Willful Violations

News & Analysis as of

One of Our Employees Died at Work – Am I Going to Jail?

Most know that lawsuits against an employer based on an employee’s workplace injury are barred by the applicable State’s Worker’s Compensation Act. However, did you know that in some circumstances, an employer may be...more

The Wages of Trespass Is A Big, Fat, Penalty

Last year, I blogged about the 9th Circuit decision in United States v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage, in which the Court reversed a District Court decision rejecting United States claims that Hage had trespassed on federal lands...more

What not to do in wage and hour investigations

Last month the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $2.1 million dollar judgment entered against a Tulsa restaurant for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime and minimum wage violations. If you ever wanted a guide on...more

Employer Commits Willful Violation of Fair Credit Reporting Act By Including Waiver In Statutorily Mandated Disclosure

In Syed v. M-I, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that including waiver of potential claims language in the same document as the statutorily required Fair Credit and Reporting Act disclosure was a violation of FCRA. In sum, the...more

Illinois Federal Judge Awards Treble Damages and Attorneys’ Fees in Kurt Vonnegut-Fueled Opinion

On February 10, 2017, an Illinois federal judge determined that R-Boc Representatives violated an injunction issued following a jury trial on their alleged patent infringement. In a unique opinion replete with quotations...more

In Bizarre Procedural Posture, Ninth Circuit Finds FCRA Willful Violation

In Syed v. M-I, LLC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that combining a liability waiver and a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) disclosure in an employment application constitutes a willful...more

FCRA Disclosure Revisited

In these unsettled days of a new administration, it is almost soothing to see the courts focus on statutory language alone. Almost. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) requires that, before a prospective employer (or...more

Things You Hope You Will Never Need to Know: Liability Arising from Serious Workplace Injury

Liability arising from serious workplace injury can be divided into four general categories: (1) worker’s compensation; (2) administrative agency (OSHA); (3) criminal liability; and (4) other civil liabilities. Worker’s...more

TSCA Criminal Provision Update: More Bark Than Bite

On June 22, 2016, Congress passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Congress kept standard violations—whether done knowingly or willfully—as...more

OSHA Hits Employer with Hefty Fine for Failing to Protect Employee from Assault by Client

A national home health care provider, doing business in York Pennsylvania as Epic Health Services, was recently issued a citation and significant fine by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in connection...more

Is Mental Incapacity a Defense to Tax Penalties and FBAR Penalties?

The Tax Crimes Handbook of the Office of Chief Counsel, Criminal Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service defines "Willfulness” as follows: "[a] Willfulness is defined as the "voluntary, intentional violation of a...more

Target's Successful Defense To A FCRA Class Action Is Good News For Employers

Target requires job applicants to sign a “Consent & Disclosure” form advising the applicant that Target will obtain an employment background report. The form discloses that a consumer report or investigative consumer report...more

Repeated Willful Violations During Trial of Court’s In Limine Rulings Results in Terminating Sanctions Including Dismissal of...

The Court of Appeal of the State of California - Second Appellate District in Osborne v. Todd Farm Service, et al. (5/2/16 – Case no. B260280) affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint for personal...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36726 - Schull v. Schull - Trial court properly refused to hold ex-husband in contempt for not paying 50 percent of child’s surgery per the original decree. The Trial...more

The Importance of Understanding “Corrupt” Intent

All generalizations are false, including this one — Mark Twain Proving intent is a difficult task. White collar crimes turn on the issue of intent – what was in the offender’s mind. With most things in life, people have mixed...more

Bank Hit with Sanctions for Violation of the Automatic Stay

A recent case from the Western District of North Carolina, Statesville Division, reminds us all of the consequences for violating the automatic stay. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC apparently continued its efforts to collect a debt...more

Is Mental Impairment a Basis to Claim "Non-willful" Behavior?

The Tax Crimes Handbook of the Office of Chief Counsel, Criminal Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service defines "Willfulness” as follows...more

SEC-JPMorgan Securities Settle False Advertising Action

The holiday season may be a time of good cheer. Wall Street banks may not agree, however, at least for this year. As the season began to unfold JPMorgan settled a Commission action centered on conflicts by admitting the facts...more

Can I Be Criminally Prosecuted for Violating Federal Safety and Health Regulations?

Earlier this month, a federal jury in West Virginia found Don Blankenship, former Chairman and CEO of the Massey Energy Company, guilty of a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to willfully violate safety and health standards...more

Telecommunications Giant Hit With TCPA Treble Damages Award For Calls to Reassigned Cell Number

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits non-emergency calls to cell phone numbers using automatic telephone dialing systems (ATDS) or prerecorded voice messages absent the called party’s prior express consent....more

New Haven Firefighters Sue Over Overtime Miscalculation

On September 1, 2015, a total of 174 current and former firefighters filed a lawsuit against the City of New Haven (the “City”) seeking, among other things, back pay, liquidated damages, interest and attorney’s fees. The...more

SEC Charges Four Individuals and Nutrition Company for Failure To Disclose Executive Perks

On September 8, the SEC charged a sports supplements and nutrition company, its former audit committee chairman and three of its current and former executive officers with committing accounting, disclosure and other...more

Cecil the Lion and Due Diligence Failures

The “I didn’t know” defense is a tough one to sustain. Maybe you didn’t “know,” but should you have known? Were all the signs there but you looked the other way? Should you have asked more questions? Is it fair to infer by...more

CentsAbility: Creditors' Rights Law Update - If you Have an Objection, Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

A creditor recently received a wake-up call from the Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina in In re Crawford, an opinion issued by the Court on June 8, 2015. In Crawford, the Court granted the debtors’ motion to...more

IRS New Guidance Significantly Reduces Maximum FBAR Penalties

To moderate the draconian Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) violation penalties under Title 31 of the U.S. Code, the IRS just published guidance that significantly reduces willful and non-willful FBAR violations....more

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