Benefits

  • March 25, 2024

    NC High Court Vacates Workers' Comp For Weight Loss Surgery

    A divided North Carolina Supreme Court has adopted a test for determining when someone is entitled to workers' compensation for treatment related to their workplace injury and, in doing so, reversed a ruling finding a preschool must pay for an employee's weight loss surgery.

  • March 25, 2024

    X Can't Boot Severance Suit To Arbitration, Ex-Worker Says

    A former employee told a Delaware federal court that X Corp. can't derail a suit alleging it owes $500 million for skimping on severance pay after Elon Musk took over and fired thousands of workers, saying X breached the pact it's trying to use to force arbitration.

  • March 25, 2024

    7th Circ. Reverses Union's $2.3M Win In Pension Dispute

    The Seventh Circuit reversed a Teamsters pension fund's $2.3 million win in a dispute over withdrawal liability against a bulk transport company, finding that a lower court properly denied the union attorney fees but erred in ruling in the union's favor on the merits of the case.

  • March 25, 2024

    Catching Up With Delaware's Chancery Court

    Last week in Delaware's Court of Chancery, litigants battled as Truth Social went public, Carl Icahn and Tripadvisor hit a roadblock, and more shareholders wailed about "invasive" bylaws. Oil drilling and pharmaceutical mergers sparked new lawsuits, and a sewing machine trademark owner sued to end a contract.

  • March 25, 2024

    Justices Won't Review Nullification Of Puerto Rico Labor Law

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a First Circuit finding that Puerto Rico's fiscal management board was within its authority to void a 2022 labor law expanding some benefits for private employees because it had not been given an opportunity to review the legislation.

  • March 25, 2024

    Class Cert. In United Military Leave Suit Will Have To Wait

    An Illinois federal judge said he had doubts about claims that United Airlines owes pay to pilots taking military leaves, saying he'll wait for several appeals courts to decide the fate of similar suits before signing off on class certification.

  • March 22, 2024

    Activists Press Full 5th Circ. To Nix Nasdaq Diversity Rule

    Conservative groups opposing a requirement that Nasdaq-listed companies publicly disclose board diversity data are pressing the full bench of the Fifth Circuit to declare the rule unconstitutional, arguing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's involvement in the rulemaking process transforms the requirement into an unconstitutional restraint on free speech. 

  • March 22, 2024

    Dril-Quip Investor Alleges Merger Will Entrench Board

    A shareholder of oil drilling equipment company Dril-Quip Inc. hit its directors with a proposed class action in Delaware Chancery Court, alleging they added unreasonable provisions to the terms of its merger with Innovex Downhole Solutions Inc. to disenfranchise shareholders.

  • March 22, 2024

    Missed Deadline May Doom Union Worker's Benefits Fight

    A Michigan federal judge on Friday warned a union worker alleging the United Auto Workers mismanaged her claim for benefits that she could have her lawsuit dismissed if she doesn't respond to the union's request to toss the accusations.

  • March 22, 2024

    Legal Tech Execs Can't Arbitrate ESOP Valuation Fight 

    A legal technology company's executives and related entities can't arbitrate a proposed class action alleging they undervalued the company's shares when shutting down its employee stock ownership plan, thereby costing participants $35.4 million, a Georgia federal judge ruled, finding the plan's arbitration clauses blocked remedies allowed by federal benefits law.

  • March 22, 2024

    Radiology Co., Trustee Must Face Ex-Worker's ESOP Suit

    A Colorado federal judge refused to toss a proposed class action accusing a radiology company and its trustee of overcharging the company's employee stock ownership plan in a $163.7 million sale, saying the former workers' complaint puts forward enough details to back up their allegations.

  • March 22, 2024

    Union Seeks Quick Win In Nuclear Plant Healthcare Row

    An IBEW local is urging a Pennsylvania federal judge to grant it a quick win in its fight to send to arbitration a grievance challenging a nuclear power plant operator's healthcare benefits contributions, arguing that the dispute falls within the parameters of the union's collective bargaining agreement.

  • March 22, 2024

    Plastics Co. Settles Claim It Forced Out Enlisted Worker

    A plastics company that allegedly refused to promote a worker because he was about to deploy with the Ohio Air National Guard has settled claims that it discriminated against him and ultimately forced him to quit because of his military service.

