Willful Misconduct

News & Analysis as of

Need To Investigate Employee Misconduct While the Employee is on FMLA Leave? Follow This Employer's Lead

Even once in awhile an employer has handled an FMLA situation so effectively, you just want to shout out, “You Go Girl!” . . . or let out a fist pump (like you just sank a 70-foot birdie) . . . or initiate a wild chest bump...more

Court Order Trumps Board

What happens when the NLRB says an arbitration agreement is illegal, but a court enforces the agreement anyway? Four plaintiffs recently found out. In Hobson et al. v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., No. CV-10-S-1486-S (N. D. Ala. July...more

Australia: Tribunal Defines "Place of Work" for Off-Duty Misconduct Purposes, Finds Unfair Dismissal Due to Procedurally Defective...

Australia's Fair Works Commission ("FWC") recently handed down its decision in Keenan v. Leighton Boral Amey Joint Venture. In this case, the FWC defined "place of work" with respect to an employee's off-duty conduct, and...more

Confidential Documents Potentially Safer From Employee Misappropriation Says New Jersey's Supreme Court

On the heels of an appellate decision providing employees a virtual how-to manual to misuse and exploit confidential employer documents and safely provide them to a competitor, New Jersey's Supreme Court reversed course last...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds No Duty to Defend Directors Serving in Mixed Capacities

On June 22, 2015, the 11th Circuit affirmed a Georgia federal court decision that there was no coverage under a director’s and officer’s (D&O) insurance policy for claims asserted by beneficiaries of a family trust against a...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer Based on "Other Capacity" Exclusion

On June 22, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of National Union Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., in an action where the insured sought $10 million in coverage under a D&O policy. The...more

Independent Contractor Misclassification: The Hidden Trap of Outsourcing

It’s a beguiling option. Companies that classify workers as independent contractors receive a number of benefits, including elimination of payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance...more

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Immune to Statutory Bad Faith Claims

The Florida Supreme Court has decided unanimously that the Florida legislature did not intend for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (a state-created entity that provides property insurance) to be liable for statutory,...more

Class Action Plaintiffs’ Failure to Appear at Deposition Deemed Not Prejudicial Enough for Dismissal

In a class action brought against Amtrak, two plaintiffs, Guerra and Whitesides, both of whom had submitted declarations in support of plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, failed to appear at their scheduled...more

NLRB General Counsel's Recent Report on Work Rules Tracks Areas to Watch - Employers of Union and Non-Union Work Forces Need to Be...

For the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the "Board") has engaged in a well-publicized expansion of scrutiny for employer work rules and has liberally identified those rules that it believes...more

Public Interest and Corruption

Corporate Crime analysis: What is the relevance of public interest to corruption offences? Alison Geary and Sahil Sinha of international law firm, WilmerHale discuss the implications of the decision in R v...more

When Reviewing a Reinstatement Decision by an Arbitrator, Consider Over a Dozen Factors

If you like getting lost on roads with your head spinning on which way to go, this is your post. (Everyone else, well, try to keep up.) I recap a case for companies with unions to pay attention to....more

Data Shows Spike In Patent Attorney Fee Motions And Awards After Octane

Prior to last year’s Supreme Court decisions in Octane Fitness LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc, 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014) and Highmark, Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt. Sys., 134 S. Ct. 1744 (2014), district courts awarded...more

See You In Court - April 2015

The almost-interminable winter was finally over, and Peter Principal saw a significant uptick in the number of suspensions for offenses ranging from horseplay to assault. To make things worse, many of the students had their...more

Insubordination Can Disqualify an Employee From Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Unemployment compensation is a form of social insurance. Workers who lose their jobs receive benefits – which are less than they earned when employed – to provide a level of income while transitioning to the next job. ...more

Naming Names: Washington Supreme Court Holds That Public Employers Must Disclose the Names of Employees Being Investigated for...

On April 2, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court held that public employees under investigation for workplace misconduct cannot prevent their identities from being disclosed in response to a request for public records. The...more

International Arbitration Newsletter - Q1 2015

Use it or lose it: French courts reject procedural objections not raised at the earliest opportunity - The Paris Court of Appeal has issued a stark warning to litigants who fail to raise procedural objections at the...more

ICSID tribunals address allegations of investor misconduct

Assertions of investor misconduct, ranging from allegations of abusive restructuring to outright corruption in procuring an investment, are evolving into an important part of the catalog of state defenses in investment...more

Common Sense Prevails: Arbitration Award OK’ing On-Duty Drug Usage Overturned

In the world of labor arbitration, common sense sometimes takes a holiday. Fortunately, a Superior Court judge recently overturned an arbitrator’s attempt at second guessing an employer’s response to serious misconduct...more

Sending Pornographic Images was Gross Misconduct Even Though Not Discovered For Several Years

In Williams v Leeds United Football Club [2015] EWHC 376 (QB), the High Court considered whether sending pornographic images from a work e-mail amounted to gross misconduct which would justify termination without notice, even...more

Seventh Circuit Says Finding of Intent Must Be Explicit for Preclusive Effect in Non-Dischargeability Action

The Bankruptcy Code exempts from discharge those debts arising from willful and malicious injuries caused by the debtor. 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). Because debtors have a habit of filing bankruptcy soon after a judgment for such...more

DOJ Warns Against Wrongful Use of Streamline Procedures

The U.S. Department of Justice is considering actions against taxpayers who wrongfully used the Streamlined Procedures to assert non-willful conduct. As quoted in Tax Notes Today...more

Should An Employer Fight Unemployment? The Debate Continues . . .

You may remember that I stirred up some contentiousness a few weeks ago when I suggested that employers should not challenge unemployment claims except in the worst cases. ...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Breadth of Misconduct Exception for Unemployment Benefits

In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear a case from Division 5 of the First District, Petrovic v. The Department of Employment Security. Petrovic presents an interesting issue on the...more

NLRB Subpoena Benchslap

A Circuit Court has un-tipped the NLRB’s scales in a refusal-to-bargain case. Ozark Auto. Distribs., Inc. v. NLRB, No. 11-1320 (D.C. Cir. February 10, 2015). An employer lost a tight union election and contested the election...more

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