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Employment Archives

JC Penney's $4.5 ERISA Settlement Approved

When employers provide employees retirement benefits, they must follow guidelines set by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). According to the law, employers are fiduciaries when they provide retirement plans, and thus must act in their employees' best interest. A 401(k) is a type of retirement plan, set up by employers, that allows employees to invest a portion of their salaries, tax deferred, into investments products such as stocks or mutual funds.

There Are Many Common Violations of the Law Concerning Wages

As an employee, you hope you're never faced with a dispute regarding your employer. Unfortunately, when it comes to wages and benefits you never know if something could go wrong. If this happens, you have every right to stand up for yourself.

SOX Act Preempts Privileged Communication in Whistleblower Case

Whistleblowers are an important asset in fraud litigation because they provide insider information that would not otherwise be available to regulators, law enforcers, and private attorneys. Because whistleblowers are so important, they are protected under statutes such as the False Claims and Dodd-Frank Act. Sometimes, this protection even supersedes the confidential and privileged communications restrictions that otherwise restrict what a whistleblower can divulge. In fact, when Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. ("Bio-Rad") tried to block its former general counsel, Sanford Wadler ("Wadler"), from providing evidence, arguing it was privileged information, Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero of the Northern District of California found the information admissible under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ("SOX Act").

DOL spotlight: workers, wage claims and employer retaliation

Here's a point that comes through with crystal clarity in a recent federal blog post authored in tandem by two U.S. Department of Labor administrators: some seriously high wattage will power the beam focused by federal regulators on any wage-based claim featuring allegations of employer retaliation.

Is There Any Place in Business for a Non-Compete Agreement?

So-called non-compete agreements have become something of a pariah in the business world in recent years, suffering from a barrage of complaints that tag them as repressive instruments that unfairly burden workers. One recent article penned by a U.S. Department of Labor attorney calls them "overbroad, blunt instruments" that are far too often used in lieu of other means of balancing the employer-employee relationship.

Wells Fargo FLSA Violations

Wells Fargo & Company ("Wells Fargo" or the "Bank") has come under federal investigation for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") by failing to pay overtime. Wells Fargo's former employees have spoken out about being forced to create fake bank accounts in order to meet impossible sales goals, and have claimed they were forced to work unpaid overtime to meet those goals. These employees claim they would stay extra hours at the office; if these hours were recorded, managers would go into the Bank's time tracking software and reduce them. If employees tried to push back against these practices, they were threatened with termination, and, in several instances, employees who pushed back were fired.

UnitedHealth Plan Participants Granted Class Certification

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero recently certified a group of UnitedHealth Group Inc. ("UnitedHealth" or the "Company") health plan participants alleging that the Company is improperly denying mental health and substance abuse treatments, in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The lack of coverage was common among a large number of participants, which allowed for class certification.

Uber Drivers Appeal Lower Court's Decision Requiring Them to Arbitrate Wage Claims

A proposed class of drivers appealed the lower court's decision requiring them to arbitrate their wage claims on an individual basis against the ride-hailing company, Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber" or the "Company"). Specifically, U.S. District Court Judge James S. Moody Jr. rejected all three arguments made by the drivers, that: (1) the arbitration clause was unconscionable; (2) the provision requiring drivers to split the cost of arbitration was unlawful; and (3) the forum selection provision was unlawful. Coming before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the drivers have now argued that the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") bars the arbitration clause in the user agreements.