  • March 22, 2024

    Congress Spares Employee Benefits From $400M DOL Cut

    A commitment from Congress to keep funding level for the U.S. Department of Labor's sub-agency that oversees employee benefits despite a $400 million agency-wide cut was one of the highlights for benefits attorneys in a new fiscal year 2024 spending deal. Here are three takeaways from attorneys on the funding agreement.

  • March 21, 2024

    Chemours Faces Investor Suit Over Alleged Exec Misconduct

    Chemical company The Chemours Co. and four of its current and former executives face claims they hurt investors by manipulating a certain financial metric so the executives might receive greater compensation under the company's incentive plans.

  • March 21, 2024

    Sen. Warren Wants SEC To Probe Musk Control Of Tesla Board

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday to investigate whether Tesla's board of directors is independent from CEO Elon Musk, saying recent reports suggest the billionaire controls the board for his personal benefit.

  • March 21, 2024

    Cigna Slams Suit's Claims Of Algorithm-Led Coverage Denials

    Insurance giant Cigna Group wants a Connecticut federal court to toss a proposed class action alleging that an algorithm unlawfully rejected hundreds of thousands of claims en masse and without a proper review, arguing the suit is based on a "misleading" news article and shows a misunderstanding of the health insurer's claim denial process.

  • March 21, 2024

    6th Circ. Revives McKee's Network Plan Fight With Thrifty Med

    The Sixth Circuit reinstated on Thursday McKee Foods Corp.'s suit against Thrifty MedPlus Pharmacy alleging Tennessee law requiring pharmacy benefit managers to let "any willing pharmacies" participate in a network was preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, finding that amendments made to the statute didn't render McKee's claims moot.

  • March 21, 2024

    Defendants Cut As Ex-NFL Pros' Benefits Suit Moves Forward

    A Maryland federal judge has let NFL officials off the hook in a lawsuit that alleges the league's disability plan incentivizes doctors to deny claims regardless of evidence, while declining to dismiss the complaint entirely.

  • March 21, 2024

    Healthcare Co. Beats Suit Over TDF Funds' Performance

    A California federal judge granted a win to a healthcare company and its investment adviser in a class action challenging what former workers claim are shoddy target-date-funds included in the company's 401(k) plan, saying the funds at issue performed better than comparable investments.

  • March 21, 2024

    DOL Urges 5th Circ. To Back Biden Admin. ESG Investing Rule

    The U.S. Department of Labor urged the Fifth Circuit on Thursday to uphold a rule allowing retirement advisers to consider social issues such as climate change when choosing investments, arguing that conservative states challenging the rule haven't shown it defies federal benefits law.

  • March 21, 2024

    Plan Admin. Escapes Ex-Aerospace Execs' Death Benefits Suit

    A third-party administrator isn't liable for misrepresentation and negligence claims from former aerospace company executives over death benefits, a Pennsylvania federal judge has ruled, saying the administrator isn't to blame for the plaintiffs' lack of understanding about the termination of a deferred compensation plan.

  • March 21, 2024

    EBSA Gets Level Funding Of $191.1M In Spending Deal

    Spending leaders in the House and Senate agreed Thursday to provide $191.1 million in fiscal year 2024 for the U.S. Department of Labor's sub-agency overseeing employee benefits, a level that's identical to what lawmakers agreed to last fiscal year.

  • March 21, 2024

    Salesforce Can't Ax Vast Class Suit Over 401(k) Management

    Salesforce must face a class action comprising up to 50,000 employees alleging the company allowed its 401(k) plan to be filled with expensive and poorly performing investment options, a California federal judge ruled, finding the workers provided enough evidence to proceed to trial.

  • March 21, 2024

    'Sibling Squabbles' At NJ Law Firm Sent Back To State Court

    A woman formerly employed as an administrator at her sister's New Jersey law firm won her bid to have her suit alleging an anticipatory breach of her retirement plan and retaliatory firing sent back to state court this week.

Expert Analysis

  • ESG Investing Caught In Culture War Crosshairs In 2023

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    As 2023 draws to a close, ESG investing remains a raging battleground in the U.S. culture wars, as illustrated by the array of legislative efforts across the country aimed variously at restricting or promoting the use of ESG investing — but it remains to be seen what practical impact, if any, these laws will have, say Amy Roy and Robert Skinner at Ropes & Gray.

