Business, Employment & Investment Law Blog

Investor Class Action Lawsuits Concerning Oppenheimer Funds Allowed to Proceed

Shareholders in seven different Oppenheimer municipal bond funds have brought thirty-two putative securities fraud class actions in federal courts throughout the country naming the individual funds, fund managers and trustees as defendants.  The shareholders allege that the funds were marketed as stable income-seeking investments focused on the preservation of investors’ capital– when in fact they …

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Ninth Circuit Holds California Labor Code Applies to Work Performed by Non-Residents in California

In a long-running dispute over whether certain employees of a California software company were entitled to overtime compensation, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that work performed by employees in California (for a California-based employer) is subject to the overtime requirements of the California Labor Code, even though those employees were residents of states other than …

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Manufacturers and FDA Battle Over New Mandated Graphic Warnings for Cigarette Packages

The Food & Drug Administration recently implemented a new law providing for visual warnings on cigarette packages by selecting nine images to be displayed on them.  Unlike the familiar “Surgeon General’s Warning” which is only text, these new warnings are pictures.  They consist of color images of a man exhaling cigarette smoke through a tracheotomy …

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Lehman Brothers Underwriters Settle Securities Suit for $417 Million

Investors in the failed investment bank Lehman Brothers have reached a settlement in their class action securities fraud case against units of Bank of America Corp, Morgan Stanley and more than 30 other underwriters of $31 billion in Lehman debt and equity.  The suit had accused the defendants of failing to investigate and ensure the …

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EEOC Announces Historic Year-End Results in 2011

The Equal Opportunity Commission, the federal agency charged with addressing certain discrimination claims, recently released its Fiscal Year 2011 Performance and Accountability Report.  The Report details that the agency received 99,947 charges for the time period, a record number.  Also, the agency resolved a total of 112,499 charges during the time period – an increase …

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Court Holds Individual Supervisors Not Liable for Alleged Discrimination Based On Military Service

California prohibits employment discrimination against employees because of their membership in the armed forces.  California Military & Veterans Code §394 provides that “No person shall discriminate against any officer, warrant officer or enlisted member of the military or naval forces of the state or of the United States because of that membership.”
In the recent case …

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Court Holds Employer Need Not Pay Attorney’s Fees of Employee it Sued

The word “indemnity” generally means security against loss or legal responsibility for one’s actions.  In many business arrangements, one party agrees to indemnify the other, i.e., agrees to pay for loss or for legal liability the other may incur in carrying out the business contemplated.
Indemnity situations can often arise in the employment relationship.  Most commonly, …

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California Nullifies Insurance Policy Clauses Vesting Discretion to Decide Claims in Life and Disability Insurers

As previously reported here, on September 30, 2010, then-Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed Assembly Bill 1868, which would have banned discretionary clauses in group insurance policies.  Such clauses afford discretion to the insurer to determine eligibility for benefits or to interpret policy provisions.  The effect of such clauses can be that, in litigation over the denial of …

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Governor Brown Vetoes Three Employment Bills and Signs Another

As previously reported, AB 267 would make void and unenforceable any provision in an employment contract that requires an employee, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, to use a dispute resolution forum other than California, or to agree to a choice of law other than California law, to resolve any dispute with an …

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2011 On Track to Exceed 2010 Record of Consumer Lawsuits Under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) appear to be on track to exceed 10,000 for the year to date by the end of November, as 9,425 such suits were filed by October 15.  This would represent an increase over 2010, wherein the 10,000 mark for FDCPA lawsuits was not reached …

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