Monthly Archives: March 2011

ILN Today Post

ILN-terviews: Mark Weintraub, Clark Wilson

Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network. For our latest interview, we chose ILN member, Mark Weintraub of Clark Wilson in Vancouver, Canada.

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The Newest Trend in California Wage-Hour Class Actions: Claims for Inadequate Seating

By Michael Kun

Employers who do business in California are already well aware of the wage-hour class actions that have besieged employers in virtually every industry.   Class claims for misclassification of employees as exempt employees or independent contractors first began to be filed more than a decade ago, and continue to be filed on a daily basis.  Claims for alleged work off-the-clock and missed meal and rest periods by non-exempt employees generally began later, but continue to be filed at an alarming rate. 

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EpsteinBeckerGreen Wins Dismissal of Servers’ Wage and Tip Claims Against Restaurant

On January 14, 2011, EpsteinBeckerGreen helped one of its restaurant clients, the Brasserie Ruhlmann, obtain summary judgment “in its entirety” in a lawsuit brought by former waiters, bussers, and runners (“Plaintiffs”). Similar to many such wage and hour cases currently being litigated in the hospitality industry, Plaintiffs sought to invalidate the restaurant’s tip pool with assertions that captains and the banquet coordinator performed managerial functions and, thus, were not “tip eligible.” If Plaintiffs had succeeded, they would have also invalidated the restaurant’s “tip credit” system of compensating service employees, potentially resulting in significant minimum wage and overtime liability. Plaintiffs made further claims for tips during their initial training period, alleged “spread of hours” violations, and alleged uniform maintenance violations.

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Supreme Court Rules Oral Complaints Protected by FLSA But Leaves Open Questions of Notice and Formality

by Charles Wilson

On March 22nd, the Supreme Court, in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., a 6-2 opinion written by Justice Breyer, ruled the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) protects oral complaints of perceived wage and hour violations. In making such ruling, the Court resolved a conflict among the lower courts but left open the question of what is sufficient fair notice and whether an employee is required to report the complaint to a government agency rather than internally to the employer. Regardless, the Court’s ruling will likely expose employers to more risk of retaliation claims when making adverse employment decisions after an employee raises concerns about how they are compensated.

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EpsteinBeckerGreen Wins Dismissal of Servers’ Wage and Tip Claims Against Restaurant

On January 14, 2011, EpsteinBeckerGreen helped one of its restaurant clients, the Brasserie Ruhlmann, obtain summary judgment “in its entirety” in a lawsuit brought by former waiters, bussers, and runners (“Plaintiffs”).  Similar to many such wage and hour cases currently being litigated in the hospitality industry, Plaintiffs sought to invalidate the restaurant’s tip pool with assertions that captains and the banquet coordinator performed managerial functions and, thus, were not “tip eligible.”  If Plaintiffs had succeeded, they would have also invalidated the restaurant’s “tip credit” system of compensating service employees, potentially resulting in significant minimum wage and overtime liability.  Plaintiffs made further claims for tips during their initial training period, alleged “spread of hours” violations, and alleged uniform maintenance violations. 

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ILN Today Post

LMA 2011 Annual Conference – Sessions I’ll be Attending

It’s that time again – time for the 2011 Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. This year, it will be in Orlando, Florida and after the winter we’ve had, I couldn’t be happier about it!

But it’s not all sun and fun – there’s a lot of work, and valuable networking too.

I’m posting a list of the sessions I’ll be attending – I’ll be tweeting from each and blogging a re-cap of each session as well.  To follow along with the Twitter stream, you can check out the #LMA11 hashtag – that aggregates all of the tweets that contain that hashtag – you can follow me on Twitter, or you can follow Laura Gutierrez or Heather Morse’s Twitter lists.

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Oral Discomfort: Supreme Court Holds That Verbal FLSA Complaints Suffice

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., __ U.S. __ (March 22, 2011), holds that an employee’s oral complaint of a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) constitutes protected conduct under the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision.

EBG partner Frank C. Morris, Jr., discusses in an EBG Act Now Advisory the fact that the Kasten decision is merely the latest in an ever-growing series of cases where the Supreme Court has broadly interpreted protections against retaliation and for whistleblowers.  The EBG Act Now Advisory also addresses what employers should do in light of these recent decisions.

 

To review the EBG Act Now Advisory on this issue, click here.

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ILN Today Post

ILN-terviews: Carole Barrett, Howard Rice

Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network. For our latest interview, we chose ILN member, Carole Barrett of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin in San Francisco, California.

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ILN Today Post

Attorney’s JasonTremblay, Paul Starkman and Jenifer Caracciolo secure significant victory for long-time client

E. Jason Tremblay

Paul E. Starkman

Jenifer H. Caracciolo

Chicago Partners Jason TremblayPaul Starkman, and Jenifer Caracciolo, recently obtained a significant victory on behalf of a global travel technology company. The client was sued by a former employee for gender and disability discrimination, as well as retaliation, after the employee was terminated for his violation of the company’s medical leave policy.

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ILN Today Post

Neringa Gražinytė has become a new associate partner with TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE

On 21 March, attorney-at-law Neringa Gražinytė joined our team as a new associate partner with TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE. She has been entrusted to head the General Commercial Practice Group at Vilnius office.

In 2005-2010, Neringa was a lawyer and associate partner with the law firm Sutkienė, Pilkauskas & Partners, later a lawyer and member of the Board of Directors of UAB Pohjola Finance.

Neringa Gražinytė graduated with a law degree from Vytautas Magnus University and University of Zurich (Switzerland). She is a member of the Lithuanian Bar Association. Neringa Gražinytė specialises in environment law, banking and finance, insurance, energy and infrastructure projects, corporate and commercial, trademarks, intellectual property, IT and telecom, media and sports.

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