Civil Remedies Labor & Employment

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Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

DOL Settlement Is a Cautionary Tale for ESOP Trustees

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently settled a case involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that provides guidance but also a warning for trustees and employers contemplating ESOP transactions that later go awry....more

When Numbers Lie: The Limits of Statistical Methodology in California Class Action Management

Courts that oversee class actions can use class sampling and other statistical methods to manage litigation involving large numbers of plaintiffs and the vast amount of data associated with them. In California, however, those...more

The Mistaken Fiduciary: Can You Correct Overpayments to U.S. Retirees?

Even the best run pension plans occasionally pay retirees the wrong amount due to errors in employee classification, or calculating participant service or compensation. Correcting underpayments is easy enough – though it is...more

Duran v. U.S. Bank: When Class Certification Goes Wrong

The California Supreme Court recently handed down a landmark decision on class actions. The trial judge lost control of the certification and evidentiary presentation of the case resulting in a $15 million verdict against...more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal on Enforceability of FLSA Collective Action Waivers

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied a request to review the issue of whether the Fair Labor Standards Act grants employees a non-waivable right to bring a collective action and thus, renders arbitration agreements with...more

Employers Fight Back Against Whistleblowers

In 2013, the federal government recovered $3.8 billion from settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act (FCA). Whistleblowers—also called “relators”—can recover up to 30 percent of whatever a defendant pays in a...more

Unauthorized Work Status Does Not Bar Discrimination Claims

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court held that an undocumented worker who was wrongfully terminated in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) may be awarded lost pay...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Monetary “Make-Whole” Relief Is Not Available Absent Loss to Plan or Unjust Enrichment for Defendant...

A Ninth Circuit panel recognized that reformation, equitable estoppel and surcharge were among the “appropriate equitable relief” potentially available under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA (following dictum in CIGNA Corp. v....more

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Holds Undocumented Workers Are Not Barred From All Relief

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co. the California Supreme Court recently held that an undocumented worker who fraudulently obtained employment through use of someone else’s social security number may seek damages for employment...more

Massachusetts Federal Court Refuses to Transform Non-Disclosure Agreement into a Non-Competition Agreement

A recent decision from the Massachusetts federal district court serves as a good reminder to Massachusetts employers that courts are unlikely to view the breach of a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement as justification...more

Plaintiff’s Trade Secret Lawsuit Backfires!

We recently reported on good things (big verdicts) coming to trade secret plaintiffs that endure lengthy lawsuits. But good things don’t always come to those who wait. ...more

Supermarket Chain Takes $536,000 Hit for Bungling FMLA Request

A former employee of a Connecticut supermarket chain was recently awarded approximately $536,000 in a wrongful-termination suit filed after he was fired when he took time off for back surgery. A jury found the supermarket...more

DOL Hits Restaurant for $800k for Illegal Tip Withholdings

The Department of Labor continued its roundup of restaurants supposedly skirting wage and hour laws, recently reaching a settlement with a Texas-based restaurant for $650k in back wages and $150k in penalties to be split...more

Recent Developments in Maritime Punitive Damages

In 2009, in Atlantic Sounding Co., Inc. v. Townsend, the Supreme Court “sea tossed” the law of maritime damages when it held that punitive damages are recoverable for an employer’s willful and wanton failure to provide a...more

Court Awards Fees And Costs Against USDOL

A Texas federal court has ordered the U.S. Labor Department to pay more than $560,000 in attorney's fees, paralegal fees, and travel expenses growing out of litigation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. USDOL...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 6

In our sixth issue of The Construction Advantage, we provide you with an all New England edition, focusing on the increased employment in the construction sector in Maine, a large court award related to the Big Dig, and the...more

Appeals Court Upholds Jury Verdict and All Relief Awarded Against A.C. Widenhouse in EEOC Race Harassment Case

Trucking Company to Pay $243,000 for Subjecting African-American Employees to Racial Slurs and Nooses, Retaliation - WASHINGTON - In the latest of a series of successes in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity...more

Using Non-Competes When Greater Employee Responsibility = Greater Protectable Interest

Many employers require new hires to sign non-compete agreements and we have advised previously about best practices for employers to refresh their non-compete terms on a regular basis. A recent decision by a Maryland federal...more

Developments in Tennessee, Alabama, and Federal Employment Law

Effective July 1, 2014, a new law (T.C.A. § 29-39-104) changes the exposure for Tennessee employers subject to the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) and the Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”). The law limits...more

Focused on Franchise Law - June 2014

FRANCHISEE 101: Unsigned Franchise Agreement Binds Franchisee's Shareholder - Texas Appeals Court recently held in Pritchett v. Gold's Gym Franchising, LLC that a Texas forum-selection clause in a Franchise Agreement...more

Court Sanctions Employer $25K for Failing to Preserve Email After Notice of EEOC Charge

In Knickerbocker v. Corinthian Colleges, a trial court in Washington state sanctioned an employer because it failed to preserve evidence and issued an insufficient litigation hold after the employer received notice of EEOC...more

$15M Judgment Reversed Due to Flawed Statistical Sampling Approach to Class Action

In a significant victory for California employers, the California Supreme Court threw out a $15 million judgment in favor of allegedly misclassified employees. In Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, a putative class of...more

SEC's Enforcement Action Against Hedge Fund Adviser for Retaliation Against a Whistleblower Highlights Challenges Employers Face

After repeated warnings over the last few years that it had both the authority and willingness to do so, on June 16, 2014, the SEC brought its first enforcement action for retaliation against a whistleblower under the...more

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Adviser with Whistleblower Retaliation under Dodd-Frank

On June 16, 2014, the SEC issued its first-ever charge of whistleblower retaliation under section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, charging a hedge fund advisor and its owner with “engaging in prohibited principal transactions and...more

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