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Top 10 Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Developments

There were several noteworthy developments in 2015 in the area of trade secrets and unfair competition. This post focuses on developments affecting California employers. Due to the unsettled nature of some of the law, this...more

Federal Law Applies in Calculating Overtime on Flat Sum Bonuses

Paying employees a bonus may trigger the obligation to pay retroactive overtime. The good news is that Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California clarifies that it is lawful for California employers to use the...more

APCDs: One Solution to Obtaining Meaningful Performance Data

The American health care system is under immense pressure to control costs and improve quality. As a result, there is a corresponding need for access to health care data and the development of new methods to obtain value...more

May Vermont Apply Its Health Care Database Law to the Third-Party Administrator for a Self-Insured ERISA Plan?

Vermont requires all public and private entities that pay for health care services provided to its residents to supply data to its "all-payer database." The requirements apply to insurers and third-party administrators, among...more

Haze Lifting on Employer's Rights and Medical Marijuana

The fast expansion of the medical marijuana movement has brought with it growing confusion on the line between a workers' rights to take advantage of the rights afforded by these state statutes and an employer's right to...more

Seattle Becomes First City in U.S. to Allow Uber Drivers to Unionize

In December, 2015, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted in favor of legislation that expressly permits drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services to unionize. Drivers for these companies, who are treated as...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Takes on Preemption of CEPA Whistleblower Claims

On Wednesday, January 6, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court heard arguments in Puglia v. Elk Pipeline, Inc., on whether claims under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”) were preempted by the federal...more

On A Collision Course? How Religious Entities Should Address The Legal Expansions Of Gay Marriage And Gender Identity Protections

By now you are no doubt aware that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The decision has caused religious institutions and schools to ask about their...more

Class Arbitration Waiver Clause Once Again Trumps State Law in SCOTUS DirecTV Ruling

On December 14, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in DirecTV, Inc. v. Imburgia that a class arbitration waiver clause in DirecTV's customer service contracts was enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act...more

Labor & Employment Advisory: Supreme Court Reiterates That the Federal Arbitration Act Preempts State Bans on Class Arbitration...

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued another opinion affirming the broad scope of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and its impact on state efforts to invalidate class action waivers in arbitration agreements. Although the...more

If Pain, Yes Gain — Part XV: Court Rejects Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act

On December 21, 2015, Judge Joseph James of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas overturned Pittsburgh’s Paid Sick Days Act (“PSDA”), agreeing with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association and several local...more

Solicitors Argue to U.S. Supreme Court That Vermont Health Care Reporting Law Is Not Preempted By ERISA

The Supreme Court will soon consider whether, as applied to self-insured health benefit plans or their third-party administrators, ERISA preempts a Vermont law requiring health care payers to report claims and other data to a...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's newsletter, we focus on the recent wave of guidance and case law related to the Affordable Care Act. We also discuss IRS Notice 2015-86, which provides guidance on the application of...more

DIRECTV v. Imburgia

Last week, in DIRECTV v. Imburgia, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision once again re-affirming the strong federal policy in favor of arbitration. At issue in this case was a service agreement entered into...more

U.S. Supreme Court Continues To Reaffirm Concepcion, But Dodges Iskanian Again

On December 14, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed its previous ruling that any state law that treats arbitration agreements less favorably than other types of agreements is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act...more

Arbitration Wars: Supreme Court Continues To Affirm The Supremacy of the FAA

The United States Supreme Court recently reversed a decision by the California Court of Appeal wherein the state court refused to enforce a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court enforced the class...more

Maine’s Law Court Blows the Whistle on McDonnell Douglas

Maine’s highest court has closed out the year with two notable decisions involving the state’s Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (WPA). The decisions revise the method for analyzing WPA cases on summary judgment and, as a...more

Uber Complicated? State and Local Labor Law May Fill in Federal Gaps

Last week, Seattle passed a historic law that would allow Uber drivers – whom Uber has steadfastly maintained are independent contractors despite legal challenges – to organize, form a union, and bargain over the terms and...more

Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Arbitration Waivers

Employers seeking to avoid costly and often hostile juries have increasingly relied upon mandatory arbitration agreements with employees. Under these provisions, the parties agree to submit any disputes involving the...more

Supreme Court Confirms Enforceability of Class Action Waivers

For the second time in four years, the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled a California decision that refused to enforce an arbitration agreement with a class action waiver, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) trumps...more

Minimum Wages, Maximum Challenges in 2016 (2017, 2018 . . .)

Although the state-level minimum wage changes in 2015 have been tame compared to the significant changes in 2014, employers should be aware of a number of minimum wage legislative developments on the federal, state, and local...more

Federal Law Preempts State Wage Law in Employee Misclassification Case

A Massachusetts Superior Court recently ruled against a group of truck drivers who claimed that a delivery company violated the Massachusetts Wage Act by misclassifying the drivers as independent contractors rather than as...more

There’s More Enforcement Overlap Between Federal OSHA and State Plans Than You Think

One of the fascinating things about an OSHA citation defense practice is the distinctions you see in prosecution by Federal OSHA versus state plans. It is very unusual in the legal world to have the same laws enforced by...more

Supreme Court Update: Mullenix V. Luna (14-1143) And Order List

Was it Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr or Jon Bon Jovi who remarked, "The more things change, the more they stay the same"? (They both did!) Over the last few terms, we've encountered a few steady themes in the Supreme Court's...more

House Passes Transportation Bill with Meal and Rest Break Implications

On November 5, 2015, the House of Representatives approved a transportation funding bill with an amendment that would reverse a 2014 Ninth Circuit decision that California's meal and rest break laws are not preempted under...more

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