Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

The Dangers of Reimbursing Employees for Individual Health Insurance Premiums--and the Limited Relief for Small Employers

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") in 2010, employers were able to reimburse their employees for the premiums those employees paid for individual health insurance. This long-standing practice was changed…more

Affordable Care Act, DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, IRS, Medical Reimbursement Plans

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Trend Alert: NLRB Holds Employee Acting Alone Engages in Concerted Activity

The NLRB, and courts interpreting the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), consistently have held that to engage in concerted activity protected by Section 7, two or more employees must take action for their mutual aid or…more

Collective Actions, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, NLRA, NLRB

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Court Holds that Restaurant Owner May Be Personally Liable for FLSA Violations

A new federal case out of Illinois demonstrates the extreme importance of complying with wage and hour laws, especially where the law provides for individual liability against those who control the terms and conditions of…more

Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Minimum Wage, Personal Liability, Restaurant Industry

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Of Interest: U.S. Supreme Court Saves Obamacare a Second Time

Note: Though the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell (issued yesterday) does not directly implicate an employment issue, the opinion is quite significant and likely of interest to many employers who have been following…more

Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, Individual Mandate, King v Burwell

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Joint Employer Standard Expanded: NLRB Overturns 30 Years of Precedent

In a dramatic departure from over 30 years of precedent, the National Labor Relations Board has modified the standard by which it determines whether two entities are "joint employers" under the National Labor Relations Act…more

Collective Bargaining, Contractors, Franchises, Joint Employers, New Regulations

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Latest Updates to Media Liability Insurance in California

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP partner James Castle recently enhanced and updated the chapter on Media Liability Insurance for LexisNexis' California Insurance Law & Practice. Cases discussed include: ?S.B.C.C., Inc. v. St…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Copyright Infringement, Defamation, Duty to Defend, Insurance Litigation

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Latest Updates to the California Inurance Holding Company Act

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP attorney Suh Choi has updated and enhanced Chapter 5, The California Insurance Holding Company Act, for the LexisNexis California Insurance Law & Practice treatise. The latest update features a…more

Divestiture, Insurance Holding Company

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Health Insurance Premium Regulation Bid Draws Criticism

Barger & Wolen partners Richard De La Mora and Richard Hopkins were both quoted in a Nov. 14, 2013, Daily Journal article, Hospital insurance premium regulations bid draws criticism, about a proposed ballot initiative intended…more

Health Insurance, Healthcare, Hospitals, Premiums

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Using Criminal Convictions in the Hire Process: A Hobson's Choice for Employers?

Is the government really telling employers that they are not allowed to disqualify an applicant because of past criminal activity? In a word, yes. That is increasingly becoming the case on the state level and has been the…more

Arrest and Conviction Records, Background Checks, Ban the Box, Best Practices, Conditional Job Offers

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It May Be A Lawyer Doing Work At A Law Firm…But Don't Call It 'Legal Work'

As e-discovery issues abound, the increased number of contract lawyers combing through massive document productions for privilege and relevance has developed into a cottage industry in the past decade. Companies helping law…more

Document Productions, Document Review, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Non-Exempt Employees

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Supreme Court: Ordinary Contract Principles Do Not Allow Inference of Vesting Rights Absent Clear and Express Language

In 2000, M&G Polymers purchased the Point Pleasant Polyester Plant in Apple Grove, WV. At that time, M&G entered into a collective-bargaining agreement and a related Pension, Insurance, and Service Award Agreement (P & I…more

CBAs, Employer Group Health Plans, Employer Healthcare Costs, Health Insurance, M&G Polymers v Tackett

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6th Circuit: Despite Misconduct, Terminating Complaining Employee Still a Problem Under Section 7

Ask any school teacher and they will tell you, the key to maintaining an orderly classroom is identifying the instigator. The "instigator" is the young boy or girl (let’s be honest, usually boy) who does or says something to…more

NLRA, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity, Section 7, Termination

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First Circuit Confirms Importance of Good Faith Interactive Process

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has given us yet another case demonstrating the importance of not only engaging in the interactive process, but doing so in good faith…more

ADA, EEOC, Enforcement Actions, Good Faith, Kohls

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The Dangers of Reimbursing Employees for Individual Health Insurance Premiums--and the Limited Relief for Small Employers

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") in 2010, employers were able to reimburse their employees for the premiums those employees paid for individual health insurance. This long-standing practice was changed…more

