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SFMS Law Blog

2018 labor front: lots to think about for employers, workers

What's in store on the American labor front in 2018?

According to multiple commentators in a recent employment law article, lots. The collective view of those parties stresses that a number of trends will materially impact both employers and workers. Moreover, note those voices, differences in emphasis on many matters will be strongly apparent at federal and state levels, respectively.

False Claims Act: Regulators busy, wrongdoers not in short supply

The U.S. False Claims Act, which addresses fraudulent claims against federal entities, has clearly stood the test of time. The legislation dates back to Abraham Lincoln's presidency and is still routinely invoked in cases probing civil and criminal wrongdoing in the fraud realm.

As noted in a recent article chronicling FCA money recoveries for fraud committed against the government  (and, thus, taxpayers), such cases are far from lacking.

Slowdown in Apple phones' response time leads to multiple lawsuits

Even if you weren't personally involved, you might still empathize with owners of Apple iPhones reporting that their aging smartphones suffered from slower response times owing to purposeful company policy.

If, conversely, you were -- or continue to be -- one of those owners, you're now probably flatly irate to hear that Apple software in those phones intentionally lessened their ability to perform functions and access apps over time.

United Airlines Sued Under Illinois Biometrics Law

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, a class of employees led by former United baggage handler, David Johnson (collectively, the "Plaintiffs"), sued United Airlines Inc. ("United" or "Defendant") under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act ("BIPA"). The suit claims United's timekeeping system, which requires employees to clock-in and clock-out using their fingerprints, does not comply with BIPA regulations.

Do you consider yourself a whistleblower? Things to know

You may not go through life with the idea that you will one day be a whistleblower. However, depending on the circumstances of your employment and what happens around you, you could find yourself in this position at some point.

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 outlines your legal rights. It also states that it is unlawful for an agency to take personnel action or threaten an employee because he or she brought some form of wrongdoing to light.

What it’s really like to be in a class-action lawsuit

“Someone ought to put a stop to that,” you may be thinking. Perhaps a company is selling appliances with dangerous defects. Maybe a manufacturing plant dumped chemical waste into the town’s water supply. Whatever the situation may be, people are suffering unfair consequences. It might be time for a class-action lawsuit.

Class-action lawsuits are battles commonly between a company and their customers, but can extend to non-customers or smaller businesses if the company’s actions harmed them. If each individual were to pursue claims, the legal fees would heavily outweigh benefits. This special form of legal action can more efficiently protect large groups of people.

Considerations re discrimination in the American workplace

With 2017 fast disappearing and the New Year close at hand, we submit at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, that it might to timely to make a few year-end points regarding the realm of employment law.

That workplace terrain -- always challenging and sometimes volatile -- has made for especially front-and-center subject matter throughout the current year. Recurrent stories featuring harassment and discrimination claims have been a media mainstay in 2017, with that being unlikely to change going forward.

New Jersey Supreme Court Declines to Revisit Ruling Permitting Age Bias Suit Against Best Buy To Move Forward

On Monday, November 20, 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied a petition for certification filed by Best Buy Co. Inc. ("Best Buy") to review a state appellate panel decision regarding a former employee's age discrimination lawsuit on the grounds that the ex-worker, Kevin Dugan ("Dugan"), never explicitly agreed to a policy that such disputes be arbitrated.

Store credit policy crosses the threshold into deception

Have you returned a product back to the store – only to find you can only receive store credit? This can be frustrating, especially if you don’t want to continue shopping there, but there’s nothing you can do to change the policy.

Store credit can create a few unique problems if a store’s policy contains flaws, such as misinforming shoppers how the credit works. Some stores put conditions on store credit, which shoppers might not realize until they discover the value has disappeared.

Judge Rejects Keurig's Motion to Dismiss In K-Cup Monopoly Suits

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, Judge Vernon S. Broderick, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, rejected Keurig Green Mountain Inc.'s ("Keurig") motion to dismiss multiple lawsuits against Keurig and its parent company, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (collectively, "Defendants") brought by purchasers of K-Cup coffee pods. The lawsuits allege Keurig's coffee maker freezes out competitors' coffee cups as part of an anti-competitive scheme.