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The Defend Trade Secrets Act. It’s Coming: What You Need to Know

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature, and there is little doubt that President Obama will sign it into law. Below is a summary of what you need to know about this...more

The NLRB's Attack On Dealership Arbitration Agreements

Many of our dealership clients utilize binding arbitration agreements to resolve employee disputes. Arbitration agreements provide a number of unique benefits to those dealerships that wish to avoid the costs and negative...more

Legal Lessons from Tom Brady

The state of Massachusetts collectively groaned last week as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the “Deflate-Gate” saga. A brief recap of this strange...more

Congress Passes Sweeping New Legislation To Protect Trade Secrets

Last week, in a departure from the partisan gridlock that has gripped Washington, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing a sweeping new statute to protect trade secrets. The legislation, which President...more

Labor and Employment News: Deflategate: Limited Ability to Appeal Arbitration Awards

Nearly all collective bargaining agreements have an arbitration clause for deciding any disputes under the agreement. Beyond the labor arena, employers have increasingly mandated arbitration as the designated forum for...more

Everyone Keeps Focusing On Independent Contractors, So We Will Too…

If it looks like “Independent Contractor vs. Employee Week” on Labor & Employment Law Perspectives, that may be a function of the fact that misclassification of employees as independent contractors has been a hot topic for...more

NY Transit Agencies Escape Vicarious Liability for Contractors Alleged Discrimination

It is not uncommon for companies to contract their daily business operations to third-party companies. In Motta et al v. Global Contact Services, Inc., the court addressed whether such relationships relieve the outsourcing...more

Automotive Law Group News: Appellate Court Win for Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association

Murtha Cullina's automotive industry team achieved a victory on behalf of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association on March 17, 2016 when the Massachusetts Appeals Court voted unanimously to affirm the dismissal...more

Keeping Your (Top) Hat On

“Top hat” plans are plans employers maintain for a “select group of management or highly compensated employees.” These plans are exempt from many of ERISA’s protections, including eligibility, vesting, fiduciary...more

What Constitutes “Reasonable Efforts” to Inform Plan Participants of Plan Amendments, Which Include a Forum Selection Clause?

You know that many Plans have forum selection clauses. Are they enforceable? YES When a Plan participant claims they “did not know of a plan amendment,” how do you prove the Participant received notice of the...more

The Beat Goes On: D.C. Circuit Upholds NLRB View That Orchestra Musicians Are Employees

Last week, a federal appeals court enforced a ruling by the NLRB that orchestra musicians are employees, not independent contractors. The import of the decision in Lancaster Symphony Orchestra v. NLRB is sure to reverberate...more

Hutchison v. Shull: Expanding Iowa’s Open Meeting Law (Part 1)

Warren County is governed by a three-member Board of Supervisors. The supervisors asked the Warren County Administrator to assist the Board in their stated goal of improving the efficiency of the county government. To that...more

Tom Brady’s suspension reinstated, so what are the potential Massachusetts tax consequences?

Deflategate and the NFL’s suspension of quarterback Tom Brady for 4 games has been the NFL’s biggest news story of the past two years. On April 25, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in...more

The New “Persuader Rule” and Its Impact on Manufacturers

The federal Office of Labor-Management Standards (“OLMS”) in the Department of Labor issued a Final Rule, on March 24, 2016, that significantly reinterprets the so-called Persuader Activities Rule. This rule represents the...more

Uber Drivers to Remain Independent Contractors…For Now

Uber, the independent taxi service where you can “drive your car and be your own boss,” has long attracted controversy for classifying its drivers as independent contractors and not employees. Class-action lawsuits claiming...more

Uber Class Action Settlement Faces Objections from Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

Uber’s recently announced $100 million settlement to resolve the O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc. class action, in which plaintiffs sought an order deeming them employees, rather than independent contractors, already faces...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

California Appeals Court Provides Guidance on the Use of Electronic Signatures by Employees

In many companies, new employees sign key documents and policies—including arbitration agreements—with the use of electronic signatures. There has been a growing trend in litigation brought by former employees to challenge...more

California Supreme Court Enforces Arbitration Agreement, Finding It Is Not Unconscionable

In this case, a former employee of a retail store appealed to the California Supreme Court seeking reversal of an appellate court decision which found that an arbitration agreement in her employment application was not...more

Employer May Terminate Pre-Hire Agreement with Union, Sixth Circuit Rules

On April 21, 2016, resolving a situation not previously decided by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court held that a construction company that was a party to a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement lawfully...more

Rhode Island Trial Court Decision Could Spell Trouble for Employers Seeking to Enforce Restrictive Covenants Against Healthcare...

One of an employer’s first steps in a suit against a former employee to enforce a restrictive covenant is to seek a preliminary injunction to prevent the employee from continuing to violate his or her contractual obligations....more

What You Say in Your SPD About Claims Processing Makes a Difference

Employers who self fund their medical plans often have contracts with their third party administrators about claims processing. Some of those contracts provide that the claims processor has discretion to decide claims; others...more

District Court Rules Johnson Controls Retirees Not Entitled to Lifetime Health Benefits

A district court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), the Third Circuit’s rule that clear and express...more

Court Enforces Forum Selection Clause in ERISA Plan

A federal district court in New York enforced an ERISA retirement plan’s forum selection clause and transferred the case to the District of New Jersey. The plaintiff argued that the forum selection clause was invalid because...more

The dismissal of a protected employee in consideration of his/her repeated or long sick leaves unrelated to an occupational...

Under French law, the dismissal of a ‘protected employee’ i.e. an employee having a mandate of trade union or staff representative is subject to the prior authorisation of the French Labour Inspector. According to the...more

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