Labor & Employment Business Torts

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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Monitoring Employee Communications: A Brave New World

Over the last decade, communication via email and text has become a vital part of how many of us communicate in the workplace. In fact, most employees could not fathom the idea of performing their jobs without the use of...more

The Wait Is Over – the DOL Announces New Rules Impacting Broker Regulation

The Department of Labor recently enacted rules that require financial advisers and brokers handling individual retirement and 401(k) accounts to act in the best interests of their clients. The much-anticipated rules have...more

California Court Gives Two Thumbs Down and Voids Non-Compete in Actor’s Agreement

Seyfarth Synopsis: Limitation on an actor’s ability to work in certain films struck down as an unlawful restraint of trade. California, mecca of the film and media production industries in the U.S., is notorious for...more

Recent Lawsuit Demonstrates Continuing Need for Plan Fiduciaries to Document Decision-Making Process

Late last year, another lawsuit was brought on behalf of participants in a 401(k) plan alleging breaches of fiduciary duties resulting from allegedly high plan fees. This type of case is not novel; the law firm that brought...more

“They’re Here!” – Department of Labor Issues Final ERISA Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations

After receiving and reviewing extensive feedback on its earlier proposals, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued final regulations expanding the definition of a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act...more

Courts Strike Down Church Plan Exemptions for Church-Affiliated Organizations

Until recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and federal courts seemed to agree that a retirement plan established and maintained by a church-affiliated organization generally qualified...more

Private Equity Funds Held Liable for Pension Obligations of a Portfolio Company

District Court: Two Affiliated Funds Formed “Partnership-in-Fact” and Have Controlled Group Liability for Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities - In a closely watched case (the “Sun Capital” case), the U.S. District...more

North Carolina’s Strict Blue Pencil Doctrine is Written in Ink: The Supreme Court Rules That Courts Cannot Revise Noncompete...

The North Carolina Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) recently reiterated that North Carolina courts may not revise overly broad restrictions in noncompetition agreements, overturning a Court of Appeals decision that had...more

Private Equity Funds Liable for Withdrawal Liability of Portfolio Company

What you need to know: On March 28, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts held, on remand from the First Circuit, that two related private equity funds were jointly and severally liable for...more

Statutory and Contractual Limitations Periods and the Events that Trigger Them: Insight from the Fourth Circuit

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) does not contain a statute of limitations provision, and courts generally apply the most analogous state law statutory limitation. However, some plans fill the void...more

Broker-Dealer Liability: Are the Rules Pertaining to Providing Investment Advice to Retail Customers About to Change?

In the securities industry, broker-dealers play an important and vital role. If the current broker-dealer regulatory environment is not daunting enough already, it is about to get more complicated and costly, from a revenue...more

Latest Survey Highlights the Year's Top Trends in Class Actions [Video]

To read the full 2016 Class Action Survey report, please visit ClassActionSurvey.com. *** The 2016 Carlton Fields Class Action Survey reveals surprising trends in class action litigation, based on insights provided by...more

Supreme Court Emphasizes Heightened Pleading Standard for Stock Drop Cases

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam opinion in Amgen Inc. v. Harris, holding that the Amgen, Inc. employees who filed suit after the value of the employer stock in which they had...more

The Employment Exemption and Its Temporal Scope

Generally, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 does not apply to employer-employee disputes. Most courts have held that these disputes fail the “in or affecting commerce” test under the statute. In a recent decision, however, the...more

Do Your Assignment of Benefits Clauses Need a Check-up? Recent Southern District of Florida Decision Highlights the Importance of...

A frequently litigated issue in reimbursement cases brought by in- and out-of-network healthcare providers against insurers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) is provider standing. Because...more

Ownership of Social Media Accounts

It is becoming increasingly common for issues to arise relating to employer vs. employee ownership of a social media account and the names, addresses, etc. that go along with that account. Business-related social media...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of ERISA Fiduciary Obligations in Recent Stock Drop Decision

In recent years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought numerous ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits against employers that offer employer stock funds in their 401(k) plans. These lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of...more

The Supreme Court Meant What It Said On Employer Stock Funds

On January 25, 2016, in Amgen, Inc. v. Harris, 2016 WL 280886, the Supreme Court sent a strong message to the lower courts, plaintiffs and ERISA fiduciaries that pleading standards for breach of fiduciary duty prudence claims...more

What Amgen and Tackett Tell Us About ERISA Litigation Trend Lines

Two recent Supreme Court decisions, and a recent Sixth Circuit analysis on remand from the Supreme Court, offer a roadmap of sorts on ERISA litigation. In both decisions, the Supreme Court did away with presumptions, and at...more

Be Careful What You Wish For – Dudenhoeffer May Do “More Harm Than Good” For ERISA “Stock Drop” Plaintiffs

In its June 2014 decision in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declined to recognize a “presumption of prudence” that had favored retirement-plan fiduciaries faced with allegations of...more

Supreme Court’s Amgen Order Confirms That Fifth Third Bancorp’s ERISA Stock-Drop Pleading Standard Has Teeth

In a recent per curiam order granting the plan fiduciaries’ petition for certiorari and reversing the Ninth Circuit, the United States Supreme Court made clear that it expects lower courts to faithfully apply the pleading...more

Recent Georgia Court of Appeals Case Highlights Alternative Theories of Relief in Unfair Competition Case

Beginning in law school, attorneys are trained to learn from reported appellate cases, and that education never stops. In a recent Georgia Court of Appeals case involving claims of unfair competition, Lyman v. Cellchem Int’l...more

The Supreme Court Once Again Visits The Employer Stock Dispute — Amgen, Inc. v. Harris

Background — fiduciary obligations vs. ERISA’s specific nod to employer stock. Courts have long struggled to determine how to reconcile ERISA’s rules explicitly allowing participants in defined contribution plans to invest in...more

"Director Compensation in the Spotlight"

Individuals serving on company boards of directors should carefully examine director compensation programs and decisions involving their own compensation following an April 30, 2015, ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery....more

New Great West case and Revenue Sharing

Add Great West under their Empower Retirement brand name as the latest bundled provider being sued. Great West is being sued for revenue sharing fees from mutual funds as part of their program....more

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