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Alberta Arbitration Board Rules Random Drug and Alcohol Testing Unreasonable

In the ongoing debate on random drug and alcohol testing of employees, an Alberta Arbitration Board (the “Board”) has found that an employer’s random drug and alcohol testing policy is unreasonable. The Board’s...more

Supreme Court Expands Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Companies

In 2002, after corporate fraud at Enron led to the company's collapse, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Under SOX's main whistleblower protection provision, an employee of a publicly traded company who claims...more

Daughter’s Facebook Post Leads to Costly Breach by Father of a Confidentiality Clause in His Settlement Agreement With Former...

A recent decision by a Florida appeals court, Gulliver Schools, Inc. v. Snay, stands as a stark reminder of the perils of trying to maintain confidentiality in the age of social media where news can travel faster than the...more

Breach of Confidentiality Clause Leads to Disgorgement of Settlement

In this employment termination case, plaintiff Snay (a school principal), and Defendant, Gulliver (the school), settled and agreed to keep the settlement confidential. Four days after the parties signed the settlement...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Sanctions Against the EEOC In Action Fraught with Delays

Many employers who have dealt with the EEOC in large cases suffer frustration over inexplicable delays combined with at times unreasonable requests for information and/or relief. In a recent case from the Fourth Circuit, that...more

Beyond Credit Reporting: The Extension of Potential Class Action Liability to Employers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Do not be fooled by its title: the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) reaches far beyond the realm of credit reporting and governs a broad spectrum of industries. Indeed, the provisions of FCRA apply to any business entity...more

Fairfax Circuit Court Strikes Down Noncompete as Overbroad, Offering Yet Another Lesson for Employers

On March 6, 2014, a Fairfax Circuit judge denied a preliminary injunction in a suit brought by Wings LLC to enforce a noncompete against two defector employees. In a letter opinion, Judge Bruce D. White said the noncompete...more

(Not) April Fools Day – Changes To The Canada Labour Federal Code Effective April 1, 2014

For those federally regulated employers that are governed by the Canada Labour Federal Code (the “Federal Code”), there are some substantive changes coming of which you should take note....more

California Court of Appeal Holds Employer Cannot Shorten Statute of Limitation on California Discrimination and Retaliation Claims

Can employers enter into binding agreements with employees to shorten the statute of limitations on discrimination and other employment claims? A California Court of Appeal decision answered that question with a resounding...more

Second Circuit: Five Factors Still Relevant to ERISA Attorney Fee Awards

The Second Circuit recently had occasion to provide guidance to the lower courts on the standard for evaluating an ERISA attorneys’ fee application following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life...more

Religious Freedom, Contraceptive Services, and The ACA: The Dilemma of the Self-Certification Provision

On February 21, 2014, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-to-1 decision, denied a preliminary injunction enjoining the federal government from enforcing the self-certification provisions of the Affordable Care Act...more

New ‘Digest of EEO Law’ Issued by EEOC

Quarterly Edition Includes Variety of Key Federal Sector Decisions - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the latest edition of its federal sector Digest of Equal...more

In Tussey, Eighth Circuit Weighs in on Excessive Fee Claims

The Eighth Circuit issued a highly anticipated decision yesterday in the appeal of the first ERISA excessive fee class action to proceed to a trial on substantially all of the pleaded claims. In Tussey v. ABB, the court...more

Can You Keep a Secret? Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements Are For Real

If a party to a confidential settlement agreement blabs about the settlement, could the party lose some of the benefits of the settlement? A recent Florida appellate decision is a good reminder to think carefully about the...more

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was harassed by his supervisors who called him “queer,” “fagot [sic],” “homo,” and “gay porn star” and was subjected to other humiliating and harassing...more

Did You Know...An $80,000 Facebook Post Costs $80,000

When does a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement mean what it says? What if you tell your children about your confidential settlement and they post about it on Facebook? Well, here is what just might happen...more

California Employment Law Notes - March 2014

$150,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And $680,000 Fee Award Affirmed - Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2014) Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was...more

Employer's quick action bars racial harassment claim

Recently, a federal circuit court of appeals overturned a six-figure jury award in a case alleging racial harassment that involved talk of lynching and thinly veiled references to the Ku Klux Klan. Here’s another example of...more

Shaking Down the Thunder from the Sky: Notre Dame’s Challenge to the Contraception Mandate

The Supreme Court will inevitably decide to what extent the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects religiously affiliated employers from providing insurance coverage for contraceptive services, as is generally required...more

“Entirely Comfortable” With a “Monster”: A Striking Decision From an Unlikely Source About Excessive Fines Under the FCA

As we have discussed before, whistleblower and retaliation decisions—including from the Supreme Court of the United States—have created an increasingly whistleblower-friendly body of law that unifies courts across the...more

Foundering On "Sea-Tossed" Waters? The Fifth Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing in Estis

After making a splash in October of 2013 with a landmark ruling in McBride v. Estis Well Service, L.L.C., 731 F.3d 505, 517 (5th Cir. 2013) "that punitive damages remain available to seamen as a remedy for the general...more

Looking Forward - Canadian Class Actions in 2014

The last few years have been very active years for class actions in Ontario. Bennett Jones continues to have an active and expanding class actions practice....more

Airline Management Newsletter - February 2014

Ninth Circuit Upholds Strike Injunction Against Non-Union Employees - Executive Summary: The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the decision of a federal trial court, which granted a strike injunction against...more

Supreme Court Confirms That Merits Decisions Are Final and Appealable Even When Contractual Fees Remain Unresolved

The U.S. Supreme Court has provided much-needed clarity and uniformity on the issue of whether contractual attorney’s fees are a part of a merits decision for the purposes of determining timeliness of a federal appeal. Ray...more

The Devil Is In Those Details: Supreme Court Holds That the Clock for the Appeal of an ERISA Decision Began Running Sooner Than...

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the plaintiffs, a group of union-affiliated employee benefit funds (the Funds), waited too late to give notice of their appeal from the trial court’s judgment on the merits of their case...more

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