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The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

Supreme Court Reaffirms ERISA’s Preemptive Effect as It Overturns State Health Care Law

In Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Supreme Court overturned a Vermont law requiring ERISA plans to disclose health payments to the state’s “All Payer Database.” The Court determined that reporting requirements are a...more

Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too? Handbook Contract Disclaimers & Mandatory Arbitration Policies

A New Jersey court recently used the so-called contract “disclaimer” language in an employer’s handbook to preclude the employer from enforcing a mandatory arbitration program contained in that same handbook. The court’s...more

The InterConnect Flash! No. 53 - February 2016

2 Steps Back — First Circuit Could Have Done More for the Independent Contractor Business Model - Approximately one year ago in FLASH No. 46, we wrote about Massachusetts District Court Judge Robert G. Stearns’ industry...more

RLA “Minor Dispute” Preemption Alive and Well As a Potential Defense in State Court

An Illinois state appellate court recently confirmed that Railway Labor Act “minor dispute” preemption is alive and well as a potential defense to state-law retaliatory discharge claims. The case, Hughes v. United Airlines,...more

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

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

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

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

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

Ninth Circuit Affirms Iskanian Ruling Rendering PAGA Waivers Illegal

In Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc., the Ninth Circuit affirmed the California Supreme Court’s Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC decision (originally summarized in our June 2012 issue), which held...more

Justices Take On Another California Rule – When an Arbitration Agreement Is Too Flawed to Enforce

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a California state court rule on unconscionable provisions that is purportedly applied more stringently to arbitration agreements...more

Ninth Circuit Blesses Iskanian

On September 28, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 decision in the long-awaited case of Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc. (No. 13-55184, D.C. No. 3:12-cv-00436-GPC-KSC) (“Sakkab”). The Court...more

Second Circuit Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Protection Without Reporting to SEC

September 10, 2015, in a 2-1 decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that whistleblowers who report securities law violations internally but not to the US Securities and...more

Officers And The Internal Affairs Doctrine

My guess is that most attorneys would say that the duty of an officer to the corporation are governed by the law of the state of incorporation under the “internal affairs doctrine”.  As explained by the U.S. Supreme Court,...more

State Law Claim for Invasion of Privacy Escapes ERISA Preemption: Rose v. HealthComp, Inc.

A federal court recently held that the plaintiff’s claims under state law survived ERISA preemption, and remanded the case to state court to determine the plaintiff’s claims for invasion of privacy and unfair business...more

California Enacts Change-in-Control Benefits For Grocery Workers

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 359 (Gonzalez) that will impose a worker retention requirement when there has been a change in ownership or control of grocery establishments.  In general, the bill will require the...more

Union Contracts to the Rescue? Really?

We have previously alerted readers to the growing number of cities and states that have enacted paid sick leave laws, and the need to ensure employers that operate in these jurisdictions comply. However, so far, little...more

Even More Reason for Manufacturers to Update Their Employment Agreements

In an increasingly competitive landscape, a manufacturer’s significant employees may hold the “keys to the kingdom.” Loss of such a worker to a competitor could have a substantial impact on future business growth. Many...more

Retail and Fashion Law Trends: What’s ‘‘In’’ for 2015

The retail industry saw a number of significant developments in 2014, many of which were a long time in the making. As courts begin to consider new claims and legislation that arose last year, the industry needs to be aware...more

Court Holds That Physician’s State Law Claim For Disability Benefits Is Preempted by ERISA: Hershan v. Unum Group Corporation

A federal court has held that a radiologist’s state law contract claim for certain disability insurance benefits arose under a welfare benefit plan governed by ERISA and was therefore preempted by ERISA. In Hershan v. Unum...more

UPDATE: SCOTUS Denies Petition For Cert In Iskanian

On June 24, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC. While the Court in Iskanian confirmed that an express class action waiver in an employment...more

Employer's "Super Policy" Against Harassment Requires Employer to Protect Employee Beyond That Which is Required by Law

A Costco employee suffered from Tourette's syndrome, and made complaints to management about the way his supervisors and others were treating him. He later filed charges with the Connecticut Human Rights Organization as well...more

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