Chicago’s federal courts again were a busy place for employers facing lawsuits in 2016, according to court data and a survey published by one of the nation’s top employment and labor law firms. However, the survey from Chicago-based Seyfarth Shaw LLP found Chicago’s courts are still outpaced by courts in New York and California in some categories, perhaps most notably the number of class action certifications.
While wage-and-hour litigation, and related regulatory actions were on the rise in 2016, the monetary value of top employment-related class action settlements were on the decline last year, among other trends identified in the latest Workplace Class Action Litigation Report issued by the Seyfarth Shaw firm.
A federal judge has refused to overturn a jury’s decision to order Allstate to pay four fired investment portfolio analysts more than $27 million, saying the case showed there was “ample evidence” the company had ruined the analysts’ careers by incorrectly reporting to federal regulators that pension funds the analysts had helped manage had been shorted by fund managers seeking to time trades to boost their own bonuses.
The parent company of Olive Garden and Red Lobster and other chain restaurant brands has won a legal victory after a federal appeals panel refused to certify a class action over unpaid vacation time, saying the restaurant group’s change to its “anniversary pay” policies shouldn't subject it to a class action lawsuit.
Groupon will need to open its doors and computers to federal workplace discrimination regulators, a federal judge has ruled, saying she did not believe the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s demands to pore over potentially large amounts of documents related to Groupon’s hiring practices were excessive, even though the document request came as part of the EEOC’s investigation of a single allegation of racial hiring discrimination against the company.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued regulations last month about what employers can and cannot do to encourage or even require employee participation in employer-sponsored wellness programs, while still complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA).But those new rules have come amid pitched legal battles over whether the commission’s interpretation of those law is even correct.
Seventh Circuit says employers can't force workers to sign away rights to sue over OT, other wage claims
Employers can still ask employees to sign contracts sending disputes over overtime or other wage and hour issues to arbitration, bypassing the courts. But a federal appeals panel in Chicago said any attempts to force employees to sign such agreements as a condition of employment violates federal law, leaving such contracts unenforceable.
Ex-investors in abusive tax shelter scheme say lawyers' missteps waylaid lawsuits vs scheme's mastermind
Two groups of investors, collectively numbering 56, who all said they were victims of an abusive tax avoidance scheme masterminded by former Seyfarth Shaw LLP partner John Rogers, have sued a western Pennsylvania-based law firm for allegedly waiting too long to bring their court actions against Rogers and Seyfarth, and making other unforced errors which they said cost them the chance to win settlements or court awarded damages.
Easy Access: Chicago shops large & small latest targets of growing trend of ADA Title III accessibility lawsuits
The odds that an individual shop or restaurant could be hit with a disability equal access lawsuit under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act remains small. But the likelihood is increasing, as more lawyers take aim at shops of all sizes, including owners of small mom-and-pop shops in older buildings.
CHICAGO — A federal judge has ruled Chicago Police officers are not entitled under federal law to overtime pay for off–duty work done on mobile devices, like Blackberrys, issued by the Chicago Police Department. And this decision could have consequences for all employers, according to a legal observer.
Not likely jury would've believed for-profit colleges tried to pocket admission reps' bonuses, judge says
A federal court has denied a man’s attempt to sue his former employer, a Schaumburg-based operator of several for-profit career education colleges, over its termination of a bonus incentive program he says cost him thousands. U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown granted summary judgment in December to defendant Career Education Corporation, which operates Le Cordon Bleu College, American Intercontinental University and Colorado Technical University.
Happy returns? Restaurateurs, lawyers watch to see how no-tipping policies impact profits, labor litigation
As the calendar moves into 2016 and beyond, the hospitality industry could see a growing shift among restaurants to no-tipping policies, should restaurateurs across the country see many happy returns for the handful of dining establishments that have already eliminated tipping – and see whether the change might help delete lawsuits over the treatment of tipped employees from the country’s litigation menu.