Affordable Care Act, DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, IRS, Medical Reimbursement Plans

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6th Circuit: Telling Supervisor to Stop Harassing Conduct Is Protected Activity Under Title VII

A company cannot fire an employee in retaliation for complaining to supervisors about sexual harassment, the Sixth Circuit recently held in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. New Breed Logistics, No. 13-6250 (6th Cir…more

Civil Rights Act, EEOC, Hiring & Firing, Retaliation, Sexual Harassment

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Cost Caps on Medical Procedures Approved

Federal officials recently approved “reference pricing,” a new cost-control mechanism that allows insurers to put a dollar limit on the amount that health plans pay for some expensive medical procedures, such as knee and hip…more

Affordable Care Act, Fee Caps, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Medical Expenses

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In a Twist, Judge Overturns Arbitration Decision Suspending Tom Brady

On September 3, Judge Richard Berman of Southern District of New York overturned the NFL's four-game suspension of New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady. Besides being a dream come true for ESPN, the ruling is quite…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Awards, Arbitrators, Collective Bargaining, Deflategate

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No Settlement Offer, No Bad Faith Liability for Insurer

On October 7, 2013, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held in Reid v. Mercury Insurance Company that an insurer that acknowledged its insured’s liability for a third party’s injuries and recognized…more

Bad Faith, Insurers, Policy Limits, Settlement

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11th Circuit Upholds Bar on Claims by Jail Officer with Cancer

The Eleventh Circuit recently held that an officer at a county jail in Florida who was undergoing treatment for cancer cannot proceed with her Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") claim because she failed to identify a…more

ADA, Essential Functions, FMLA, Law Enforcement, Reasonable Accommodation

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Fourth Circuit Finds EEOC's Expert Report Unreliable Under Federal Rules of Evidence

As part of an employer's business in providing integrated services for high level events, it commenced background checks of all prospective employees, including credit checks for positions dealing with "credit sensitive"…more

Background Checks, Credit Checks, Disparate Impact, EEOC, Expert Witness

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Ninth Circuit Takes Narrow View of ERISA Surcharge Remedy

In Gabriel v. Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, the Ninth Circuit ruled that a pension plan participant could not be “made whole” by using the equitable remedy of surcharge to recover pension benefits he was erroneously told he…more

CIGNA v Amara, Employee Benefits, Equitable Surcharge, ERISA, Pensions

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California Insurers Asked to Submit Diversity Information About Boards of Directors

The California Department of Insurance (“CDI”) has issued a notification to insurers with 2013 written premiums of $100 million or more in California to complete and submit the CDI’s Governing Board Diversity Survey…more

Board of Directors, Directors, Disclosure Requirements, Diversity

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Health Insurance Premium Regulation Bid Draws Criticism

Barger & Wolen partners Richard De La Mora and Richard Hopkins were both quoted in a Nov. 14, 2013, Daily Journal article, Hospital insurance premium regulations bid draws criticism, about a proposed ballot initiative intended…more

Health Insurance, Healthcare, Hospitals, Premiums

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(A Little) More to Digest on Criminal Background Checks

Last month, we discussed the importance of maintaining employment files, including records on the use of criminal background information in the employment process. We suggested steps to ensure that your use of such information…more

Criminal Background Checks, Document Retention Policies, EEOC, Hiring & Firing, Job Applicants

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Violation of GINA Leads to Significant Jury Verdict Against Employer

Have you ever had a mystery employee defecating around your warehouse, damaging goods? Have you ever considered asking employees to provide cheek cell samples to determine the identity of the defecator? Hopefully, the answer…more

Employer Liability Issues, GINA, Jury Verdicts, Retailers, Trucking Industry

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Eleventh Circuit Declines to Aggregate Workers of Multiple Contractors for WARN Act Notification Purposes

Closing up shop and winding down a business can have significant legal ramifications for employers if not handled appropriately. The WARN Act was designed to prevent surprise upon unsuspecting groups of employees, but the law…more

DHL, Independent Contractors, Joint Employers, Layoffs, Notifications

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Assessing the Impact of President Obama's Immigration Actions on Employees and Employers

Last week, President Obama outlined his plans for Presidential action relating to U.S. immigration system reform. Setting aside the significant process and procedural controversies, following is a brief summary of some of the…more

Barack Obama, DACA, DAPA, Deportation, Executive Orders

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California Court Upholds In-House Counsel Privilege

In Palmer v. Superior Court California's Second District Court of Appeal upheld the in-house counsel privilege for communications concerning a dispute with a current client and, in doing so, declined to adopt the "fiduciary…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Corporate Counsel

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Are Employee Wellness Programs OK Under the ADA? EEOC Says Yes, But...

