Benefits

  • March 14, 2024

    Extended Workers' Comp Needs High Bar, NC Justices Told

    The North Carolina Department of Public Safety told the state's top court Wednesday that injured workers must clear a higher hurdle to keep collecting disability benefits after their initial workers' compensation runs out, saying an appellate court got it wrong by applying a more lax standard.

  • March 14, 2024

    Mass. High Court Says Tufts Win In Tenure Case 'Premature'

    Tenured professors at Tufts University whose salaries were slashed under a newly enacted requirement that they bring in at least half their income through research grants will have another chance to prove those pay cuts undermine academic freedom, Massachusetts' highest court said Thursday.

  • March 14, 2024

    8th Circ. Questions Patient Standing In ERISA Claims Dispute

    An Eighth Circuit panel appeared skeptical Thursday of reviving a suit from patients insured by UnitedHealth Group alleging a billing practice known as cross-plan offsetting violated federal benefits law, with judges questioning whether the patients sufficiently established injury.

  • March 14, 2024

    NFL Had Ample Cause To Deny Disability Benefits, Court Says

    A Texas federal judge has tossed a former NFL player's suit against the league for denying him permanent disability benefits, following the recommendation from a magistrate judge who determined that, although injuries ultimately ended his football career, eight different doctors had said he was capable of working.

  • March 14, 2024

    NBA Ref Fired Over COVID Vax Refusal Can Get Benefits

    A Manhattan federal court ruled that an NBA referee who was fired for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons can get his retirement benefits, rejecting the league's contention that the prospect of his reemployment made him ineligible.

  • March 14, 2024

    Ex-Mass. Pol Says Federalism Bars COVID Fraud Cases

    A former Massachusetts state senator charged with collecting CARES Act-funded unemployment benefits while being paid for consulting work said in a motion filed Thursday that the 10th Amendment prohibits the federal government from prosecuting him for actions that occurred at the state level.

  • March 14, 2024

    Lockheed Offloaded Pensions In Risky Deal, Retirees Say

    A group of retirees claim aerospace defense company Lockheed Martin committed an "egregious act of disloyalty" when it passed off $9 billion in pension responsibilities for 31,000 beneficiaries to a risky annuity provider, according to a suit filed in Maryland federal court.

  • March 13, 2024

    9th Circ. Unsure If Abortion Pill Suit Harms Red States

    Two Ninth Circuit judges on Wednesday challenged Idaho and other Republican-led states' bid to intervene in Washington's lawsuit seeking to expand access to the abortion pill mifepristone, asking if the states could back up their claims of economic harm.

  • March 13, 2024

    Cherry IP Deception Claims Would Inflame Jury, Canada Says

    The Canadian government has told a Washington federal judge that jurors should not hear allegations that its IP licenser deceived the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a trial against Washington fruit growers it claims rebranded a unique Canadian sweet cherry variety as their own, citing the "inflammatory" nature of the growers' counterclaim.

  • March 13, 2024

    Pa. Energy Co. Workers Secure Class Status In 401(k) Suit

    Current and former employees of a Pennsylvania energy company were granted class status Wednesday in their suit alleging the business loaded its employee retirement plans with expensive, underperforming investment options for years, after a federal judge ruled the company couldn't escape the suit.

  • March 13, 2024

    Google Ordered To Turn Over Docs In Discrimination Suit

    A Texas federal judge ordered Google to hand over additional documents Wednesday as the tech giant continued to spar with a former employee, settling the latest spat between the parties in what has become an increasingly contentious battle over the ex-worker's discrimination claims.

  • March 13, 2024

    Aetna Can't Avoid Bias Suit Over Fertility Treatment Policy

    Aetna must face a proposed class action alleging it readily covers fertility treatments for infertile heterosexual women but forces non-heterosexual women to spend thousands out of pocket before paying for their treatments, with a Connecticut federal judge saying it doesn't matter if the insurer didn't control the health plan's terms.

  • March 13, 2024

    Customer Support Co. To Pay $3M In DC Misclassification Suit

    A customer service company that partners with Comcast and others will shell out $3 million and halt operations in D.C. to end a suit lodged by the district's attorney general claiming the company misclassified workers as independent contractors.

