Between mid-2007 and early 2011, SunTrust Banks ("SunTrust" or the "Company") was accused of improperly handling its employees' 401(k) plan by purchasing its own common stock with the employees' retirement funds. Given the large stake in the subprime housing market (one of the main contributors to the Great Recession), SunTrust's employees filed a lawsuit in mid-2008, alleging that the Company's actions were imprudent and that it breached its Employment Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") fiduciary duties, which require SunTrust to act solely in the interests of the 401(k) plan members. The employees further claimed that SunTrust breached its fiduciary duties by failing to disclose how it was using the employees' retirement savings.
In our previous post, we began looking at the newly passed Defend Trade Secrets Act, which creates a federal cause of action for businesses wanting to enforce trade secrets in federal court. As we pointed out last time, the law will certainly be beneficial to businesses looking to protect confidential information from misappropriation, but it will also require businesses to think carefully about which forum will be best for each case.
Readers may have heard about the recent passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the new federal law which establishes a federal cause of action for trade secret violations. Previously, businesses which had been harmed by a trade secret violation were only able to pursue such claims in state court except in very limited circumstances.
Employees participating in employer-sponsored benefit plans governed by ERISA have wide-ranging protections against wrongful conduct engaged in by so-called fiduciaries.
It can be easy to forget when we all go to our jobs day in and day out that there is a complex web of laws and regulations that are at work regarding our employment rights. If you are fortunate, you've never had to question whether your employer has paid you what you deserve for hours worked, for example.
Imagine a workplace in Connecticut or elsewhere in the United States that is centrally marked by unfairness and arbitrary behavior.
Last year, Americans celebrated the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Prior to 1990, individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as mental health conditions, were often openly discriminated against by employers and with regard to the infrastructure of both private and public buildings and schools.
The statistics are troubling; with an estimated one-fifth of all female college students reporting being the victims of sexual assault during their college careers. As these startling numbers have come to light, there's been an outcry on campuses across the country as students demand that college administrators do more to both prevent sexual assaults and punish those who are accused of committing such acts.
While they may not be as common in corporate America as they used to be, pensions can be a strong incentive for employees to stay with a particular company. In some instances, a pension will provide guaranteed income to a retired employee for a number of years after their service to the company has ended. Some employers pay a lump sum as a pension payment when employment ends.
From pharmaceutical companies to those that manufacture and sell medical devices, when it comes to providing hospitals and individual doctors with the types of equipment and medical drugs they need to help save patients’ lives, there are literally billions of dollars at stake. Unfortunately, some companies will go to great, not to mention illegal, lengths to ensure that they receive a piece of the pie.