Labor & Employment Civil Procedure

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Are supervisors able to assess impairment? Drug driving decision suggests so

A recent Ontario decision suggests that laypersons - such as supervisors – may assess whether a person is impaired from drugs or alcohol, and their assessment will be considered in legal proceedings. In a “drug driving”...more

Change To Handbook Arbitration Policy—Adding Class Action Waiver—Was Valid And Enforceable

On the same day that the California Supreme Court issued Iskanian, another important ruling with respect to class action arbitration waivers was issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Davis v. Nordstrom, the court...more

What Does the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer Mean for ESOPs and Other Retirement Plan Fiduciaries?

Fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans, including Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), have generally been entitled to a presumption that they have acted prudently in offering employer stock as an investment alternative...more

Appellate Courts Split on Validity of Key ACA Regulation

In two important decisions issued July 22, 2014, both addressing the validity of a key regulation promulgated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), two federal appeals courts reached opposite...more

Not My Brother’s Keeper: Varley v. Regional School District No. 4 and A School District’s Responsibility For “Free Speech” Claims...

When entering into contacts with vendors, school districts hope that 1) the vendor will comply with the law, and 2) in any event, the vendor will be responsible for its own employment-related disputes. In Varley v. Regional...more

California Employees Can Waive Class Claims In An Arbitration Agreement, But Not PAGA Claims

Resolving an issue that has created uncertainty for California employers, the California Supreme Court recently held in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC that class action waivers in employment arbitration...more

TERMINATION: Not a ‘team player’… or sex discrimination?

From time to time, employers discharge employees because they’re “not a good fit” or “not a team player.” While these may be perfectly good reasons for ending someone’s employment, be aware that in some situations courts or...more

Fifth Circuit Holds Deferred Compensation Plan Is Governed by ERISA

The decision details important implications for employers that use deferred compensation arrangements....more

Employment Law - July 2014 #2

High Court’s Fall Docket Includes Major Employment Issues - Why it matters: While the 2013-2014 U.S. Supreme Court term may be over, the justices have granted certiorari in two major employment cases slated for the...more

Future of the Affordable Care Act in Jeopardy in Many States

A same-day split decision has created an uncertain future for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). On Tuesday, two Circuit Courts reached differing conclusions on the availability of premium subsidies for the...more

Will There Be Tax Credit Subsidies for Health Coverage Purchased on the Federal

There is no letup in the intensity of the litigation wars surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or in the significance of the matters at issue. In 2012, the Supreme Court narrowly upheld the ACA in the face of a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review of Restrictions on Federal Agency Rulemaking in Mortgage Loan Officer Overtime Case

In our July 2013 alert, we reported on a federal appellate court ruling in Mortgage Bankers Association v. Harris. Mortgage Bankers Association challenged a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 2010 opinion letter in support of...more

Halbig v Burwell: D.C. Appeals Court Strikes Obamacare Health Insurance Subsidies

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled, in a 2-to-1 decision, in Halbig v. Burwell that the IRS is not authorized under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide tax credits intended to subsidize the cost of...more

Federal Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions on Affordable Care Act Subsidies

On July 22, 2014, two different federal appeals courts issued conflicting decisions on the availability of subsidies for health insurance purchased by individuals on Exchanges established by the federal government under the...more

Federal Appeals Court in D.C. Strikes Down Key Aspect of Health Care Reform (Just Before the 4th Circuit’s Opposite Ruling) – Any...

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling by a three judge panel, invalidated an Internal Revenue Service regulation that interpreted section 36B of the Affordable Care Act...more

Contrasting Opinions in Health Care Law Rulings

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the Fourth Circuits released opinions regarding the federally run health care exchanges under the ACA. Specifically, the cases explore subsidies provided to...more

Health Care Alert: ACA Health Insurance Subsidies Called into Question by DC Circuit

Yesterday, a divided three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit struck down the IRS regulation allowing federal premium subsidies for individuals buying health insurance at...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Pregnancy Accommodation Obligation

On July 1, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of a case from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North and South Carolina) that may resolve a circuit split with regard to employers’ obligations to provide...more

Supreme Court to Review EEOC’s Charge Conciliation Obligation

Under Title VII and related federal civil rights laws, if the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finds cause to believe that an employee’s rights have been violated, the agency is required to attempt to negotiate a...more

Executive Order Protects Federal Contractor LGBT Workers

Yesterday President Obama issued an Executive Order extending antidiscrimination protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as including these categories in affirmative action requirements....more

Fenwick Employment Brief - July 2014

California Employees Can Waive Class Claims In An Arbitration Agreement, But Not PAGA Claims - Resolving an issue that has created uncertainty for California employers, the California Supreme Court recently held in...more

8th Circuit to Determine Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The United States District Court for the District of Nebraska has certified a question for interlocutory appeal to the Eighth Circuit in the case of Bussing v. COR Clearing, LLC (8:12-cv-238). The question involves whether...more

Asbestos MDL Court Concludes Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness Allowed for Seaman But Not for a Seaman’s Personal...

In a consolidated asbestos products liability multidistrict litigation (MDL), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held in In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), MDL 875, that...more

Perspectives - Fall 2012 Volume 3, Edition 2: An Executive Compensation, Benefits & Human Resources Law Update

In this Issue: - Don’t “Moench”ion It: Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries - Avoiding Claims of Excessive Fund Fees - Risk of ERISA Class Actions Can Be Reduced by Use of...more

Seventh Circuit Says One Use of “N-Word” Does Not Create Hostile Work Environment

Under Title VII, single acts of verbal abuse typically do not rise to the level of legally actionable harassment. Only when these behaviors are repeated over a discrete period of time will courts consider them to create a...more

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