Labor & Employment Finance & Banking Civil Procedure

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Multiple Universities Sued Over 403(b) Retirement Plan Investment Fees

In the last several days, a number of large private universities have been sued regarding the investment fees in their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits claim that these universities breached their fiduciary duties under...more

ERISA Class Actions Filed Against Higher Education Institutions

Several ERISA breach of fiduciary duty class actions involving allegedly excessive retirement plan fees were filed this week against higher education institutions including colleges, universities, and medical schools. The...more

Challenge to Pension Fund Investment Decision Time Barred

A federal district court in California held that a complaint filed by members of the International Union of Operating Engineers that challenged pension plan trustees’ decision to make certain investments was filed five days...more

Case Note: Court Rules In Favor Of Fidelity And Holds That Float Income Is Not A Plan Asset

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that float income is not a plan asset and therefore is not subject to fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA. The decision was written by former Justice Souter...more

ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we take a look at the plaintiffs' past successes in fee litigations, and the influx of such lawsuits seeking to impose heightened fiduciary standards for 401(k) plans. Regardless of the...more

Fidelity Prevails In ERISA Float Litigation

The First Circuit joined the Eighth Circuit in finding that Fidelity’s practice of earning overnight “float” interest on the cash paid out to 401(k) participants redeeming shares in mutual funds did not violate ERISA’s duty...more

District Court Finds Forum Selection Clause Unenforceable in ERISA Action

A federal district court in Illinois ruled that a plan’s forum selection was unenforceable because it conflicts with ERISA’s public policy of providing plaintiffs “ready access to the Federal courts.” Darlene Harris...more

German Employee's Dismissal at U.S. Regulator's Behest Ruled Invalid

On July 13, 2016, the Frankfurt Higher Labor Court held the dismissal of an employee in response to demands by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) was invalid. (Frankfurt Labor Court, 18 Sa 1498/15)....more

Pension Consultant Found Not to be an ERISA Fiduciary

The Tenth Circuit held that a pension plan consultant, who misstated the amount of monthly pension payments that a pension plan participant would receive in retirement, was not a fiduciary under ERISA. Plaintiffs Trent...more

Appellate Division Finds c.78 Health Benefits Contributions Requirements Do Not Apply to Public Sector Disability Retirees

Last month, in Brick Twp. PBA Local 230 v. Twp. of Brick, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey confirmed that N.J.S.A. 40A:10-21.1, P.L. 2011, c. 78, § 42, more commonly known as Chapter 78, does not...more

Pension Fund Health-Check Required

The recent furore over the collapse of high street retailer BHS has caused fierce debate over whether companies, or their ultimate owners, are responsible for the upkeep of a pension plan. For private equity, the debate has...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

Life and Annuity Series: Class Certified in an ERISA “Unreasonable Compensation” Case

The Colorado federal court concluded last summer, in Teets v. Great-West Life & Ann. Ins. Co., that an insurer could be subject to ERISA liability for receiving unreasonable compensation in connection with a stable value...more

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

As we previously reported, there have been five lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule. On July 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed its first formal response to these...more

Civil Fines Jump Across Agencies Under Inflation Adjustment Act

Civil fines across federal agencies have recently been increased dramatically under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act) (Sec. 701 of Public Law 114-74), with some more than...more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - Second Quarter 2016: Does the Supreme Court’s Dudenhoeffer Decision under ERISA do “More...

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Amgen v. Harris, in which the Court revisited and clarified its 2014 holding in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bancorp.2 Both cases concern the application of a...more

You Can Always Be A Step Away From Getting Sued

A well-respected registered investment advisor was recently named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit against a $1 billion 401(k) plan. I’m not going to cite the particulars and I’m not going to opine because a...more

Fact That Small 401(k) Lawsuit Was Dropped Is Irrelevant

While many of us in the retirement plan world were publicizing a class action lawsuit against a $9 million, apparently the plaintiffs had a change of heart. The case was Damberg et al v. LaMettry’s Collision Inc. and the...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

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims For Lack Of Protected Activity

On June 22, 2016, Judge Daniels of the Southern District of New York dismissed SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that Plaintiff’s alleged internal complaints did not constitute protected activity, as they did...more

Court Grants Motion To Stay Action Pending Arbitration, And Found That Issue Of Whether Arbitration Clause Allows For Class...

In this case, Jeffrey Hedrick brought an action in Kansas federal court on behalf of himself and others similarly situated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) against BNC National Bank, Hedrick’s employer. The bank...more

What Employers Need to Know About the New State Garnishment Laws, Part I: Michigan and Georgia

The requirements and processes applicable to employers handling garnishments are primarily governed by state laws. Therefore, in addition to the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), multistate employers need to be...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

Whistleblowers: No Reasonable Belief of Violation, No Protection

The SEC has been touting the large cash awards it has been handing out to whistleblowers. The agency views whistleblowers as a key source of potential information about wrong-doing which can give them tips and facilitate...more

Eighth Circuit Deals Significant Blow To SOX And Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

On June 6, 2016, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Minnesota District Court’s grant of summary judgment on SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claims based on the plaintiff’s failure to establish a reasonable belief...more

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