Bankrupt Drug Treatment Center Argues Cigna Fee-Forgiving Out-of-Network Case Before 9th Circuit

Bristol SL Holdings Inc. (“Bristol”), a holding company and successor-in-interest for Sure Haven, a now-bankrupt drug and alcohol treatment center, recently urged a panel of the Ninth Circuit to overturn the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of insurance giant Cigna. Bristol sued Cigna in 2019, claiming that it violated the terms of its health plan when it failed to pay more than $8 million in claims Read More

Actuary Co. Reaches $4M Settlement in 401(k) Fee Class Action Suit

Insurance Services Offices Inc. (ISO), an actuarial and underwriting company, has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a proposed class action lawsuit filed by ex-employees concerning its 401(k) Savings and Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The former workers alleged that ISO charged them excessive fees and failed to monitor the plan’s investments in violation of ERISA. The case is Peterson et al. v. Insurance Services Read More

EEOC, DOL Issue 2024 Regulatory Agendas

As part of the Biden administration’s Fall 2023 Regulatory Plan, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) have released their 2024 regulatory agendas. EEOC Regulatory Agenda The EEOC identified nine pending items in its Fall 2023 Regulatory Agenda; five are at the proposed rule stage, and four are at the final rule stage. The EEOC pointed to one item Read More

Supreme Court Considers Whether Involuntary Job Transfer Can Constitute Discrimination

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis. The Court’s decision in Muldrow will determine whether an involuntary job transfer can constitute illegal discrimination in some cases. The main inquiry during oral arguments focused on whether tangible harm is necessary to prove discrimination. Examples of tangible harm include less pay, less favorable hours, or a lower rank.  In Read More

Israel-Hamas War Sparks Increased Incidents of Antisemitism, Islamophobia

Since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7th, incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States have increased dramatically. According to the Anti-Defamation League (“the ADL”), the number of antisemitic incidents has increased 337% since October 7th, which is the highest number in any two months since the ADL began tracking these incidents in 1979. Between October 7th and December 7th, the ADL Read More

Employer Involvement Rendered Disability Insurance Plan Subject to ERISA, Despite Lack of Intent

In Steigleman v. Symetra Life Ins. Co., 2023 WL 7413668 (D. Ariz. 2023), a court considered whether a package of various welfare benefit insurance policies an individual business owner arranged for herself and her employees was subject to ERISA. Ultimately, the court concluded that the business owner’s involvement in the package of insurance policies constituted an “ongoing administrative scheme” that made it subject Read More

Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Decision Resulting in Shifts in IE&D Programs in the Workplace

Only a few months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, which prohibited affirmative action in higher education, workplace inclusion, equity, and diversity (“IE&D”) programs are feeling the impact. Although the ruling is inapplicable to private employers, companies nonetheless are considering the decision as Read More

Illinois Court Rules that Employee Data Theft May Not Be “Gross Misconduct” Precluding COBRA Coverage

In Johnson v. City of Kewanee, 2023 WL 8091963 (C.D. Ill. 2023), a married couple filed suit after the city fired them for allegedly stealing data and deleting over 55,000 files from the city computer system. The couple claimed that the city failed to provide COBRA election notices as required by law. In response, the city alleged that since the employees had committed “gross misconduct” in stealing and deleting Read More

Big Labor Victories Likely to Lead to More Organizing in 2024

After big deals were reached in 2023 by the United Auto Workers (UAW) with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, and the Teamsters with UPS, big labor is likely to proceed with more labor organizing efforts in 2024. Kaiser Permanente employees also successfully unionized, which could lead to the unionization of other healthcare workers. Currently, the Teamsters are looking to organize nonunion logistics companies and Read More

Federal Court Dismisses Ex-Workers’ ESOP Suit Against Seafood Co.

A Georgia federal court recently dismissed an ERISA proposed class action suit filed by former Inland Fresh Seafood Corp. of America Inc. workers concerning alleged mismanagement of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The judge granted the motions to dismiss from Inland, its ESOP committee, a group of company executives, and the trustee of the company ESOP based on the plaintiffs’ failure to exhaust their Read More