Labor & Employment Finance & Banking Civil Procedure

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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

Circuit Courts Weigh Employee Arbitration Waiver Agreements with Divergent Results

Conflicting decisions issued within one week of each other from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Eighth Circuits exemplify the ongoing debate in circuit courts across the country about the enforceability of...more

Eleventh Circuit Clarifies Broker-Dealer’s Liability For Employee’s Fraud

Will a broker-dealer be liable when a financial advisor employed by the firm solicits investments as part of a fraudulent scheme, where the firm specifically prohibited the advisor from soliciting the investment, the...more

Eighth Circuit Finds That Insurance Coverage Extends To Fraudulent Losses Caused By Computer Hacker

On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed breach-of-contract claims brought by Minnesota-based State Bank of Bellingham (“Bellingham Bank”) against BancInsure Inc. (“BancInsure”), an insurance...more

Spokeo May Raise the Bar for Standing in ADA Title III Cases

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Spokeo decision may lead to more careful scrutiny of whether ADA Title III plaintiffs have a sufficiently “concrete” injury to confer jurisdiction in federal court. As...more

Inside Trustees for Small Minnesota 401(k) Plan Face Class Action Over Excessive Fees

A Minneapolis law firm recently filed a class action complaint against Lamettry’s Collision, Inc. and the Trustees of its 401(k) Plan, CFO Stephen Daniel and President Joan Lamettry for various breaches of fiduciary duty with...more

Federal Reserve Bank Ruled a Federal Supervisory Agency Under the BSA

In a case of first impression, a district court held that a regional Federal Reserve Bank was a supervisory agent as defined by the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). The BSA requires the reporting of any suspicious activity that may...more

Banking & Financial Services E-Note - May 2016

The Southern District of New York has issued an opinion that permitted a debtor to reject certain gathering and condensation agreements as executory contracts. Because the midstream service sector finances the construction of...more

ERISA — 9th Circuit: Plaintiffs Can Now Simultaneously Bring Benefit Payment and Equitable Claims

Lane Powell attorney Mike Baylous writes an excellent summary here on big changes to ERISA in the 9th Circuit. Remember that old argument that equitable claims should be dismissed because they are duplicative?...more

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