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Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s...more

California Health Care Employees Cannot Waive Entitlement to Second Meal Period When Working In Excess of 12 Hours

Narrowly construing the California Labor Code provisions on meal periods, the California Court of Appeal struck down a provision in the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders that allows health care employees working...more

Oops! California Court Gets Around to Invalidating 22-Year-Old Meal Period Waiver Rules for Healthcare Employees

For nearly 22 years, IWC Wage Order No. 4 and IWC Wage Order No. 5 have permitted employees in the “health care industry” who work shifts in excess of eight total hours in a workday to “voluntarily waive their right to one of...more

Did You Know…Second Meal Period Waivers Invalid for Health Care Workers When Working More Than 12 Hours

In Jazmina Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, the California Court of Appeal held that the wage orders health care companies have been following for years were wrong and contrary to the California Labor Code....more

DC Court Rejects Unilateral DOL Regulation of Home Care Workers in Sharply Worded Rebuke; DOL to Appeal

In a pair of welcomed decisions for third-party employers in the home care industry, Judge Richard J. Leon of the D.C. Federal District Court vacated major provisions of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Home Care Final...more

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Eliminates Presumption That Union Retiree Health Benefits Are Vested For Life

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a judicial presumption - commonly referred to as the Yard-Man presumption - that union retiree health care benefits are vested for life in the...more

No False Claim Despite Violation of Licensing Law and Medicare Conditions of Participation

Last week a federal court in Florida granted a radiology practice’s motion for judgment in its favor in a False Claims Act case, despite these formidable obstacles: (1) the practice had billed Medicare for services performed...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit's Approach to Retiree Medical Benefits

Ordinary contract principles govern disputes about collectively bargained retiree medical benefits. A Morgan Lewis team secured a major victory for employers when the U.S. Supreme Court, in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v....more

The Fraudulent Joinder Doctrine...It’s Not Just For Fraud Or Joinder

In Weidman v. ExxonMobil Corporation, et al., No. 13-2007 (4th Cir., January 8, 2015), the Fourth Circuit confirmed that the “fraudulent joinder” doctrine requires neither an allegation of fraud nor a situation involving a...more

Supreme Court Rejects Analysis of Duration of Retiree Benefits As Contrary to Contract Law

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved a long-standing dispute between the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the remainder of the federal judiciary in a case concerning the extent to which...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man: Ordinary Contract Principles Apply When Interpreting Retiree Medical Promises

The Supreme Court has unanimously vacated a Sixth Circuit ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) vested retirees with lifetime medical benefits. M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 759...more

Supreme Court Hears Argument On Two Procedural Issues In False Claims Act Litigation

On January 13, 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Kellogg Brown & Root v. United States ex rel. Carter, No. 12-1497, a False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam case involving allegations of fraudulent billing...more

Decision Alert: US Supreme Court Potentially Shifts the Balance in Healthcare Employee Benefits Litigation

Justice Clarence Thomas and a unanimous US Supreme Court decided to vacate a Sixth Circuit decision and hold that the federal courts cannot assume from silence in a union’s collective bargain agreement that retiree group...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes Reliance on Yard-Man In Retiree Health Benefit Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Circuit’s reliance on retiree-friendly inferences set forth in UAW v. Yard-Man are incompatible with ordinary principles of contract interpretation and should not be used when...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

Traditional Contract Rules Determine Whether Retirees Are Entitled to Lifetime Healthcare Benefits

Yesterday, in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that courts must apply ordinary rules of contract interpretation when determining whether retiree healthcare benefits vest for life pursuant to the terms of a...more

Court Vacates DOL’s New “Companionship Services” Definition

On January 14, 2015, the court in Home Care Association of America v. Weil vacated the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulation narrowing the definition of “companionship services” under the Fair Labor Standards Act...more

Department of Labor regulations narrowing companionship care definition vacated

In a second decision in the case challenging federal Department of Labor regulations relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) companionship care exemption, the US District Court for the District of Columbia vacated...more

Home Health Care Remains Affordable: New Companionship Exemption Rules Overturned

A federal court has invalidated the U.S. Department of Labor's ("DOL") amended rule that would have extended minimum wage and overtime protections to nearly two million home health care workers and affected the cost and...more

Judge Vacates Parts of USDOL Home-Care Regulation

A federal judge has scuttled key aspects of the U.S. Department of Labor's rule that would have extended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum-wage and overtime requirements to many home care workers starting January...more

Minn. Sup. Court: Med Staff Bylaws Are a Contract & Staff May Sue

On the last day of 2014 the Minnesota Supreme Court gave a hospital medical staff a double victory, ruling that (1) medical staff bylaws constitute a contract between the hospital and medical staff members and (2) the medical...more

D.C. District Court Vacates Regulation Impacting Overtime Eligibility Under Companionship Exemption

On December 22, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated a key portion of a U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulation amending the minimum wage and overtime exemptions for “companionship” domestic...more

New California Labor and Employment Laws for 2015

Like most recent years, the California Legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed many labor and employment bills into law once again in 2014. Below are highlights of the most significant new laws. Each will become...more

Employee Benefits Developments - December 2014

Can a Medical Plan Enforce a Third-Party Recovery Provision Appearing Only in an SPD? Group health plans are often required to cover medical expenses associated with injuries caused by a third party’s negligence. These...more

FLSA companionship exemption changes struck down

Federal Department of Labor regulations that would have made employees of third-party home care agencies ineligible for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) companionship exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay and...more

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