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Supreme Court Agrees to Review California Rule Invalidating Contractor Arbitration Agreements

On October 1, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of a company whose mandatory arbitration agreements with its contractors were deemed invalid by California state courts. Once again, the Court will determine...more

Justices Take On Another California Rule – When an Arbitration Agreement Is Too Flawed to Enforce

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a California state court rule on unconscionable provisions that is purportedly applied more stringently to arbitration agreements...more

Don’t Throw the Class Waiver Baby Out with the Arbitration Agreement Bathwater

Sound advice that the world has lived with since 1512…until recently flushed by the Ninth Circuit. Not so quick to discard 500 years of wisdom, however, the Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether this idiom will rest in...more

Google’s Strategic Purchase of Rights and Counterclaim Do Not Survive Delaware’s Statute of Limitations - Personalized User Model,...

Addressing the requirements for tolling the statute of limitations (SOL), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of judgment as a matter of law (JMOL), finding that the district...more

In Battle Over Employment Compensation, Second Circuit Affirms District Court Decision To Deny Arbitration

On interlocutory appeal, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court decision denying arbitration because a later-signed compensation agreement did not retroactively apply as it contravened the intent of a prior independent...more

Ninth Circuit Steals a PAGe from California Courts’ Playbook

Since the California Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation that claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) are not subject to arbitration, California federal district courts have rejected...more

KBR And Maintaining Privilege Throughout Investigations

Last month, for the second time, the D.C. Circuit in In re Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., No. 14-5319, slip op. (D.C. Cir. Aug. 11, 2015), granted a writ of mandamus sought by KBR and vacated a series of district court orders...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

Second Circuit Splits from Fifth Circuit on Whistleblower SEC Reporting Obligations On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16071 (2d Cir. 2015), ruled that...more

Ruling on UK Executive’s Lawsuit Involving U.S.-Based Stock Option Plan

English executives employed by multinational companies often have a contract of employment with the company’s UK subsidiary, but may also participate in a separate bonus or share option plan that contains foreign (e.g., U.S.)...more

Employment Law Commentary - Volume 27, Issue 8, September 2015

The NLRB’s Decision In Browning-Ferris Industries Of California (2015) One Month Later: Is The Sky Falling For Employers? - The short answer to the question is, “Not yet.” Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc....more

Ninth Circuit Blesses Iskanian

On September 28, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 decision in the long-awaited case of Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc. (No. 13-55184, D.C. No. 3:12-cv-00436-GPC-KSC) (“Sakkab”). The Court...more

New Development In The Enforceability of Non-Compete Agreements

As many of our readers may recall, the Illinois Appellate Court in the First District dramatically changed (in our view) the law two years ago in its infamous Fifield decision, by holding that if employment (or continuing...more

What Should Employers Expect During The New Supreme Court Term?

The first Monday in October is the traditional first day of a new U.S. Supreme Court term.  As always, the 2015-16 term will have several cases that are of particular interest to the nation’s employers.  Here is a review of...more

ERISA – Subrogation: Summary Plan Descriptions Can Be A “Controlling Document” Requiring Reimbursement… Sometimes

You already know that when a Summary Plan Description conflicts with ERISA plan language, the ERISA plan language controls. But what happens when all you have is a Summary Plan Description (SPD), and… no ERISA Plan? Can...more

Court Says There is no Private Cause of Action to Create an SEC Whistleblower Award

AgFeed Industries, Inc.’s accounting irregularities culminated in a March 2014 enforcement action brought against AgFeed by the SEC. The enforcement action yielded an $18 million disgorgement penalty, referred to as the...more

Is an Internal Investigation Privileged?

An internal investigation into whistleblower allegations was privileged, thus protected from disclosure, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Talisman Energy Inc v Flo-Dynamics Systems Inc, 2015 ABQB 561...more

Eleventh Circuit Decision Weakens Injunctive Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants

Last month, in Transunion Risk and Alt. Data Sols., Inc., v. MacLachlan, the Eleventh Circuit held that the district court should have considered hardship to an employee when it enforced a restrictive covenant in an...more

ERISA — 7th Circuit: Illinois State Law Ban On Discretionary Clauses Upheld

You already know about the big trend in states to ban discretionary clauses in insurance policies that fund ERISA benefits. Chalk up another circuit deciding to enforce the ban....more

Seventh Circuit Finds that State Insurance Law Applies, Resulting in De Novo Review of Benefit Claim

On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), does not preempt...more

Class Action Suits By Independent Contractors -- the Uber Class Certification Decision

In a closely-watched decision involving a challenge to the business model used by ride-hailing company Uber Technologies, Inc., a California federal judge agreed to certify a class of California drivers who claim to have been...more

Uber Class Certification Decision

In a closely-watched decision involving a challenge to the business model used by ride-hailing company Uber Technologies, Inc., a California federal judge agreed to certify a class of California drivers who claim to have been...more

Ban on Mandatory Employment Arbitration Agreements Passed by California Legislature

On August 27, 2015, the California Legislature passed AB 465, a bill that would make mandatory agreements to arbitrate employment disputes illegal in the state. Governor Jerry Brown has until October 11, 2015, to sign...more

9th Circuit: Because of Simple Contract Oversight, Executive Must Arbitrate Separation Dispute

Most executive level employees have detailed employment agreements outlining the terms and conditions of their high-paying jobs. Putting such agreements in place is a really good idea for a number of reasons, even though it...more

August 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

August 2015 was not a vacation month for independent contractor cases. No less than seven major litigation events transpired this past month, highlighted by more of the same as well as some new developments. Several companies...more

California Court of Appeal Finds Life Insurance Policy Ambiguous and Rules in Favor of the Insured

Sequeira v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., No. A139639 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2015) - The California Court of Appeal recently reiterated the importance of careful drafting to insurers when it reversed a trial court’s...more

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