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LAWSUITS NEWS & LEGAL INFORMATION

Anne Wallace

Anne WallaceAnne Wallace is a New York lawyer, currently living in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. She writes on legal and business issues and teaches at the college and professional level. Anne graduated from Fordham Law School and Wellesley College.


California McDonald’s Workers Cite COVID-19 Safety Issues

May 25, 2020.
Los Angeles, CA McDonald’s workers filed complaints under the Private Attorney Generals Act (PAGA) claiming that the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety’s failure to address COVID-19 workplace safety issues has put workers in “imminent danger.”  McDonald’s now has less than a month to correct violations of the California Labor Code. Thereafter, either the state or workers can sue the fast-food giant.
Read [ California McDonald’s Workers Cite COVID-19 Safety Issues ]

Mandatory Arbitration Amendments Thwart Excessive Overdraft Fee Lawsuits

May 22, 2020.
Washington, DC Even with a promising bank overdraft fees lawsuit, checking account consumers can find themselves suddenly, unexpectedly blocked by an obligation to arbitrate disputes with a bank or credit union. Consumers are often not even aware that they have signed these agreements. Under recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, that can be the end of a class action lawsuit.
Read [ Mandatory Arbitration Amendments Thwart Excessive Overdraft Fee Lawsuits ]

California Sues Uber and Lyft

May 15, 2020.
San Francisco, CA On May 5, Attorney General Xavier Becerra  filed a lawsuit on behalf of the State of California alleging that Uber and Lyft have misclassified  on-demand drivers as independent contractors in violation of  the California Labor Code, Wage Orders and Unemployment Compensation laws.
Read [ California Sues Uber and Lyft ]

Putnam Investments to Settle 401k Self-Dealing Lawsuit for $12.5 Million

May 6, 2020.
Boston, MA Participants in the Putnam Retirement Plan have agreed to settle their ERISA lawsuit against Putnam Investments and other Plan fiduciaries for $12.5 million and certain prospective changes in plan administration. Following close on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to review the lower court’s determination, the settlement leaves open two important questions that arise in countless 401k mismanagement lawsuits. But by keeping these issues alive, the end of Brotherston v. Putnam Investments represents a qualified victory for 401k plan participants.
Read [ Putnam Investments to Settle 401k Self-Dealing Lawsuit for $12.5 Million ]

California Suspends Worker Layoff Notifications. Did Velodyne Take Advantage?

May 4, 2020.
San Jose, CA Siers v. Velodyne Lidar is a class action lawsuit brought under the provisions of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and provisions of California labor law that afford employees similar protection against sudden and precipitous layoff. According to Benjamin Siers, Velodyne terminated a third of its workforce with just one day’s notice, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. In the context of Velodyne’s other business activities, however, that reason appears to have been a pretext – a very convenient pretext that relieved Velodyne of time and attendant costs it would otherwise have incurred as it moved production facilities overseas.
Read [ California Suspends Worker Layoff Notifications. Did Velodyne Take Advantage? ]

Employment Discrimination based on Perceived Sexual Orientation

May 1, 2020.
New York, NY Vincent White, a partner at White, Hilferty and Albanese, spoke recently with LAS about the thorny problem of employment discrimination based on an employer’s perception (or misperception) of an employee’s sexual orientation. The hardest problem, according to White, is that the discriminatory comment or action often happens behind closed doors, with no witnesses. “It’s an elevator situation,” said White. “The doors close; the offense happens; and the doors open with no one the wiser, except the employer and a very shocked employee.”
Read [ Employment Discrimination based on Perceived Sexual Orientation ]

Can California Employers Pay Workers with Reloadable Debit Cards?

April 27, 2020.
Riverside County, CA Janelly Sandoval filed a class action lawsuit against Home Depot in Riverside Superior Court on January 31,2020. The lawsuit, which has since been removed to the District Court for the Central District of California, claims that Home Depot violated Sections 201 through 203 of the California Labor Code by paying her final wages by means of a pay card. Between 2017 and 2020, it was allegedly the company’s usual practice to pay workers’ final pay by debit card, regardless of whether they were usually paid by check or through direct deposit.
Read [ Can California Employers Pay Workers with Reloadable Debit Cards? ]

Wells Fargo Fake Account Scandal Grinds On

April 23, 2020.
Oakland, CA The Northern District of California has approved attorneys’ fees in the settlement of the latest lawsuit arising from the massive Wells Fargo fake account fraud. The scandal came to light in 2016 after account holders raised questions about mysterious bank overdraft fees that they were charged. The bank’s misconduct, however, may date back at least as far as 2002.
Read [ Wells Fargo Fake Account Scandal Grinds On ]

JPMorgan Chase to Settle 401k Self-Dealing Lawsuit

April 22, 2020.
New York, NY JPMorgan Chase has notified the Second Circuit that it will settle a class action ERISA lawsuit affecting as many as a quarter million 401k plan participants. Details of the settlement will be available by May 22, when the motion for preliminary approval is submitted to the court.
Read [ JPMorgan Chase to Settle 401k Self-Dealing Lawsuit ]

Uber Drivers May Have to Choose between COVID-19 Pay and Employee Status

April 13, 2020.
San Francisco, CA The story goes something like this – if one day, you saw someone drowning in the river (and supposing that you were a strong swimmer) you would jump in to save them. But if every day, at the same spot, you encountered the same escalating situation, you would eventually walk upstream to find out what was going on. The drivers in Capriole v. Uber Technologies Inc., a Massachusetts lawsuit  that is similar to cases being concurrently argued under the terms of California labor law, argue that it’s time to walk upstream to check the bridge.
Read [ Uber Drivers May Have to Choose between COVID-19 Pay and Employee Status ]

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