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The Department of Labor (DOL) formally rescinded it’s 2016 Final Rule, which was blocked by a federal judge before implementation. In its place, the DOL issued new regulations to increase the salary threshold for white-collar exemptions to $684 per week ($35,568 annually) and for highly compensated employees to $107,432 annually. The new Final Rule includes provisions for nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and “catch up” payments. Employers should take note of this Final Rule and take steps to ensure compliance.
ClarkDietrich, a steel producer, sued CSSA, a trade association of three competitors, for publishing false statements regarding its material quality. When the jury returned a verdict against CSSA for $43 million, the association’s E&O insurer, Evanston Insurance Company, declared it had no obligation to indemnify. Evanston claimed CSSA’s publication of false statements fell under the dishonest conduct exclusion.
Many errors and omissions (E&O) and similar malpractice insurance policies include a breach of contract exclusion. Insureds who purchase these policies often work from contracts, which can leave the door open for their insurance company to refuse to defend lawsuits based on work related to those contracts. Courts’ decisions on whether the insurers must provide coverage vary based on the essence of the claim against the policyholder.
H.S., who participated in an employee health plan governed by ERISA and administered by Community Health Systems, Inc., began receiving hemodialysis treatment in 2012. His chosen healthcare provider, Dialysis Newco, Inc.,was out-of-network for the plan. Initially, the plan covered 100% of the provider’s billed amount but changed course after three months. H.S. executed an “Assignment of Benefits” allowing the provider to sue his plan for the more than $800K in unpaid healthcare costs.
Two years ago a 10-year-old boy died in an ATV accident while playing at his grandparents’ house. The boy’s mother sued the grandparents who in turn asked their insurer, State Farm, to defend them. State Farm denied their request and asked the court to rule that it had no duty to defend or indemnify.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question to the Washington Supreme Court about whether obesity is an impairment under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). The court ruled that obesity “always” qualifies as an impairment under WLAD. This ruling departs from decisions made in other circuit courts addressing such claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The high profile case of Anthony Levandowski, a Silicon Valley engineer, demonstrates the federal government’s goal to prosecute “priority trade secret theft cases.” Levandowski worked with Google’s self-driving technology company Waymo for seven years. When he left, he reportedly downloaded 14,000 documents related to the secret technology the company had developed.
Mississippi is the latest state to enact laws limiting what foods may be labeled as “meat.” Senate Bill 2922, codified in Mississippi Code Section 75-35-15 makes it a misdemeanor to
A school event took a damaging turn when Salvador Reyes, an 18-year-old high school senior, crashed into another student during a bubble soccer game. Reyes’s school Campbell High School hired Game Truck Georgia, LLC, to oversee the event. Game Truck provided the “bubble suits” that extended above students’ heads and below their waists. Reyes suffered a fractured skull which left him with brain damage when he rushed another student.
Last month we reported about the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in State of Texas v.
After ten years of work with Professional Contract Services, Inc., Esteban Garcia stepped forward as a whistleblower to reveal allegations against his employer. Two months later the company terminated Garcia for failing to service the jobs to which he was assigned. Garcia sued for retaliation under the False Claims Act. The district court granted summary judgment to the company due to Garcia’s lack of a prima facie case.
In the first half of 2019, nearly 50 cases report emojis being entered as evidence. The three most common cases to include emojis are sexual harassment cases, criminal cases, and workplace lawsuits. With more than 2800 emojis available and a variety of forms and interpretations for many of them, the courts have struggled with the best way to present them in court.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed an interlocutory appeal to ask how the Supreme Court of Mississippi would interpret the subrogation waiver in the American Institute of Architects Document A201-2007. The waiver, which intends to limit litigation, generates much litigation not just in Mississippi but around the country. The specific case in question involves a fire that broke out during construction at a Chickasaw County School.
In 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance on using arrest and conviction records in hiring decisions and prohibited the use of no-felony rules. When a former Texas state job applicant filed a complaint with the EEOC based on Texas’s no-felon hiring policy, the state of Texas sued the EEOC in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
A California company learned the importance of documentation when an employee filed a lawsuit alleging she was fired in retaliation for not signing an affidavit. While the employee’s termination came on the heels of her refusal to sign the paperwork, the company had detailed memos dated prior to the incident regarding the planned reorganization and the employee’s termination.
Capsco Industries, Inc., an Alabama construction company, subcontracted work to another Alabama construction company, Ground Control, to do work on a Mississippi casino. A year later, Ground Control was terminated from the project by the general contractor. Ground Control sued Capsco for payment for its work on the project.
Brandon Tatum sued Southern Company Services, Inc. (SCS), for interference and retaliation in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Tatum’s employment with SCS was littered with performance evaluations that noted he “needed improvement”. Not long afterward a reprimand by the plant manager, Tatum’s doctor instructed him to cease work temporarily due to high blood pressure.
Vacations taken during Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absences can be permitted depending on the trip and the reasons for leave. Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) believed it acted in good faith after terminating an employee who vacationed during his FMLA leave. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) rejected the claim and awarded liquidated damages pursuant to the FMLA. To avoid a similar scenario requires more than “good faith” by employers.
The Supreme Court of Mississippi rendered summary judgment for Mar-Jac, a chicken processor because an employer’s responsibility for their employee’s actions is limited to the employee’s job responsibilities. Senah Carter, whose primary job responsibilities required him to bring chicken in and out for employees on the line, secured employment at Mar-Jac for two friends. Carter drove these friends to work each day. One morning on the way to work, Carter hit a school bus killing the two co-workers in his vehicle.

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