  • Benefits Limitations Period Ruling Carries ERISA Implications

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    The First Circuit's recent decision in Smith v. Prudential — over enforcing a benefits claim limitations period that expires before the claim accrued — has ramifications for Employee Income Security Act cases, where limitations issues can arise in the termination of ongoing benefit payments rather than an initial application for benefits, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • How Clients May Use AI To Monitor Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Artificial intelligence tools will increasingly enable clients to monitor and evaluate their counsel’s activities, so attorneys must clearly define the terms of engagement and likewise take advantage of the efficiencies offered by AI, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

  • When Patients Have Standing For Hospital Antitrust Suits

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    Brown v. Hartford Healthcare Corp., recently decided by a Connecticut state court, provides a useful examination of how antitrust standing issues may be analyzed when patients directly sue a healthcare system for anti-competitive conduct, says Charles Honart at Stevens & Lee.

  • What 3rd Circ. Gets Wrong About Arbitration Enforcement

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    The Third Circuit and other courts should correct their current law, exemplified by the Third Circuit's recent decision in Henry v. Wilmington Trust, requiring a motion to dismiss based on an arbitration clause because it conflicts with the Federal Arbitration Act, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and — with regard to the improper-venue approach — U.S. Supreme Court precedent, says David Cinotti at Pashman Stein.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge D'Emic On Moby Grape

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    The 1968 Moby Grape song "Murder in My Heart for the Judge" tells the tale of a fictional defendant treated with scorn by the judge, illustrating how much the legal system has evolved in the past 50 years, largely due to problem-solving courts and the principles of procedural justice, says Kings County Supreme Court Administrative Judge Matthew D'Emic.

  • Series

    Performing Music Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    The discipline of performing live music has directly and positively influenced my effectiveness as a litigator — serving as a reminder that practice, intuition and team building are all important elements of a successful law practice, says Jeff Wakolbinger at Bryan Cave.

  • The SEC's Cooled Down But Still Spicy Private Fund Rules

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    Timothy Spangler and Lindsay Trapp at Dechert consider recently finalized U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules, which significantly alter the scope of obligations private fund advisers must meet under the Investment Advisers Act, noting the absence of several contentious proposals and litigation that could result in implementation delays.

  • Breaking Down High Court's New Code Of Conduct

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    The U.S. Supreme Court recently adopted its first-ever code of conduct, and counsel will need to work closely with clients in navigating its provisions, from gift-giving to recusal bids, say Phillip Gordon and Mateo Forero at Holtzman Vogel.

  • Opinion

    Legal Profession Gender Parity Requires Equal Parental Leave

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    To truly foster equity in the legal profession and to promote attorney retention, workplaces need to better support all parents, regardless of gender — starting by offering equal and robust parental leave to both birthing and non-birthing parents, says Ali Spindler at Irwin Fritchie.

  • Pa. City Ch. 9 Ruling Raises Municipal Financing Concerns

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    A Pennsylvania district court’s recent ruling in a Chapter 9 case filed by the city of Chester, Pennsylvania, strengthens the foundations of the municipal bond market, but also demonstrates that bankruptcy courts continue to struggle with some of the features of municipal revenue bonds and issue rulings that contradict market expectations, say attorneys at Cadwalader.

  • Series

    Writing Thriller Novels Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Authoring several thriller novels has enriched my work by providing a fresh perspective on my privacy practice, expanding my knowledge, and keeping me alert to the next wave of issues in an increasingly complex space — a reminder to all lawyers that extracurricular activities can help sharpen professional instincts, says Reece Hirsch at Morgan Lewis.

  • What Lawyers Must Know About Calif. State Bar's AI Guidance

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    Initial recommendations from the State Bar of California regarding use of generative artificial intelligence by lawyers have the potential to become a useful set of guidelines in the industry, covering confidentiality, supervision and training, communications, discrimination and more, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • Industry Must Elevate Native American Women Attys' Stories

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    The American Bar Association's recent research study into Native American women attorneys' experiences in the legal industry reveals the glacial pace of progress, and should inform efforts to amplify Native voices in the field, says Mary Smith, president of the ABA.

  • Understanding Discovery Obligations In Era Of Generative AI

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Attorneys and businesses must adapt to the unique discovery challenges presented by generative artificial intelligence, such as chatbot content and prompts, while upholding the principles of fairness, transparency and compliance with legal obligations in federal civil litigation, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

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