach Employers For Hurricane Season

Lessons learned amid the pandemic can help employers brace for challenges this hurricane season may bring, including work stoppages, telecommuting issues and leave policy changes, says Linda Edwards at Rumberger Kirk.

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Opinion

Let's Create An Ethical Obligation For Attys To Fight Racism

In this moment of national recognition of historical institutional racism, the American Bar Association must implement a model rule that explicitly declares efforts to fight racism and advance equality to be a matter of attorneys' ethics and professional conduct, say Marc Firestone at Philip Morris International and David Douglass at Sheppard Mullin.

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LEGAL INDUSTRY

Law Firm Leaders' 3 Biggest Worries For The Rest Of 2020

After a wildly tumultuous first half of 2020, law firm leaders are now preparing to take on whatever the second half of the year has in store. Here, leaders share their biggest worries for the remaining six months of the year.

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Brown Rudnick IP Litigation Team Leaves To Start New Firm

The head of Brown Rudnick LLP's patent litigation practice has decamped with his team and clients in tow to launch his own firm in New York City, walking away with virtually all of Brown Rudnick's Manhattan-based patent litigation group.

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Miller Canfield Lays Off Attorneys Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone PLC has instituted layoffs and furloughs of attorneys and other employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to reports.

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NY Bill Would Suspend Two-Fail Bar Exam Rule For Pandemic

New legislation would allow New York public defender and government law graduates who have twice failed the bar exam to continue to practice under supervision for the duration of the state's ongoing coronavirus state of emergency.

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Chicago Federal Court Extends Remote Hearings To Mid-Sept.

The Northern District of Illinois' latest COVID-19 safety order entered Friday extends remote hearings into mid-September and keeps an early August target date for jury trials to resume, and the court's two clerk's offices will reopen to the public on Monday.

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DOJ's DuCharme Named Acting US Attorney For EDNY

U.S. Department of Justice official Seth DuCharme has been tapped as acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said Friday, replacing Richard Donoghue, who is in turn taking DuCharme's old job.

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Study Noting 'Racial Tension,' 'Nepotism' Shakes Philly Courts

Court leadership in Philadelphia County on Friday vowed to take action following the release of a damning report from an outside consultant detailing "a culture of nepotism, mistrust and racial tension that is constantly brewing" for staff and judges alike.

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Flynn Case Paused, DC Circ. Weighing Judge's En Banc Bid

The D.C. Circuit hit the brakes Friday on a panel's recent ruling instructing a federal judge to immediately grant the government's request to end the prosecution of former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn as the full appeals court considers whether to rehear the matter.

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GC Cheat Sheet: The Hottest Corporate News Of The Week

A new survey showed that corporate counsel are divided on whether they think recent work-from-home adjustments will continue or be reversed once the pandemic wanes, and a separate report revealed that more attorneys are getting comfortable with litigation funding. These are some of the stories in corporate legal news you may have missed in the past week.​

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In Case You Missed It: Hottest Firms And Stories On Law360

For those who missed out, here's a look back at the law firms, stories and expert analyses that generated the most buzz on Law360 last week.

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Podcast

Law360's Pro Say: Absolutely (Not) Immune

The U.S. Supreme Court ended its term with a bang this week, rejecting President Donald Trump's claim that he was absolutely immune to a subpoena for his financial records by New York state prosecutors who are pursuing a criminal investigation.

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Client Says Hagen Berman Pulled Fast One On Special Master

A Minnesota woman told a Pennsylvania federal court that Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP used clients' protected information as "a sword and a shield" to hide its alleged wrongdoing in its report provided to a special master, who was investigating the firm's bid to drop clients suing GlaxoSmithKline and others for birth defects caused by thalidomide.

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JOBS
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Law360 Practice Groups of the Year

LAW FIRMS

Alston & Bird

Altshuler Berzon

Arnold & Porter

Baker McKenzie

Bernstein Litowitz

Beveridge & Diamond

Block & Leviton

Boies Schiller

Brown Rudnick

Cohen Milstein

Constantine Cannon

Cravath Swaine

Day Pitney

Debevoise & Plimpton

Dechert

Dorsey & Whitney

Duane Morris

Edelson PC

Fish & Richardson

Fisher Phillips

Foley Hoag

Genco Law

Genova Burns

Ghidotti Berger

Gibson Dunn

Goldstein & Russell

Goodwin

Hagens Berman

Harvey & Binnall

Hodgson Russ

Hogan Lovells

Holland & Knight

Hughes Hubbard

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Ivie McNeill

Jenner & Block

Jones Day

Kane Russell

Kelley Drye

Kendall Brill

Kessler Topaz

Kirkland & Ellis

Kline & Specter

Labaton Sucharow

Latham & Watkins

Lieff Cabraser

Mayer Brown

McDermott Will

McKool Smith

Mike Scott Law

Miller Canfield

Mitchell Silberberg

Morgan Lewis

Nixon Peabody

Norton Rose

Nutter McClennen

O'Melveny & Myers

Paul Hastings

Pietragallo Gordon

Polsinelli

Pryor Cashman

Reed Smith

Reger Rizzo

Rivkin Radler

Rothner Segall

Rumberger Kirk

Sanford Heisler

Schiff Hardin

Sheppard Mullin

Sidley Austin

Simpson Thacher

Skadden

Squire Patton Boggs

Stern Tannenbaum

Stroock & Stroock

Thompson Coe

Thompson Hine

Troutman Pepper

Tucker Law Group

Vedder Price

Walcheske & Luzi

Weil Gotshal

Wigdor LLP

Wilkinson Walsh

Williams & Connolly

WilmerHale

Wilson Sonsini

Winston & Strawn

COMPANIES

AT&T Inc.

Airbnb Inc.

American Bar Association

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations

Apple Inc.

Association of Corporate Counsel

Booking.com BV

Brooklyn Law School

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

Capital One Financial Corp.

Cato Institute

Center for Justice

Comcast Corp.

Creative Artists Agency LLC

Detroit Lions

Exide Technologies

Facebook Inc.

Fordham University

General Electric Co.

Getty Images Inc.

Google Inc.

Green Bay Packers

Hilton Worldwide Inc.

Indianapolis Colts

Infinite Global

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

International Business Machines Corp.

Lake Whillans

Legal Services NYC

Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc.

Marriott International Inc.

Mazars LLP

National Football League Players Association

Philip Morris International Inc.

Sanderson Farms Inc.

Sanofi-Aventis

Spotify Technology SA

St. Louis Rams

Tenneco Inc.

The Brattle Group Inc.

The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights

United Steelworkers

United Talent Agency Inc.

Universal Health Services Inc.

University of Southern California

Waze Mobile Ltd.

WeWork Co. Inc.

William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

European Commission

European Union

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Federal Trade Commission

Health Resources and Services Administration

Illinois Supreme Court

Montana Department of Revenue

National Labor Relations Board

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

Small Business Administration

TRICARE

U.S. Army

U.S. Attorney's Office

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. Supreme Court

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio