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Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Class Claims Regarding Disability Benefits

ERISA benefit claims are frequently of only modest size individually, but can become overwhelming in a class context. A decision this week from the Sixth Circuit affirms the dismissal of a putative class-wide disability claim...more

Patterson v. Domino’s: California Supreme Court Lends Important Guidance on Franchisor Liability

Taylor Patterson claimed that Domino’s, as the franchisor of thousands of pizza stores across the nation, should be held responsible for sexual harassment she experienced from a fellow employee over a two-week period when she...more

Kickball Game Organizer Covered When Injured During Game

In a 3-2 decision the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and the Workers’ Compensation Commission, finding an injury to the organizer of a company kickball game was compensable, although it may not have been for...more

Choice of Law Has Huge Consequences, Especially in NC Non-Compete Case

An interesting case out of the Eastern District of North Carolina reminds us of the importance of choice of law when dealing with non-compete litigation. Let’s take a look...more

SEC Fights Off Phony Whistleblower Submissions

As might have been expected, some will go to great lengths to claim they are entitled to a whistleblower reward based on suspect evidence. An example is this Commission order denying a whistleblower award to one person,...more

Tennessee Court Of Appeals Issues New Guidance On Trade Secret Issues

On August 19, 2014, the Tennessee Court of Appeals became the first Tennessee appellate court to address the scope to which Tennessee’s Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) preempts common law claims related to unfair competition...more

Washington Court of Appeals Expands "Jeopardy" Element of Claim for Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

This month the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III issued a ruling in Becker v. Community Health Systems, Inc. that expands protections in a wrongful termination action based on violation of a public policy....more

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

Flash No. 42 FedEx Ground Drivers Found to be Employees: A Sequel To Ruiz

In a decision issued on August 27, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, in a case captioned Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, determined that FedEx Ground drivers were employees as a matter of law under...more

Delaware’s Adoption of Garner — and Practical Ways to Respond

On July 23, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW held that plaintiff stockholders, who make a showing of good cause, can inspect documents concerning a...more

California Supreme Court: Holding Franchisor Liable as Employer Depends on Level of Control Over Day-to-Day Employment Decisions

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (August 28, 2014): On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that a franchisor that did not exhibit the characteristics of an “employer” was not...more

Want to Arbitrate Employee Disputes? Keep Your Paperwork!

Arbitration agreements, and their use as a means to avoid class action disputes in particular, have been repeat news items in the last several years, and many companies continue to consider their use as a means to mitigate...more

California Court Interprets Vague Language in Arbitration Agreement in Favor of Employee

Rebolledo v. Tilly’s Inc., No. G048625 (July 8, 2014): In a recent decision, a California Court of Appeal held that an employer cannot compel arbitration of a wage claim when the language in the parties’ arbitration agreement...more

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Persuade an Employee to Work Instead of Taking FMLA Leave Because Her Job is Really Important?

Evans was employed by Books-A-Million (BAM) as a payroll manager. Evans apparently became pregnant at an inopportune time — right at a time when BAM was implementing a new payroll system. As supervisors are prone to do,...more

ERISA: Plaintiff’s Attorney Fees Denied — Filing Of Lawsuit Was Not Reason Why Benefits Were Granted

You already know that in ERISA cases a court may, in its discretion, award attorney fees if a party achieved “some degree of success on the merits.”...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FLSA Overtime Claims in Hospital Meal Break Cases

On August 26, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime claims brought against a myriad of health care systems and their...more

Third Circuit Denies Employees’ Petition For Rehearing In Class Arbitration Case

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals this week denied a petition for rehearing by the panel and the Court en banc in the Opalinski v Robert Half International, Inc. matter, where last month it held that the availability of...more

Federal Appeals Court Says Dodd-Frank Does Not Protect Overseas Whistleblowers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that the Dodd-Frank Act does not protect whistleblowers outside the United States. In Liu Meng Lin v. Siemens AG, Case No. 13-4385-cv (2nd Cir. August 14,...more

Federal Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Under Both California's and...

Class actions were brought against FedEx in both California and Oregon by FedEx drivers contending they had been misclassified as independent contractors. (Alexander, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. and Slayman,...more

Seventh Circuit Limits “Worthless Services” Theory under False Claims Act

On August 20, 2014, the Seventh Circuit struck another blow against relators’ and the federal government’s increasingly aggressive False Claims Act theories of liability. Rejecting the relators’ use of the “worthless...more

Court of Appeals asked to clarify scope of Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower protections

A federal court of appeals has been asked to clarify the scope of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010’s (“Dodd-Frank” or “Act”) whistleblower protections. Specifically, the court has been...more

District Courts Reviewing ERISA Cases Under the Arbitrary and Capricious Review Standard Serve Only in an Appellate Role

In McCorkle v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 13-30745, 2014 WL 2983360 (5th Cir. 2014), the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that MetLife’s adverse determination regarding the plaintiff’s claim for benefits due to...more

Court Was Wrong to Re-Write Covenants

In Prophet v Huggett [2014] ECWA Civ 1013, the Court of Appeal has overturned a recent decision of the High Court in which it had re-written a non-compete covenant to give it commercial effect. You may recall that we...more

Another Court Weighs in on Rule 9(b)’s Requirements Under the False Claims Act

A federal district court recently dismissed a qui tam relator’s complaint in a declined case against the Hospital for Special Surgery (“Hospital”), its former CEO, and an outside billing company alleging that they violated...more

The Police Have The Right To Remain Silent Too: The Supreme Court Rules On The Disclosure Of Police Reports Under The FOIA

The Connecticut Supreme Court has resolved an intense debate about what law enforcement agencies are required to release with regard to arrest records and associated reports. This decision could affect the ability of school...more

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