Until recently, businesses looking to make sure that their employee wellness programs comply with the ADA were without much help from the EEOC—besides a series of surprisingly unhelpful opinion letters and a one-sentence answer…more

ADA, Benefit Plan Sponsors, EEOC, ERISA, Medical Examinations

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Trope Doctrine Does Not Apply In Public Records Act Proceeding

In Law Offices of Marc Grossman v. Victor Elementary School District, 2015 DJDAR 8356, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District ruled that the Trope Doctrine did not apply in litigation under the…more

Appeals, Attorney's Fees, Public Records Act, Reversal, Self-Representation

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How has New York law on bad faith claims against insurers developed since the Bi-Economy and Panasia decisions?

R. Steven Anderson and Kyle M. Medley provide analysis and historical perspective of two 2008 decisions from New York’s highest court. The full article, Tempest in a Teapot: New York’s Bi-Economy Decision Five Years Later,…more

Bad Faith, Damages, Insurers

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Obama Administration Delays Another Provision of Affordable Care Act

The Obama administration will allow health insurers to continuing offering plans that fail to meet the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) minimum requirements for another two years…more

Affordable Care Act, Delays, Employee Benefits, Employer Mandates, Healthcare

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SCOTUS DECIDES: Three-Year Contractual Limitations Period Enforceable in ERISA LTD Plan

In Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Acc. Ins. Co. the United States Supreme Court held that a contractual limitations period in an ERISA long-term disability plan was enforceable and began to accrue before the administrator had…more

ERISA, Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., SCOTUS, Statute of Limitations

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Nurse's Poor Work Performance Outweighs Claims of Whistleblower Retaliation

Lisa Pedersen was a dialysis clinic nurse who was responsible for assessing patients, working with physicians, and administering medication to patients. Pedersen was counseled about aggression in the workplace and other…more

Adverse Employment Action, Employer Liability Issues, Nurses, Performance Reviews, Poor Job Performance

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New California Law Imposes Liability On Companies Where Labor Contractors Fail To Pay Wages Or Provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance

On Sunday, September 28, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1897 (D-Hernandez), which imposes liability on companies who use subcontracted temporary labor if the temp company fails to pay wages or provide…more

Employer Liability Issues, New Legislation, Staffing Agencies, Subcontractors, Wage and Hour

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District Manager Correctly Classified as Independent Contractor … Not an Employee

The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District (Division Three) recently issued its ruling in Beaumont-Jacques v. Farmers Group, Inc., et al., affirming the trial court’s determination on summary judgment that…more

Full-Time Employees, Independent Contractors, Insurers, Managers

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Say What? An Employee Can Sue for Discriminatory Termination After Resigning?

The employee who causes you to lose sleep at night—you know, the poor performer with a worse attitude—saunters into your office Friday afternoon and QUITS. As she walks out the door with her belongings, you exhale a deep sigh of…more

Constructive Discharge, Disciplinary Proceedings, Employment Discrimination

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Supervisor's "Hitler" Comment Not Enough to Create Hostile Work Environment

Does a single incident create a hostile work environment? Just this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that one offensive comment was insufficient to create a hostile work environment…more

Employer Liability Issues, Hostile Environment, Offensive Language

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Consumer Class Action Fee Request Slashed By Judge

A Northern California federal judge has significantly slashed attorney fees and hourly rates sought by plaintiffs’ lawyers in a consumer class action. His final order reduced fees down from the requested $2.5 million to…more

Attorney's Fees, Class Action

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California Labor Commissioner Delivers A Blow to the Ride Sharing Independent Contractor Concept

The decision to classify workers as independent contractors versus employees can be a costly one, but nevertheless, continues to be a decision many employers make quickly and without regard for the potential risks. In…more

Employer Liability Issues, Independent Contractors, Labor Commissioners, Misclassification, Uber

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Florida Poised to Become Next State to Outlaw Pregnancy Discrimination

On April 24, 2015, the Florida Legislature passed a bill banning discrimination against pregnant women at work and in public places. While passing unanimously in the Florida Senate and receiving near-unanimous passage in the…more

Amended Legislation, Employer Liability Issues, Governor Scott, Pregnancy Discrimination

