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CFTC Proposes Amendments to Whistleblower Awards Process and Anti-Retaliation Authority

The amendments would make the CFTC’s whistleblower awards process more uniform with the SEC’s program and would enable the CFTC to bring enforcement actions against employers that retaliate against whistleblowers....more

DOL Fiduciary Rule-Making Overreach? Stay Tuned for the Judgment of the Courts

In April, the Department of Labor issued new regulations under ERISA related to individuals who offer investment advice to ERISA plans, their fiduciaries, or participants for a fee. The DOL now says that a fiduciary is...more

Quirky Question #285: Potholes on the Ethical “High Road”

Question: We learned that some of our employees may have been engaging in unethical, and perhaps even illegal, behavior. We don’t tolerate this, so we hired a law firm to conduct an investigation, and based on the results...more

Industry and trade groups challenge the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

Earlier this month, eight industry and trade groups launched a broad challenge to the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule (Rule) and related prohibited transaction exemptions that were released on April 6, 2016. ...more

SEC Issues Near Record-Breaking Whistleblower Award

On June 9, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced it awarded over $17 million to an ex-employee of a financial services firm. The SEC’s press release touts the award as the second-highest bounty ever handed...more

Spokeo—New Hope for Defending Against ERISA Claims?

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13–1339 (May 16, 2016). Spokeo involved a lawsuit brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 (FCRA). ...more

Spokeo May Raise the Bar for Standing in ADA Title III Cases

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Spokeo decision may lead to more careful scrutiny of whether ADA Title III plaintiffs have a sufficiently “concrete” injury to confer jurisdiction in federal court. As...more

ERISA — 9th Circuit: Plaintiffs Can Now Simultaneously Bring Benefit Payment and Equitable Claims

Lane Powell attorney Mike Baylous writes an excellent summary here on big changes to ERISA in the 9th Circuit. Remember that old argument that equitable claims should be dismissed because they are duplicative?...more

SCOTUS Fair Credit Reporting Act Background Check Standing Case Remanded to Lower Court

On May 16, 2016, in a 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the closely watched Spokeo Inc. v. Robins case back to the Ninth Circuit for further analysis. The issue is whether the plaintiff, Robins, has standing to...more

IRS Confirms California “Waiting Time Penalties” Are Not Wages For Federal Income Tax Purposes

A recent IRS information letter confirms that “waiting time penalties” paid under California law are not wages for federal income tax withholding purposes. Section 203 of the California State Labor Code imposes penalties on...more

SOX Whistleblower Receives $250,000 Award Related to State Wage Act Complaints

The ARB recently concluded that a former program manager was entitled to recover more than $250,000 in back pay and benefits under Section 806 of SOX based on his discipline and constructive discharge. The ARB clarified that...more

This Is Not a Test: The CFTC Joins the SEC and IRS in Awarding Substantial Whistleblower Bounties

Who can tune out those periodic blaring interruptions to our favorite television programs? This is a test. For the next 60 seconds, this station will conduct a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test. In...more

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Awards Record $10 Million to Whistleblower

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced on April 4, 2016 that it awarded over $10 million to a whistleblower.  This is the largest award made by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program.  ...more

Classifying a Loan Underwriter is a Risk Worth Taking, Says Sixth Circuit

The demise of bank loan underwriters’ exempt status has been greatly exaggerated—at least according to a recent Sixth Circuit decision upholding the dismissal of a putative collective action against Huntington Bank. The court...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2016

Editor's Overview - This month's article reviews a few non-ERISA cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, which may, depending on the breadth of the decisions, impact ERISA litigation. First, in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the...more

Dave & Buster’s faces FCRA class action for alleged background check violations

Joseph Alvarez filed a class action against Dave & Buster’s restaurant chain earlier this year in Florida alleging that it used background checks for employment decisions without providing a copy of the report to the...more

Montanile, Amgen, Tackett & Moen: Four Important Employee Benefits Cases to Kick Off 2016

The year 2016 has only just started, and we have already seen several important court decisions related to employee benefit plans and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). This Client Alert...more

What Ever Happened To….The Pension Lawsuit Against CIGNA?

One of the cases I’ve covered on this blog since the beginning, was a lawsuit challenging CIGNA’s change from a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan. In plain English, it was basically (and I’m...more

ERISA (5th Circuit): Are There Exceptions to the Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Requirement

You already know that claimants with a denied claim must submit an appeal and exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit. But are phone calls sufficient to trigger the appeal process?...more

Supreme Court Limits ERISA Plan Reimbursement Rights: ERISA Fiduciaries Need to be Diligent

On January 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court held that an ERISA plan could not satisfy its reimbursement rights from a participant’s general assets. ERISA plans’ reimbursement rights are now so limited that...more

The Magic 8 Ball Says – The Supreme Court’s Montanile Decision and The Seemingly Random Evolution of Supreme Court ERISA Remedies...

It’s a common fact pattern. A plan participant is injured and received benefits for treatment of his injuries. The participant then sues a third party for damages based on his injuries. The plan then seeks to recover a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds ERISA Plan Cannot Enforce Equitable Lien Against Participant’s General Assets

On January 20, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Eleventh Circuit and held that when a ERISA plan participant obtains a third-party settlement subject to a plan’s subrogation provision, and then...more

Dodd-Frank Bounties Are Alive and Well - Both SEC and CFTC Issue Awards

The U.S. government has recently paid substantial awards when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) awarded $290,000 to a whistleblower for providing valuable information about violations of the Commodity...more

CFPB’s Message to Employment Background Screening Providers: A Rose by Any Other Middle Name is Probably the Wrong Person

On October 29, the CFPB took action against two of the country’s largest employment background screening report providers for violations of the FCRA. This is one of the CFPB’s most significant FCRA actions to date, following...more

ERISA: Shutting Down Equitable Relief Claims — Disgorgement Claim Dismissed On Rule 12(c) Motion

You already know that in March 2015, the 6th Circuit issued an en banc decision rejecting disgorgement of profits claims. Rochow v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 780 F.3d 364, 372 (6th Cir. 2015)(en banc) (rejecting $3.8 million...more

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