  • March 12, 2024

    Ex-Biopharma CEO Sues For Post-Sale Share Appraisal In Del.

    The co-founder of Caraway Therapeutics Inc. sued in Delaware's Court of Chancery on Tuesday for an appraisal of his shares following the company's November merger with a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Merck, alleging that it "was an unfair cash-out transaction" and that he is owed at least a million more shares.

  • March 12, 2024

    Retirees Seek Final OK On $8.7M Data Breach Settlement

    Employer benefit plan members whose sensitive data was exposed in a massive breach at a consulting company have asked a Georgia federal judge to approve an $8.7 million agreement to resolve allegations the firm failed to protect their information.

  • March 12, 2024

    Detroit Retirees Appeal Pension Gap Funding Pause

    Detroit's retired police and firefighters are appealing a ruling that allowed the city to continue pausing its pension gap funding payments, asking a Michigan federal court to reverse a bankruptcy judge's decision that extended a decade-long funding reprieve to 30 years.

  • March 12, 2024

    ERISA Preempts Part Of Ill. Law Amedment, Judge Rules

    The portion of an amendment to an Illinois law regulating temporary labor forces agencies to modify their Employee Retirement Income Security Act plans, a federal judge ruled, granting a group of staffing associations and agencies' bid for an injunction.

  • March 12, 2024

    5th Circ. Backs Insurer's Win In Widow's Benefits Suit

    The Fifth Circuit declined to reinstate a widow's lawsuit seeking nearly $1 million from an insurer after she said her husband died during a business trip, saying the carrier showed it provided a full review before denying her request because she didn't qualify for the payment.

  • March 12, 2024

    UnitedHealth Can't Get Early Win In Workers' ERISA Suit

    A Minnesota federal court denied most of UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s bid for a pretrial win in a lawsuit alleging mismanagement of an employee 401(k) plan, finding Tuesday that allegations the company refused to ax underperforming funds to preserve a business relationship with Wells Fargo should go to trial.

  • March 12, 2024

    Pharmacy Calls $11M False Claims Case A 'House Of Cards'

    A compounding pharmacy and its president trashed the Connecticut attorney general's $11 million false claims and kickback allegations against them as a "house of cards" that awarded "a sweetheart cooperation deal" to an alleged co-conspirator and improperly benefited private attorneys, calling instead for a judgment against the state.

  • March 12, 2024

    AT&T Offloaded Pensions In Risky Annuity Deal, Suit Says

    AT&T shirked its fiduciary duty and put 96,000 workers' retirement savings in jeopardy by transferring pension obligations to a "risky" annuity provider, according to a proposed class action filed in Massachusetts federal court.

  • March 11, 2024

    Fired Lithium Co. Co-Founder Sues To Recoup 3.25M Shares

    The former co-CEO and co-founder of a lithium fracking company sued the company in Delaware's Court of Chancery, seeking a court order that the company return 3.25 million shares of stock it allegedly repurchased from him after firing him in "bad faith."

  • March 11, 2024

    Contractor Wants Mich. Judge To Rethink Agreement Order

    A demolition company has urged a Michigan federal judge to reconsider his finding that the number of labor contracts between its parent association and a union fund was ambiguous and needed more thought by an arbitrator, saying evidence on the record shows that the contractor was bound by just one agreement.

  • March 11, 2024

    Teamsters Can't Pause Discovery In $137M Fight With Yellow

    A Kansas federal judge shot down the Teamsters' request to pause the discovery process in a $137 million lawsuit accusing the union of holding up a necessary corporate restructuring at the now-bankrupt trucking company Yellow Corp., ordering the union to keep producing documents.

