Employment & Labor

Employer Does Not Violate FLSA by Changing Workweek So Employees Earn Fewer Hours of Overtime
December 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
Five current and former employees of Redland Energy Services, LLC, who worked as operators of Redland’s two drilling rigs, sued Redland, alleging that it had violated an overtime provision of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by changing the designation of their workweek, but not their work schedule, so that fewer hours qualified as …
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“New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice Requirements”
| Employment & Labor | Appeals
The New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act (“WTPA”) remains in effect, which means that employers have until February 1, 2013 to provide the required written notice to employees.  Pursuant to the WTPA, New York employers must provide New York employees with a written notice and acknowledgment of pay rate and payday on an annual …
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Employee Wellness Program Did Not Violate ADA, Circuit Court Decides
November 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
Several years ago, employees of Broward County, Florida, who enrolled in the county’s group health plan became eligible to participate in a new employee wellness program sponsored by Broward’s group health insurer, Coventry Healthcare. The employee wellness program consisted of two components: a biometric screening, which entailed a finger stick for glucose and cholesterol, and …
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Circuit Court Rejects Claim for Lifetime Health Care Benefits
October 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
Former employees of Xerox Corporation who participated in the Xerox Retiree Flex Health Care Plan alleged in a lawsuit they filed that they repeatedly had been promised lifetime benefits under a health care plan called the Flex Plan but that the defendants had reneged on that promise. The district court dismissed the claims and the …
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Court Refuses to Conditionally Certify FLSA Action as a Collective Action
September 30, 2012 | Appeals | Employment & Labor | Insurance Coverage
The plaintiffs, former customer service representatives (CSRs) who staffed telephone lines at an Appletree Answering Service call center in St. Louis, Missouri, sued Appletree for allegedly violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay them for actual hours worked and corresponding overtime. The plaintiffs alleged that Appletree had a nationwide policy of …
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New Law In New York Regarding Wage Deductions
| Employment & Labor
On September 7, 2012, Governor Cuomo signed a new law, effective November 6, 2012, which amends Section 193 of the New York State Labor Law (the New York wage deduction statute).  As many of you are aware, over the last few years the New York State Department of Labor has taken the position in cases …
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What Employers Need To Know About Obligations To Military Personnel
August 31, 2012 | Employment & Labor | Appeals
Several thousand U.S. military personnel have recently returned or will soon return from tours of duty.  Employers have obligations to military personnel and their families under both state and federal laws.   The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects the employment rights of service members who are voluntarily or involuntarily absent from their …
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Court Enforces Long Term Disability Policy’s Three Year Statute of Limitations
| Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
The plaintiff in this case held a research position at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College (WMC) since at least 1997. On September 26, 2001, the plaintiff received a termination letter, effective as of September 28, 2001. On March 26, 2002, the plaintiff submitted a claim for disability benefits under WMC’s group long term disability insurance …
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Recent Updates in Health Care Employment Law
August 14, 2012 | Employment & Labor
New York health care providers employ almost one million employees in New York State and are subject to a wide array of employment laws as well as unique challenges and issues.  Most of these laws apply to health care providers regardless of whether they employ four or four thousand employees.  This column will briefly summarize …
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Denial of Employee’s Post-Bankruptcy Disability Claim Bars Recoupment of Pre-Bankruptcy Overpayment of Disability Benefits
July 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
The plaintiff in this case worked as an engineer for the Boeing Company. Under Boeing’s long term disability plan, employees who were totally disabled as a result of accidental injury or illness were eligible for long term disability benefits. During the first 24 months of disability, the plan’s “own occupation” definition of disability applied, under …
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Employee’s Total Weekly Workers’ Compensation Payment May Not Exceed Statutory Cap, Court Rules
June 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
The worker’s compensation claimant in this case worked as a collision shop technician in New York, repairing automobiles. In 2005, he suffered three injuries on the job. On February 21, he slipped on ice, injuring his hip and back. On March 18, he suffered a lower back sprain. He left his job on June 27 …
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A Landscape View of Privacy Protection Issues
| Intellectual Property | Employment & Labor | Complex Torts & Product Liability | Appeals | Professional Liability
Please click the link below to view “A Landscape View of Privacy Issues.” Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install. A Landscape View of Privacy Issues Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved. …
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Children’s Social Security Disability Benefits Paid For A Parent’s Disability May Reduce Benefits Under Employer Plan, Circuit Finds
May 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
The plaintiffs in this case sued to recover benefits under the long term disability benefit plans that were maintained by their former employers, Aviall, Inc., and Perkins Coie, respectively, and that were issued by the Prudential Insurance Company of America. The plans provided for a reduction of disability benefits if a disabled employee also received …
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Employee Fired While Incarcerated Not Entitled To Unemployment Benefits
April 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
Crystal Mandall started working as a dental assistant for a New Jersey dental center in November 2007. On April 20, 2010, she was arrested on criminal charges. She kept in touch with the dental center through a relative, promising to return to work as soon as she was released. She remained incarcerated until May 1. …
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FMLA Protects Pre-Eligibility Request for Post-Eligibility Leave, Circuit Finds