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Employer's "No Re-Hire" Provision May Violate California's Non-Compete Laws

Pretty much everyone knows that California courts do not favor covenants not to compete. We even have our own state laws that address this very issue (Business & Professions Code section 16600). But what about provisions in…more

Corporate Counsel, Employment Contract, Hiring & Firing, Non-Compete Agreements, Popular

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Concurrent Causation from "A Medley of Interesting Disability Cases"

Facts and holding: Rita Kruk (“Kruk”), a Human Resources Specialist, was a participant in an ERISA plan provided through her employment that provided disability benefits. Kruk’s Plan stated that if a disability was due to a…more

Causation, Concurrent Causation, Disability, Disability Benefits, Disability Discrimination

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California Court Upholds In-House Counsel Privilege

In Palmer v. Superior Court California's Second District Court of Appeal upheld the in-house counsel privilege for communications concerning a dispute with a current client and, in doing so, declined to adopt the "fiduciary…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Corporate Counsel

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Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Employer Liability on Obvious Risk in Workplace Injuries

It's not too often that we hear of an employer being able to escape liability for a workplace injury, where the injury does, in fact, happen to an employee and it happens in the workplace. Below, we'll discuss a case where an…more

Premises Liability, Workers Compensation Act, Workers' Compensation Defense, Workplace Injury

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Wisconsin Supreme Court: Continued Employment Is Lawful Consideration for a Non-Compete

On April 30, 2015, the Wisconsin Supreme Court took a stand on a hot-button for employers by holding that continued at-will employment is legal consideration that will support a reasonably drafted restrictive covenant signed by…more

At-Will Employment, Consideration, Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Employer Liability Issues, Fraud in the Inducement

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California Court Expands Going and Coming Rule

Craig Schultz was a drafter for a civilian company that had several buildings located on a large U.S. Air Force base. He drove his personal vehicle onto the base, and was permitted to travel around the base and use military…more

Employer Liability Issues, Going and Coming Rule, Military Service Members, U.S. Navy, Workplace Injury

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California Insurance-Related Bills Signed into Law

September 30, 2014, was the deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to take action on bills passed by the California Legislature during the 2014 regular legislative session. Here are summaries of noteworthy insurance-related bills…more

Insurance Holding Company, Insurance Reform, Insurers

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Aching Joints: Franchisor Avoids Liability for Franchisee's Labor Disputes

Any time an employer is involved in a franchise relationship, there are bound to be unique issues when legal disputes arise, particularly in the employment context. It is no longer surprising to see the names of any and all…more

CNN, Employer Liability Issues, Franchise Agreements, Franchisee, Franchises

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Four Big Takeaways from Illinois' Proposed Pregnancy Accommodation Rules

Illinois employers, take note—in mid-July, the State's Department of Human Rights published its proposed rules implementing the State's new pregnancy discrimination law. As readers of this blog will know, the new law took…more

ADA, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Application, Hiring & Firing

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Court Dismisses Case For No Diversity Jurisdiction 2 Days After Filing

In an unusual display of speedy discretion, federal District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell wasted no time in dismissing the complaint on a public works payment bond filed by Advance Industrial Coating, LLC in Advance Indus…more

Contractors, Diversity Jurisdiction, Federal Jurisdiction, Insurance Companies, Insurers

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Sony and Its Insurers Wrangle over Coverage for Data Breach

According to a Law360 report, Sony Corp.’s lawyers recently asked a New York appeals court to overturn a trial court’s ruling that a data breach did not involve the “publication” of private information within the meaning of…more

Class Action, Commercial General Liability Policies, Data Breach, Insurance Litigation, Personally Identifiable Information

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SCOTUS Rules: Right or wrong, arbitrator's interpretation stands

The United States Supreme Court in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter held that an arbitration agreement in a fee-for-services contract between physicians and a health insurance company required arbitration of a class dispute…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Federal Arbitration Act, Oxford Health

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Prejudgment Interest On Costs Is Improper

In Bean v. Pacific Coast Elevator Corp. (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1423, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that a trial court erred when it granted prejudgment interest on costs awarded in a…more

Appeals, Cal Code of Civil Procedure, Litigation Fees & Costs, Prejudgment Interest, Section 998

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Contact

One California Street 18th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111, United States

Contact: Carrie Ephgrave, Marketing Practice Group Manager

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Areas of Practice
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Other U.S. Locations
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Number of Attorneys

400+ Attorneys

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