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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.
Read [ See’s Candies Employee Can Sue for COVID Death, Rules Appeals Court ]

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.
Read [ ERISA Lawsuit Against UnitedHealth Subsidiary Gets Class Action Status ]

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.
Read [ Pay Increases in 2022 for California’s Guest Farm Workers ]

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.

Read [ Flowers Foods Leaves Bad Taste for Distributor Drivers ]

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.
Read [ Bronson Healthcare to Settle Excessive Fee ERISA Lawsuit ]

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.   
Read [ Unions and Musicians Poised to Settle Royalty Lawsuit for $8 Million ]

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.
Read [ Starbucks Faces Age Discrimination Lawsuit ]

University of Miami to Settle ERISA Lawsuit for $1.85 Million

University of Miami to Settle ERISA Lawsuit for $1.85 Million December 23, 2021. By Anne Wallace.
Miami, FL  On November 23, the University of Miami and participants in five of its retirement plans agreed to settle proposed class action ERISA lawsuit. The agreement provides for $1.85 million and structural safeguards to protect participants’ retirement savings in the future. The university and the plans' fiduciaries have agreed not to increase current fees for recordkeeping services in the three years after the settlement effective date. As an additional safeguard, the university will also retain an independent fiduciary.
Read [ University of Miami to Settle ERISA Lawsuit for $1.85 Million ]

Supreme Court Asks Solicitor General for Brief in California Trucking Lawsuit

Supreme Court Asks Solicitor General for Brief in California Trucking Lawsuit December 20, 2021. By Anne Wallace.
Pasedena, CA On November 15, the U.S. Supreme Court asked Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar to articulate the position of the federal government with respect to California Trucking Association v. Rob Bonta. The Ninth Circuit decision requires California motor freight carriers to treat drivers as employees, rather than independent contractors. A decision to hear the California labor lawsuit may signal that the Supreme Court is open to limiting the reach of California laws intended to protect California workers rights.

Read [ Supreme Court Asks Solicitor General for Brief in California Trucking Lawsuit ]

DoorDash $5.325 Million Settlement for Not Paying San Francisco “Dashers” Benefits Enough

DoorDash $5.325 Million Settlement for Not Paying San Francisco “Dashers” Benefits Enough December 14, 2021. By Jane Mundy.
San Francisco, CA San Francisco officials see the $5.325 million DoorDash settlement as a victory --and it’s the largest amount ever recouped-- after an investigation found that the food delivery company misclassified California workers, used customer tips to subsisize workers’ base pay, and failed to provide workers both sick leave and health care coverage. 
Read [ DoorDash $5.325 Million Settlement for Not Paying San Francisco “Dashers” Benefits Enough ]

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