March 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
The plaintiff in this case began working at a senior living facility operated by Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., in Pompano Beach, Florida, on October 5, 2008. She was terminated 11 months later, in September of 2009. In June 2009, the plaintiff advised Brookdale that she was pregnant and would be requesting leave under the …
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Circuit Court Reverses Dismissal of Complaint Seeking Long Term Disability Benefits On Limitations Grounds
February 29, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
After the plaintiff in this case brought suit to challenge a denial of long term disability benefits, the district court concluded that the complaint was time-barred by a limitation-of-actions clause in the plan. The plaintiff appealed. The plan, issued by Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, generally prohibited a claimant from bringing a lawsuit more …
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Employment Law Update 2011-2012
| Employment & Labor
There were a large number of new state and federal employment laws, employment regulations and court decisions in 2011-2012 involving employment law which affects both employers and employees.  Lawyers must be aware of these new issues when representing their clients and law firms as employers must comply with these new requirements.  This article will briefly …
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“Mailbox Rule” Does Not Help Plaintiff Prove She Mailed Appeal Of Claim Denial
January 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
Under the common law “mailbox rule,” the proper and timely mailing of a document raises a rebuttable presumption that the document was received by the addressee. A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in a case involving a claim for short term disability benefits makes it clear, however, that …
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West Virginia Decision Imperils Insurer Anti-Fraud Activities
December 31, 2011 | Employment & Labor | Appeals
A recent decision by West Virginia’s highest court could – if permitted to stand – ultimately require insurers to violate their record retention obligations, destroy broad swathes of business records, and seriously compromise insurer regulatory compliance and anti-fraud activity. The author of this article discusses the decision and its implications. What started as a tragedy …
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Court Dismisses LTD Claim For Failure To Exhaust Administrative Remedies
| Appeals | Employment & Labor | Insurance Coverage
As a full time employee of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc., the plaintiff in this case qualified for and participated in Toyota’s short term disability (STD) and long term disability (LTD) plans. The plaintiff contended in his lawsuit that he met the definition of “disability” under both plans but that he had been wrongfully …
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Wage Theft Prevention Act
December 16, 2011 | Employment & Labor
The New York State enacted a new law entitled Wage Theft Provention Act (the “Act”) which went into effect in April 2011 for new employees. As outlined in our prior February 2011 Employment Bulletin, the Act requires New York employers to provide written notice of certain wage, payroll and other related information. The required notices …
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Pleading RICO Claims Against “Fly-By-Night” No-Fault Fraud Rings
September 30, 2011 | Employment & Labor | Appeals
The federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) has become a potent tool in the New York automobile insurance industry’s efforts to combat no-fault insurance fraud. The author of this article describes how insurers may successfully plead and prove their RICO claims – with the attendant treble damages and attorneys’ fees – by alleging …
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New Workplace Laws and Regulations – 2011
February 28, 2011 | Employment & Labor
There are a number of new laws and regulations with which employers in New York must comply involving wages, commissions, independent contractors, tips, domestic workers, funeral leave, family medical leave, retaliation, genetic information and victims of domestic violence. Additionally, the federal and state Departments of Labor as well as other federal and state agencies have …
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Second Circuit Affirms Default Judgment In A Multi-Million Dollar RICO Action Stemming From Fraudulent Dental Practices
January 31, 2011 | Employment & Labor | Appeals
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Barry Cohan, D.D.S. et al                        United States Court of Appeals For The Second Circuit A decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for The Second Circuit on February 8, 2011 affirmed an order of the District Court, which denied defendants’ motion to set aside an entry …
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New Legal Developments Affect Employers In the Construction, Restaurant and Hotel Industries
October 31, 2010 | Employment & Labor
Construction Industry Fair Play Act New York Governor David A. Paterson recently signed into law the “Construction Industry Fair Play Act,” a new piece of legislation that will drastically affect employers in the construction industry. Reflecting a continued concern over employer misclassification of independent contractors, the new law, which took effect on October 26, 2010, …
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Fierce Litigation Battles Over Range of ‘Mallela’ Issues
March 5, 2010 | Insurance Coverage | Employment & Labor | Appeals
In State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co. v. Mallela,[1] the New York Court of Appeals held that an insurer may withhold payment for medical services provided by “fraudulently incorporated” enterprises to which patients had assigned their no fault claims. As indicated in the Insurance Fraud column published here in January,[2] that ruling (in which the …
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Finding That Plaintiff Is No Longer Disabled Is Affirmed, Despite Social Security Administration Determination That…
May 6, 2005 | Employment & Labor
Finding That Plaintiff Is No Longer Disabled Is Affirmed, Despite Social Security Administration Determination That Plaintiff Was Disabled Robert Muller appealed from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York that denied his claim that the termination of his employer-sponsored disability benefits by First Unum Life Insurance Company …
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Employees Lose Bid for Pension Plan Payments Following Sale of Division
December 31, 2004 | Employment & Labor
The plaintiffs in this case were employed in a division of SKF USA, Inc., when SKF sold the division to Tyson Bearing Company. The plaintiffs became employees of Tyson immediately after the sale at the same facility and did not suffer any period of unemployment or interruption of wages. Under the terms of the sale, …
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