  • March 11, 2024

    Biden Proposes More Mental Health Expansion In 2025 Budget

    The Biden administration's $7.3 trillion fiscal year 2025 spending blueprint unveiled Monday maintains a pledge to transform the nation's mental health system, but contains the least ambitious discretionary budget ask for the U.S. Department of Labor in four years.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    10th Circ. Remand Of ERISA Claims To Insurer Is Problematic

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    The Tenth Circuit recently gave the defendant another bite at the apple in David P. v. United Healthcare by remanding Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims for reprocessing, but the statute lacks any provision authorizing remands of ERISA cases, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • Identifying Trends And Tips In Litigation Financing Disclosure

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    Growing interest and controversy in litigation financing raise several salient concerns, but exploring recent compelled disclosure trends from courts around the country can help practitioners further their clients' interests, say Sean Callagy and Samuel Sokolsky at Arnold & Porter.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Elrod On 'Jury Duty'

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    Though the mockumentary series “Jury Duty” features purposely outrageous characters, it offers a solemn lesson about the simple but brilliant design of the right to trial by jury, with an unwitting protagonist who even John Adams may have welcomed as an impartial foreperson, says Fifth Circuit Judge Jennifer Elrod.

  • 4 Business-Building Strategies For Introvert Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Introverted lawyers can build client bases to rival their extroverted peers’ by adapting time-tested strategies for business development that can work for any personality — such as claiming a niche, networking for maximum impact, drawing on existing contacts and more, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

  • Opinion

    3 Ways Justices' Disclosure Defenses Miss The Ethical Point

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    The rule-bound interpretation of financial disclosures preferred by U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — demonstrated in their respective statements defending their failure to disclose gifts from billionaires — show that they do not understand the ethical aspects of the public's concern, says Jim Moliterno at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

  • Caregiver Flexibility Is Crucial For Atty Engagement, Retention

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    As the battle for top talent continues post-pandemic, many firms are attempting to attract employees with progressive hybrid working environments — and supporting caregivers before, during and after an extended leave is a critically important way to retain top talent, says Manar Morales at The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.

  • How A Union Fight Played A Key Role In Yellow's Bankruptcy

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    Finger-pointing between company and union representatives appears to be front and center at the early stages of trucking company Yellow’s bankruptcy case, highlighting the failed contract negotiations' role in the company's demise, says George Singer at Holland & Hart.

  • In-Office Engagement Is Essential To Associate Development

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    As law firms develop return-to-office policies that allow hybrid work arrangements, they should incorporate the specific types of in-person engagement likely to help associates develop attributes common among successful firm leaders, says Liisa Thomas at Sheppard Mullin.

  • SEC Focus On Perks Offers Insights On Cooperation

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recent settlement with Stanley Black & Decker is the latest example of the SEC's continued focus on executive perquisites and highlights what type of cooperation may be required to avoid a civil money penalty, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Perspectives

    A Judge's Pitch To Revive The Jury Trial

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    Ohio state Judge Pierre Bergeron explains how the decline of the jury trial threatens public confidence in the judiciary and even democracy as a whole, and he offers ideas to restore this sacred right.

  • How To Recognize And Recover From Lawyer Loneliness

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    Law can be one of the loneliest professions, but there are practical steps that attorneys and their managers can take to help themselves and their peers improve their emotional health, strengthen their social bonds and protect their performance, says psychologist and attorney Traci Cipriano.

  • Opinion

    Litigation Funding Disclosure Should Be Mandatory

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    Despite the Appellate Rules Committee's recent deferral of the issue of requiring third-party litigation funding disclosure, such a mandate is necessary to ensure the even-handed administration of justice across all cases, says David Levitt at Hinshaw.

  • 4 Employer Action Steps For New Mental Health Parity Rules

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    A recently released guidance under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act reiterated that employers contracting with outside service providers to administer their health plans are not relieved of their compliance obligations — so all employers sponsoring a group health plan should consider four action items for success, say attorneys at Ice Miller.

  • Recalling USWNT's Legal PR Playbook Amid World Cup Bid

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    As the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team strives to take home another World Cup trophy, their 2022 pay equity settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation serves as a good reminder that winning in the court of public opinion can be more powerful than a victory inside the courtroom, says Hector Valle at Vianovo.

  • What Calif. 'Take-Home' COVID Ruling Means For Employers

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    The California Supreme Court’s recent holding in Kuciemba v. Victory that employers are not liable for the spread of COVID-19 to nonemployee household members reflects a sensible policy position, but shouldn't be seen as a sea-change in the court's employee-friendly approach, say Brian Johnsrud and Brandon Rainey at Duane Morris.

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