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See’s Candies Employee Can Sue for COVID Death, Rules Appeals Court

See’s Candies Employee Can Sue for COVID Death, Rules Appeals Court

January 10, 2022. By Jane Mundy.
San Francisco, CA  A California Appeals Court ruled that a See’s Candies worker can move forward with a labor lawsuit alleging the company’s lax COVID-19 safety protocols caused her husband’s death. The company had argued that it couldn’t be held liable for an injury or illness that a non-employee suffered outside their workplace.

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ERISA Lawsuit Against UnitedHealth Subsidiary Gets Class Action Status

ERISA Lawsuit Against UnitedHealth Subsidiary Gets Class Action Status

January 7, 2022. By Anne Wallace.
Madison, WI On December 15, the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin agreed that plaintiffs in a lawsuit against UMR, the benefits administrator for employer-sponsored UnitedHealth insurance plans, could proceed as a class. As many as 1,600 individuals may ultimately be included in ERISA lawsuit. This appears to have weighed heavily in the Court’s decision that Berceanu v. UMR, Inc. could proceed as a class action lawsuit.

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Pay Increases in 2022 for California’s Guest Farm Workers

Pay Increases in 2022 for California’s Guest Farm Workers

January 5, 2022. By Jane Mundy.
Sacramento, CA Farmworkers will finally see pay increases in 2022, thanks to winning a California labor lawsuit that will stop the guest farmworkers wage freeze, and also to the USDA’s annual survey results on farm labor.

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Flowers Foods Leaves Bad Taste for Distributor Drivers

Flowers Foods Leaves Bad Taste for Distributor Drivers

December 30, 2021. By Jane Mundy.
Santa Clara, CA A California federal judge ruled that Flowers Foods Inc. misclassified its distributor drivers as independent contractors and drivers can go ahead with overtime claims against the second-largest commercial bakery in the US (whose brands include Wonder Bread, Tastykake, Sunbeam, and Nature’s Own). It has a track record of misclassification lawsuits nationwide: in October 2021 the company agreed to pay $20 million to resolve nearly six years of Fair Labor Standards Act litigation involving more than 50 delivery drivers in Maine, and that’s not all. No wonder the cost of bread has gone up – it can’t put all the blame on the pandemic.


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Bronson Healthcare to Settle Excessive Fee ERISA Lawsuit

Bronson Healthcare to Settle Excessive Fee ERISA Lawsuit

December 29, 2021. By Anne Wallace.
Kalamazoo, MI Bronson Healthcare and participants in the Bronson Healthcare Group, Inc. 403(b) Tax Sheltered Matching Plan have agreed in principle to settle a proposed class action ERISA lawsuit. The lawsuit focused on the fiduciaries’ decision to include the actively-managed Fidelity Freedom Fund in the plan’s investment portfolio. Details of the proposed settlement have not been disclosed.

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Unions and Musicians Poised to Settle Royalty Lawsuit for $8 Million

Unions and Musicians Poised to Settle Royalty Lawsuit for $8 Million

December 28, 2021. By Anne Wallace.
Los Angeles, CA On November 8, the District Court for the Central District of California gave preliminary approval to a proposal that will end a 2018 lawsuit between studio musicians and their unions. Risto v. SAG-AFTRA highlights the difficulties that union and non-union artists face in collecting forms of compensation that are not protected under California labor law, but under the terms of collective bargaining agreements and the bargaining representatives’ duty of fair representation under federal labor law.   

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Starbucks Faces Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Starbucks Faces Age Discrimination Lawsuit

December 26, 2021. By Anne Wallace.
Atlanta, GA On November 29, Markel Oden filed an age discrimination lawsuit against Starbucks Corporation, alleging that the coffee giant systematically discriminates against workers protected under both the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Georgia Age Discrimination Act. Starbucks has previously been accused of discriminating against African American workers with attendant unpaid wages claims.

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