Corporate Counsel

News & Analysis as of

Sixth Circuit Voids FLSA Collective Action Waiver Signed as Part of Separation and Release Agreement in Killion v. KeHE...

On July 30, 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated a collective action waiver signed as part of a separation and release agreement. The ruling is significant because it is the first time a federal appellate...more

Interfere at Your Own Risk: Legal Fees Awarded as Damages for Violating A Non-Compete Agreement

We all know the default American Rule for attorneys’ fees: unless you get fees in a contract or from a statute, you shouldn’t count on someone else paying the freight if you win your case. But a recent non-compete case brings...more

Contractual Duty to Deal Does Not Equal Antitrust Duty to Deal

Addressing for the first time whether a patent holder under a contractual duty to deal is also subject to an antitrust duty to deal, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld dismissal of a putative antitrust...more

Venture Capital Firm Liable For "Aiding And Abetting" Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

A recent case in the California Court of Appeals underscores the dangers that await venture capital firms brave (or foolish) enough to fund companies in the midst of internal disputes. In American Master Lease LLC v Idanta...more

Now This is a Headache! Employee Terminated for Migraine Headaches Can Advance FMLA Claim

In the cold, sadistic world that is the FMLA, the Department of Labor tells us that ordinary, run-of-the-mill headaches (a/k/a “non-migraine” headaches) are not covered by the FMLA. Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are...more

Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other? NLRB Finds Micro-Unit of Shoe Sales Associates Not Appropriate

On Monday, a unanimous National Labor Relations Board dismissed a union petition seeking to represent 46 shoe sales associates at a Bergdorf Goodman store in New York. This decision comes on the heels of the NLRB’s ruling...more

ERISA (8th Circuit): Over-The-Counter Vitamin Supplements Trigger Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion

What sort of “medical treatment” triggers the pre-existing condition exclusion in an ERISA-governed disability policy?...more

NLRB General Counsel Seeks To Hold Franchisors Liable For Acts Of Franchisees

In a sweeping departure from existing law, National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) General Counsel, Richard F. Griffin, announced yesterday that he will name McDonald’s USA LLC as a joint employer in dozens of unfair labor...more

Pin the Blame on the Corporate Officer: Senators Introduce Hide No Harm Act

Three Senate Democrats recently introduced a bill that seeks to hold company executives of a product maker or seller criminally liable for knowingly "failing to inform and warn of serious dangers" associated with a product....more

Going Paperless? Legal Guidelines & Tips for a Paperless HR Department

In today’s high-tech business environment, it is commonplace for employers to digitize personnel documents. Maintaining these documents in electronic form has obvious benefits, including ease of accessibility and storage...more

Act Now Advisory: NLRB's Macy's Decision Raises Questions About Best Strategies for Combating Union Efforts to Organize...

In a decision released this past week, a majority of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or "Board") recommitted the federal agency to the principles set forth in Specialty Healthcare, further expanding the way for...more

Must an Employer Modify its Leave of Absence Policy to Ensure Compliance with the ADA?

When is modification of a no-fault or inflexible leave of absence policy required as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the...more

California Court Dismisses Data Breach Class Action

Last week, the California Third District Court of Appeal dismissed what may have been the largest health data breach class action in history. Consistent with a trend of similar dismissals, the California state appellate court...more

Internet liability rules change (again) after Wikipedia case

Internet liability rules applicable to Wikipedia are different from the ones with which YouTube has to comply according to the Court of Rome as Wikipedia has now been declared not liable to for the defamatory contents...more

Second Circuit Finds Auditors Exempt and Endorses Limits on Class Discovery

While the number of class or collective action lawsuits has exploded, decisions from Circuit Courts of Appeal, particularly on procedural issues, are still infrequent enough to warrant comment. In Pippins v. KPMG, Case No....more

Yes, Sexual Harassment Plaintiff, You Can Shoot Yourself In The Foot. Here’s How.

Even an air-tight case of sexual harassment can be sabotaged if (1) the employer has a policy banning it and an effective mechanism for handling complaints, and (2) the victim refuses to cooperate in the investigation....more

CCO Reporting to Board: Five Best Practices

Chief Compliance Officers need the support of their Board of Directors. The relationship between the CCO and the head of the Audit/Compliance Committee sends an important message to senior management and the entire company on...more

Guns and More Guns: SEC Hits Smith & Wesson for FCPA Violations

One thing the SEC likes to do is bring cases with a lot of deterrent value. That is, cases that it hopes will scare other people and companies into complying with the law. Often that means cases with large price tags...more

SEC Charges ECN Operator For Failing To Protect Customer Data

Fragmented markets, alternative trading systems and dark pools are increasingly a focus of discussion in the wake of repeated market outages. Interest in these venues has been intensified by the publication of Flash Boys and...more

Is Selenium the Coal Industry’s Kryptonite? Citizen Groups Obtain Summary Judgment Based on Water Quality Criteria Exceedances

Last week, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and other NGOs obtained summary judgment that Alex Energy had violated both its NPDES permit and its Surface Mining Permits due to exceedances of the West Virginia water...more

What does a fraudster look like? | Profile of Fraud

I recently read an article on ACFE Insights that talked about the profile of a fraudster. It came with lots of interesting statistics. It talked about how performance, processing, reporting and analyzing of data...more

USCIS Rolls Out Full-Scale Implementation of L-1 Site Visit Program: Employers of L-1 Transferees Should Now Set up Processes to...

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate has recently begun implementation of an L-1 site inspection program in response to an August 2013 report released by...more

Immigration Compliance Alert: Use Caution When Terminating H-1B Employees

An employer planning to terminate an employee on H-1B visa status needs to ensure that the termination is undertaken in compliance with not only the employment contract and applicable state and federal law, but also in...more

Another Increase in the Rhode Island Minimum Wage to $9/Hour

On July 3, 2014, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law a measure that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.00 per hour, effective January 1, 2015. The legislation, which will increase the state’s minimum...more

Dear Employers: We Have to Stop Sticking It to Pregnant Moms and Expectant Dads

A few employers apparently have made some rather foolish decisions lately when terminating the employment of an expectant parent, and it’s making the rest of us look like we don’t care much for moms and dads or, for that...more

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