Willful Misconduct

News & Analysis as of

NLRB Slams Hospital for Maintaining Work Rules Prohibiting Employees From Engaging in "Improper Conduct"

Over the past several years, employers have been bombarded with news about the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and its ever expanding control over employers’ internal workplace policies. In fact, just a few years ago,...more

Up Close and Personal: Individual CCO Liability – Part I

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse, of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed. Those lines were the opening verse to the theme song of the TV...more

UK Senior Manager Misconduct Provisions Come Into Force

Two pieces of secondary legislation brought the revised provisions published on May 5th in the Bank of England and Financial Services Act 2016 on senior manager misconduct into force. The revised provisions replace the...more

Second Circuit: Intent to Harm Is Not Required for Criminal Conviction Under Investment Advisers Act

On May 4, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the fraud conviction of a registered investment adviser and held that proof of intent to harm is not an element of a criminal conviction under section...more

Illinois AG Settles with New York Investment Bank Over RMBS Practices

Last week, Illinois AG Madigan announced a $41 million settlement with a New York-based investment bank for its alleged misconduct in connection with the marketing and selling of at risk residential mortgage-backed securities...more

"New HHS OIG Criteria to Guide Resolution of Health Care Investigations"

The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) has issued updated guidance on the use of its so-called permissive exclusion authority under Section 1128(b)(7) of the Social Security Act...more

Tenth Circuit Reduces Punitive Award By More Than Ninety Percent In Carbon Monoxide Case

Lately, we have had many occasions to criticize courts’ analysis of punitive damages issues, so it is nice for a change to be able to report on the Tenth Circuit’s insightful decision in Lompe v. Sunridge Partners. Readers...more

Record Fine, Possible “Death Sentence” for Alleged Lifeline Violations Proposed by FCC

On April 7, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) against a wireless Lifeline provider, Total Call Mobile, Inc. (“Total Call”). An investigation conducted by the Universal Service Administrative Company...more

When Offshore Asset Protection Fails

What happens when The IRS attacks your offshore asset protection plan? The simple answer is you may face a variety of civil and criminal investigations and penalties. What constitutes an offshore asset protection plan?...more

Attorneys’ Fee Award Cannot Be Enhanced to Deter Misconduct (Lumen View Technology, LLC v. Findthebest.com, Inc.)

Addressing whether deterrence can play a role in an attorneys’ fee award under § 285, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that once a case is deemed exceptional, § 285 only authorizes an award of reasonable...more

Business Litigation Reporter - February 2016

Confidentiality Agreement Must be Expressly Preserved in New Employment Agreement. The decision in Meschino v. Frazier Industrial Co., 2015 WL 7295463, at *1 (D. Mass. Nov. 18, 2015) (Stearns, J.), underscores that an...more

Illinois Supreme Court “Upgrades” Willful Misconduct Requirements in Unemployment Cases

The longstanding statutory definition of “willful misconduct” that would disqualify an unemployment insurance claimant has been “the deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy of the employing unit,...more

Illinois Legislative Changes and a State Supreme Court Decision Substantially Help Employers Challenge Unemployment Claims

Two recent developments substantially affect unemployment benefits in Illinois. First, on January 3, 2016, the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (820 ILCS 405/602(A)) (“Act”) was amended to make it much easier for employers...more

Illinois Supreme Court Narrows Misconduct Disqualification for Unemployment Benefits

The Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (Act) provides that employees who are discharged for "misconduct" are ineligible for unemployment benefits. In Petrovic v. Department of Employment Security, 2016 IL 118562, decided...more

Definition of “Deliberate and Willful” Misconduct Under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act Revised and Expanded

Governor Rauner recently signed legislation that revised and expanded the definition of “deliberate and willful” misconduct under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (820 ILCS 405/602). Under the prior definition, the...more

Court of Appeals Overturns Defense Verdict In Medical Malpractice Conditional Consent Case: Carter v. The Pain Center of Arizona

After a fall, Carter met with Dr. Towns, who recommended a sacrococcygeal ligament injection for her pain. When Carter expressed anxiety about the injection, Towns offered to sedate her for the procedure. When Carter returned...more

Federal Appeals Court Decision Offers Practical Guidance To Both HR Executives And Their Employers

A federal appeals court issued a decision on January 5, 2016 that provides valuable lessons to both human resources executives and the businesses they work for. The court upheld the termination of an HR Director after his...more

VW Scandal Bears Out Emphasis on “Culture of Compliance”

Last week, VW blamed its “culture” for allowing “individual misconduct” that lead to the emissions-testing-evasion scandal engulfing the company. It reminded me of a couple of corporate-compliance mantras and of DOJ’s recent...more

“I guess I’d have to kill you” remark could not reasonably have been interpreted as a “viable threat”: fired worker entitled to...

A worker’s comment that “I guess I’d have to kill you” was clearly inappropriate but did not constitute wilful misconduct under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held. The case...more

Canadian Employment News Series: Ontario Human Rights Tribunal awards record-setting damages against employer for workplace sexual...

Earlier this year, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (“HRTO”) awarded record damages for sexual misconduct in favour of two female temporary foreign workers in the O.P.T. v Presteve Foods Ltd. decision (the “Presteve...more

The Second Appellate District Finds UCLA Not Liable For Third Party Criminal Acts of a Student With a Known Mental Illness

The Regents of the University of California, et al. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County Katherine Rosen, Real Party in Interest - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District(October 7, 2015) - The issue in this...more

The Appropriate Punishment for Actual and Perceived Threats in the Workplace-Take Two; the Appellate Court (Sensibly) Speaks

Last year, I wrote about an unsuccessful attempt to vacate a puzzling arbitration award that overturned the termination of a school custodian who made threats of violence. In a decision that was officially issued on October...more

PCAOB Announces First Settled Order with Admissions

Last week, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) joined the list of regulators who will, in certain circumstances, seek admissions of liability from audit firms and individuals in settlements. Although the...more

Deflategate: Four Games and Four Lessons for Unionized Employers

This week would have marked the return of Tom Brady, had his four game suspension not been reversed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Much ink has been spilled over Brady’s suspension...more

The Chill is Gone: SEC Wants Unfettered Whistleblowers

The SEC continues its efforts to support whistleblowers. The whistleblower program promulgated by the Commission under the Dodd-Frank Act offers rewards to individuals who report securities law violations. As we have...more

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