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Three employees of EmCare, Inc, filed wrongful termination claims after being fired just six weeks after submitting formal complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace. EmCare appealed the judgement regarding one employee, Luke Trahan. EmCare claimed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission failed to present sufficient evidence of a causal link between Trahan’s protected activity and termination.
Sunwest Metals Inc. sued its insurance carrier Star Insurance Co., a unit of Meadowbrook Insurance Group, after the company refused to pay for fire damages. Star claimed Sunwest misrepresented itself on the insurance application. The U.S. District Court granted judgement in favor of Sunwest because Star failed to fully investigate evidence in its possession that implied Sunwest gave false information on the insurance application.
Kidnap and ransom (K&R) policies are often used by global companies to provide protection for staff in unsafe areas of the world. In the last year and a half, many K&R insurance companies are seeing claims on these policies due to ransomware attacks on computers like the most recent WannaCry attack. Outside of the United States, companies have been slow to take out cyber insurance due to expense and a lack of belief it’s needed.
C.S. Osborne & Co. Inc, suffered damages in excess of $1 million from Superstorm Sandy. The company’s flood insurance policy, however, only covered $1 million of those damages.Osborne sued its insurance broker Bollinger, Inc. for professional negligence.
A year ago, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) allowed for trade secret litigation in federal court. A review of DTSA cases in California over the last 12 months offers a glimpse into how the law has affected trade secret litigation. One of the unique aspect of the DTSA is the ability to seek an ex parte order to seize stolen trade secrets.
Since 1991 the Fifth Circuit Court has relied on it’s decision in Pierre v. Conn. Gen. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am. as its standard of review in ERISA cases. The court held that standard of review last month in Ariana M. v. Humana Health Plan of Tex.
An employee of The Rawlings Company LLC took Family Medical Leave Act leave to address acute mental health problems. She alleges that when she returned two lower level supervisors exhibited bias against her for her leave. They were allegedly responsible for influencing the decision to demote the employee and ultimately have her terminated.
The Working Families Flexibility Act, passed by the House of Representatives in early May, would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to allow private sector employees to “bank” overtime hours as comp time for later use. Employees who wish to roll their overtime wages into comp time must have a written agreement with their employers.
State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. v. Flowers, 854 F. 3rd 842 (5th Cir. 2017) (Mississippi Law). 
Joseph Palmarozzo signed a non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure employment agreement when he became branch manager of ABM Industry Group. When he left that company to join a smaller company with similar services, ABM filed suit to prevent him from competing against ABM and from soliciting its customers. The Massachusetts Superior Court found ABM had no legitimate business interests at stake in enforcing the non-compete. The Court also found while Palmarozzo knew a lot about ABM’s company structure, that information was not confidential to the company.
When the sole owner of JackedUp, a start-up energy drink company, signed a licensing agreement with Sara Lee he expected a five to eight-year relationship. The agreement allowed Sara Lee to manufacture and sell the JackedUp products while providing royalties to JackedUp. Within a month of signing the agreement, Sara Lee announced the sale of its North American Beverage Division to Smucker. The licensing agreement with JackedUp would not be part of the sale.
For 22 years, Christine Oakes worked for Barnes & Noble’s store at West Valley College. The Barnes and Noble employee handbook clearly states all employees are “at-will” employees subject to termination at any time. When Oakes was fired because she was not a “good fit” for the position, she sued. Oakes testified the company required implementation of its progressive discipline policy before firing an employee, leading her to believe she must do something wrong to be fired.
Bonus or incentive plans that provide for accumulations, multi-year periods and mandatory deferrals may become subject to ERISA requirements. A recent federal decision Miller vs Olsen rules in favor of the company’s Equity Growth Plan because of the structure of future payouts. Payouts structured around termination of employment or retirement may be classified as ERISA plans.
In the second complaint accusing the Walt Disney Company of wrongdoing under ERISA, the U. S. District Court of California granted a motion from the company to dismiss. As part of its retirement benefits, Disney offers employees a number of options including a participant-directed individual account plan. One of the funds, the Sequoia Fund, offered to plan participants included investments in Valeant. In late 2015, Valeant stocks plummeted following questionable accounting practices and investment strategies.
Many employers use Google as an extra research tool for checking out potential employees. So what do you do when a prospective hire’s mugshot pops up in your search? Before you throw the application in the trash, learn more about whether or not the arrest ended in conviction, whether the crime actually disqualifies the applicant from your position and if the account on the internet is even true.
Hospice of Florida Keys faced one of the most challenging aspects of FMLA when it’s employee Jill Diamond applied for and used intermittent FMLA leave to care for her elderly parents. Following her leave, Hospice requested “proof of need” for the leave and told Diamond that her continued time away compromised their patients’ quality of care. When she was fired just a month later, she filed suit “alleging interference and retaliation claims under the FMLA”.
As March Madness heats up, your employees may be comparing brackets and betting on games through office bracket pools. These March Madness pools are likely illegal for a number of reasons, however, many employers won’t step in to stop the activities.
In 2008, a Tupelo, Mississippi apartment complex, Evergreen Square, experienced problems with sewage backups which led to complaints filed by its residents with the City of Tupelo. Following those complaints, City inspectors required Evergreen Square to repair or replace certain sewer lines to bring the apartment complex up to code. According to the City, this work solved the problems, however, residents continued to experience backups.
Cassandra Morrow and Savannah Barron both worked under Mickey Mancini in the meat department of Kroger’s Hernando, Mississippi store. Both Morrow and Barron filed internal complaints against Mancini with Kroger in 2012. Kroger issued an official write-up and suspended Mancini without pay for eleven days but did not fire him because they could not corroborate Morrow and Barron’s claims. In 2013, both Morrow and Barron filed suit against Kroger and Mancini under Title VII.

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