Allegra Lawrence-Hardy

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Time Spent in Security Screenings Not Compensable Under FLSA

On December 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court unanimously reversed a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holding that warehouse employees had stated a claim for unpaid wages under the...more

12/12/2014 - FLSA Integrity Staffing v Busk SCOTUS Security Checks Wage and Hour

TCPA Class Action Against Insurance Agent Not Covered by Professional Liability Insurance

As class action filings under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) have continued to rise, so too have the number of disputes with commercial liability insurers over coverage for their insureds’ alleged TCPA...more

12/10/2014 - Class Action Commercial General Liability Policies Indemnification Policy Exclusions TCPA

The Ninth Circuit Raises Pleading Standards for FLSA Plaintiffs

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit makes pleading Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations more difficult by applying the heightened standard in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft...more

11/21/2014 - Employer Liability Issues FLSA Minimum Wage Pleading Standards Twombly/Iqbal Pleading Standard Unpaid Overtime

Legal Alert: Just the Fax: Recent TCPA Developments on Liability for Unsolicited Faxes and Fax Opt-Out Notices

The end of October 2014 saw two significant developments for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules governing facsimile transmissions, fax opt-out notices and liability for faxes sent by third parties....more

11/7/2014 - Advertising Faxes FCC Opt-Outs Prior Express Consent TCPA Third-Party Liability Unsolicited Faxes

TCPA Risks Increase for the Financial Services Industry

Companies in the financial services industry are being targeted in lawsuits brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Record-setting class action settlements like the recent $75 million settlement involving...more

11/5/2014 - Capital One Class Action FCC Settlement TCPA

TCPA Best Practices: Consent, Compliance, Communication

SUTHERLAND’S THREE C'S: CONSENT, COMPLIANCE, COMMUNICATION - What is the TCPA? The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) protects consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls, prerecorded or autodialed...more

10/28/2014 - Chief Compliance Officers Compliance FCC TCPA

Legal Alert: Eleventh Circuit Reverses Outlier Decision on TCPA Prior Express Consent Standard

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has clarified the standard for “prior express consent” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in a September 29, 2014 decision reversing an outlier ruling by a...more

10/8/2014 - Appeals Cell Phones Corporate Counsel Debt Collection FCC Hobbs Act Prior Express Consent Putative Class Actions Robocalling TCPA

Legal Alert: Largest SEC Whistleblower Award Could Have Been Larger

On September 22, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the largest-ever whistleblower award, more than double last year’s record-breaking award. According to the Order, the award, which will likely...more

9/26/2014 - Dodd-Frank Extraterritoriality Rules Foreign Nationals SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

TCPA Hot Issues - TCPA Restricts Autodialed Calls, but Courts Split on Meaning of Autodialer

To autodial or not autodial, that is the question. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) defines autodialer as “equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or...more

9/23/2014 - ATDS Corporate Counsel FCC Robocalling TCPA

TCPA Hot Issues: Is the Scope of Consent Unlimited?

What constitutes valid consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act? A hot issue in TCPA litigation is the scope of consent necessary to place automated calls to consumers where the consumer has provided a cell phone...more

9/4/2014 - Cell Phones Consent Corporate Counsel FCC TCPA

Insurance Industry Sweeps Retained Asset Account Doubleheader

On August 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Vander Luitgaren v. Sun Life Ass. Co. of Canada, No. 13–2090, 2014 WL 4197947 (1st Cir. Aug. 26, 2014), that an insurer, acting as a claims administrator,...more

8/29/2014 - Appeals Employee Benefits ERISA Insurers Life Insurance Retained Asset Accounts

For Whom the Ring Tones: TCPA Litigation and the Insurance Industry

Insurance companies are increasingly the subject of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits. Any insurance company that communicates with its customers, job applicants, and others by phone or text using an automated...more

8/26/2014 - FCC Popular Robocalling TCPA Texting Unsolicited Phone Calls

Second Circuit Rejects Extraterritorial Application of Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Provision

