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December 9, 2018
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California Independent Contractor Rules Collapse in Confusion
California Independent Contractor Rules Collapse in Confusion
San Diego, CA In 2015 Jesus Cuitlahuac Garcia, a taxi driver, filed a California unpaid wages lawsuit against Border Transportation Group (BTG) claiming unpaid wages, wrongful termination and a variety of related labor law violations. In October 2018, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District handed Mr. Garcia an apparently empty victory.

Excessive Overdraft Fees Lawsuit against DFCU Survives Motion to Dismiss
Excessive Overdraft Fees Lawsuit against DFCU Survives Motion to Dismiss
Boston, MA Brandi Salls’ excessive overdraft fees lawsuit against Digital Federal Credit Union (DFCU) has survived the credit union’s Motion to Dismiss. This is good news, but it was a near thing, at least with respect to some of the counts. Claimants in similar credit union lawsuits should take away five important lessons.

Monsanto has appealed a $78 million award to DeWayne Johnson, More Lawsuits Coming
Monsanto has appealed a $78 million award to DeWayne Johnson, More Lawsuits Coming
San Francisco CA: School groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014 at the age of 42. He is the first cancer victim to take Monsanto (now owned by drug giant Bayer) to court. In August, Johnson was awarded $289 million but damages were later to reduced to $78 million. And the first out of more than 620 Monsanto cancer cases pending in federal litigation is set for February 2019, according to Reuters.

Tennessee Drywall Workers Win Unpaid Overtime in DOL Settlement
Tennessee Drywall Workers Win Unpaid Overtime in DOL Settlement
Hermitage, TN On October 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that Tennessee contractor, Vasquez Drywall, had agreed to pay $103,300 in back wages to workers misclassified as independent contractors and a $2,424 civil penalty. Employment misclassification is rampant in the construction industry in Tennessee and throughout the country. The practice deprives employees of overtime pay, workers compensation insurance and basic workplace safety protections. Undocumented construction workers are particularly at risk because they are unlikely to bring lawsuits or seek other enforcement action to preserve their rights.

Hacks, Embezzlements, and 401(k) Mismanagement – What You Can Do to Protect Your Retirement Nest Egg
Hacks, Embezzlements, and 401(k) Mismanagement – What You Can Do to Protect Your Retirement Nest Egg
Washington, DC When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton reportedly replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” Now, however, roughly $5 trillion, or a fifth of all U.S. retirement assets, sit in 401(k) accounts. Today’s Willie Suttons are there, too, as recent ERISA lawsuits and criminal prosecutions confirm.

Fibromyalgia Sufferer Brings LTD Lawsuit against Life Insurance Co. of North America
Fibromyalgia Sufferer Brings LTD Lawsuit against Life Insurance Co. of North America
Los Angeles, CA On September 14, 2018 Marisa Finnerty filed a long term denied disability lawsuit against the Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA), alleging that she had been wrongly denied benefits under her employer, Quest Diagnostics’, long term disability and group life insurance plans. Two things stand out about this lawsuit.

Unum’s Denial of Opioid Overdose Deaths
Unum’s Denial of Opioid Overdose Deaths
New Orleans, LA: The giant insurance company Unum—also known as First Unum -- typically denies accidental death benefits (as do most other life insurance companies) by excluding in their policy coverage for deaths related to prescription overdose or for medical or surgical treatment of a sickness or disease. But Unum’s denial didn’t sway Judge Martin Feldman this past August.

California Harassment Laws and Mandatory Arbitration Agreements stem from #MeToo movement
California Harassment Laws and Mandatory Arbitration Agreements stem from #MeToo movement
Sacramento, CA: On the heels of the #MeToo movement, California is providing more protection for sexual harassment victims by amending the California labor law, specifically Civil Code Section 47. The goal of the new bill is to encourage more victims of sexual harassment to come forward. And more corporations are eliminating mandatory arbitration agreements for harassment claims: potentially more victims will have their day in court.

United Healthcare Faces Class Action Lawsuit For 'Arbitrary' Therapy Payment Policy
United Healthcare Faces Class Action Lawsuit For 'Arbitrary' Therapy Payment Policy
Sacramento, CA: Workers in the U.S. who received psychotherapy through their employers’ plans with United Healthcare Insurance Co. and United Behavioral Health (UBH) in California have filed a proposed class action, claiming the insurers have violated mental health laws

J.B. Hunt Settles California Labor Lawsuit with Truckers for $15million
J.B. Hunt Settles California Labor Lawsuit with Truckers for $15million
Los Angeles, CA More than a decade ago truck drivers filed a California wage lawsuit against J.B. Hunt Transport, an Arkansas trucking company, claiming the company violated California's wages, rest break and meal rules. Since that time, the class action lawsuit has been the subject of recent debates over when – and whether-- federal rules regarding driver work should pre-empt state regulations.

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