Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Intel Corporation in, Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma, a case with potentially far reaching implications to employers who maintain Section 401(k) retirement plans.

The case involved a class action lawsuit brought by an Intel employee who claimed that Intel, Intel committees and individuals administering two Intel retirement plans had breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA, the federal law that governs such plans, by offering two investment funds that were imprudently overinvested in “alternative investments” such as hedge funds and private equity and failed to disclose relevant facts about those allocations to plan participants.  This is but one of many similar class action ERISA lawsuits brought against large employers, universities and colleges.  The Supreme Court decision focused on the time a plaintiff has to bring such a claim.  ERISA Section 413 allows a plaintiff as long as six years to file suit following an alleged ERISA breach or violation.  However, if a plaintiff has “actual knowledge” of a breach or violation, that period is reduced to three years.


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Photo: Beatrice Murch via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

The US Supreme Court recently announced it accepted three cases that will determine the scope of “sex” discrimination under federal law.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees on the

In a long awaited decision reversing 26 years of existing precedent, on June 21st the United States Supreme Court ruled in South Dakota  v. Wayfair, Inc., that states and other taxing jurisdictions could require out of state retailers to collect sales tax on online sales even though the retailers had no physical presence in the taxing jurisdiction.

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Photo: Beatrice Murch via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has held that employers may enforce arbitration agreements signed by employees that bar class-action lawsuits and require individualized arbitration. In so holding, the Court found that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) instructs courts to enforce the terms of arbitration agreements, including terms requiring one-on-one arbitration proceedings.  It also found that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) says nothing about how legal disputes must be resolved.  “Far from conflicting, the Arbitration Act and the NLRA have long enjoyed separate spheres of influence and neither permits this Court to declare the parties’ agreements unlawful,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch for the majority.


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Photo: Judge Neil Gorsuch (Public Domain)
Photo: Judge Neil Gorsuch (Public Domain)

Last month, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill the vacant seat left by the late Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.  While Judge Gorsuch’s nomination has been met with both praise and criticism from a divided electorate, it may bring good news to employers wrestling with leave requests under federal disability laws.
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Photo: dbking via Flickr (CC by 2.0)
Photo: dbking via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

In Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, the U.S. Supreme Court held that statistical or representative evidence could be used by a class of employees to prove liability for an employer’s failure to pay them for donning and doffing protective gear in violation of

Last month, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Tibble v. Edison International that retirement plan fiduciaries have an ongoing duty to monitor plan investments.  The ruling came in a case involving challenges to plan investment decisions made more than six years before suit was filed. The lower courts had ruled some claims were