On August 14, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit became the first U.S. appellate court to weigh in on the extraterritorial application of the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

8/19/2014 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Appeals Chief Compliance Officers Dodd-Frank Extraterritoriality Rules FCPA Sarbanes-Oxley Siemens Whistleblowers

Legal Alert: Multi-Million Dollar Settlements Prompt Record Filing of TCPA Lawsuits

High-dollar settlements of class actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act appear to have prompted the filing of a record number of new TCPA cases in federal courts nationwide. In the largest TCPA settlement...more

8/13/2014 - Capital One Class Action Robocalling Settlement TCPA Telemarketing

SEC Launches First Whistleblower Retaliation Case Under Dodd-Frank

On June 16, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated and resolved its first case charging an employer with unlawfully retaliating against a securities whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

6/23/2014 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions SEC Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act Whistleblowers

SEC Issues $875,000 Whistleblower Award

On June 3, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a whistleblower award to two individuals who had provided information leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. The whistleblower...more

6/10/2014 - Dodd-Frank Enforcement Enforcement Actions SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Texas Supreme Court Limits Fraud Claims by Terminated Employees

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Texas declared that at-will employees may not bring an action for fraud that is contingent on the promise of continued at-will employment. The Court also held that...more

5/14/2014 - At-Will Employment Collective Bargaining Fraud Hiring & Firing Termination

Department of Labor Issues Interim Final Employee Whistleblower Rule Under the Consumer Financial Protection Act

On April 4, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Interim Final Rule establishing procedures concerning the manner in which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will address employee whistleblower...more

4/9/2014 - CFPA CFPB DOL OSHA Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Obama Issues Executive Order and Presidential Memorandum Concerning Equal Pay Initiatives for Federal Contractors

Yesterday, President Obama issued an Executive Order and Presidential Memorandum intended to address equal pay for women. The Executive Order prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against an applicant or employee...more

4/9/2014 - Equal Pay Executive Orders Federal Contractors OFCCP Retaliation Wage and Hour Wages

SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower Warns Companies and Inside Counsel Against Using Employment Incentives to Deter External...

During a recent panel discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center’s 18th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, Sean McKessy, warned...more

3/20/2014 - Corporate Counsel SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Supreme Court Expands SOX Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Contractors of Public Companies

In the first SOX whistleblower case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court held on March 4 that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) prohibits private contractors of publicly traded companies from retaliating...more

3/6/2014 - Contractors Fidelity Investments FMR LLC Lawson v FMR Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Supreme Court Defines “Changing Clothes” to Include Steelworkers’ Donning and Doffing of Certain Protective Gear

On January 27, 2014, the United States Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit holding that steelworkers’ donning and doffing of certain items of required protective...more

1/29/2014 - Collective Bargaining FLSA Sandifer v U.S. Steel Corp SCOTUS Unions Workplace Attire

State Attorney General Parens Patriae Actions Are Not Removable to Federal Court as CAFA “Mass Actions”

This week the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp. that parens patriae actions in which the State is the sole plaintiff are not “mass actions” under the Class Action Fairness...more

1/17/2014 - CAFA Class Action Mass Action Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Parens Patriae Removal Rule 23 SCOTUS

Federal Courts Take Divergent Approaches to Jury Trials for Whistleblower Plaintiffs Under Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley

A recurring question under the federal whistleblower laws is whether plaintiffs suing their employers for retaliation have the right to a jury trial. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act1 appears...more

1/10/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Consumer Protection Act Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues Financial Regulatory Reform Hiring & Firing Jury Trial Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Securities Fraud Termination Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Order Denying Whistleblower Claim Confirms Prospective Coverage and Limited Discovery in Dodd-Frank Bounty Proceedings

In a recent order denying a whistleblower’s award claim,1 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission upheld the prospective application and discovery limitations of two of its rules implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

12/9/2013 - Discovery Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

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