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SFMS Law Blog

Supreme Court to clarify whistleblower protections

An employee discovered that his boss was violating security procedures. Instead of rushing to report it to the Securities and Exchange Commission, he first alerted the company executives so they could handle the situation. As a result, he was fired. Does this case count as whistleblower retaliation?

The Supreme Court is asking that same question this week. The ex-employee in this case brought a retaliation lawsuit against the company, Digital Realty, which could change the way whistleblowers report violations

Adverse glare spotlights Ikea's major product liability concern

It is easy to note why furniture that one national news report states "can easily tip over" would spell a major concern for the company that makes it.

That is Ikea, the Swedish mainstay and power player in the home furnishing and décor industry. Ikea's stores dot the landscape all across the United States, with outlets from California to Connecticut.

FDA catches illegal ingredients in weight loss products

Many people have a goal to shed a few pounds, especially around the holiday season. Along with exercise and dieting, some people also choose to take supplements to facilitate the process. However, these weight loss products are not without risk.

Although medications must go through government approval before hitting pharmacy shelves, weight loss supplements do not. This means that the ingredients are not as carefully checked for potential side effects. Dangerous ingredients could even slip under the radar and cause major health issues for consumers.

Supreme Court Divided Over Class Waiver Ban

The Supreme Court began its fall 2017 term with three consolidated cases concerning Epic Systems Corp., Ernst & Young, and Murphy Oil USA Inc. (collectively, "the Companies"). The Companies require pre-employment agreements forcing employees to waive their right to pursue class action relief. Several justices are questioning the legality of this practice, worried that it contradicts the spirit of federal labor law.

Why employee misclassification is a big problem

The reasons why an employer in Connecticut or elsewhere might want to classify a worker as an independent contractor are precisely the same reasons why many workers want to avoid the tag and be termed as regular employees.

We discuss in an article on our website that an employer's depiction of a worker as an independent contractor is sometimes erroneous.

Wyndham To Pay $1.5M To Settle Wisconsin Overtime Wage Dispute

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, a class of employees led by Thomas Bitner (collectively, the "Plaintiffs") asked the Honorable William M. Conley, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, to approve a $1.5 million settlement for claims that Wyndham Vacation Resorts Inc. ("Defendant" or the "Employer") had a policy of requiring employees to perform work off the clock, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA").

The aftermath of identity theft

The Equifax breach earlier this year—which enabled hackers to steal the personal information (Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses etc.) of nearly half the American population—is a large-scale example of identity theft. The personal impacts on you if you suffer this kind of violation can be even more devastating than you might suspect.

Identity theft is a type of consumer fraud in which someone steals your personal information and, posing as you, commits fraud or other crimes. Examples of such crimes include:

Workplace harassment: many forms, always wrong

As employees, we all want decent pay, attractive promotion opportunities, connection with a respected employer and strong company benefits.

And, of course, every worker in Connecticut and across the country feels confident and assured each day from knowing that his or her work environment is secure, nurturing and supportive of all employees.

Product liability lawsuits necessitate legal help

Imagine you buy a new coffee maker, and after a few uses you fall in love with it. The coffee is perfect, and you like the aesthetics of the coffee maker itself. But then after a few weeks, you notice that the coffee maker spits hot water a little bit. Then, a few weeks after that, it completely capitulates and shoots hot water everywhere, burning you.

Or what if you buy a new car, and for months it operates smoothly. You love the way it feels on the road and your friends compliment you on a good purchase. But then as you approach a car that is stopped at an intersection, the brakes fell and you crash into their bumper.

Contracts with Banks and Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

When a consumer feels their bank has treated them unfairly or has not acted right towards them, what avenues they have for pursuing remedies depends on a variety of things. This includes what clauses the contract they have with the bank contains.

One type of clause that can be very impactful in this respect is a mandatory arbitration clause. When such a clause is in a bank contract, it could force a person to take disputes they have with a bank into arbitration. It can bar them pursuing class action litigation against the bank.