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Workplace Biometrics Put to the Test

More than 10 years ago, the Illinois State Legislature passed the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which requires private sector companies to gain authorization before collecting employees’ biometric data, such as fingerprints, iris scans, voiceprints and facial recognition. While the passage of the law made some headlines in 2008, litigation was initially very minimal, as […] More >

Is AI Innovation and Background Check Regulation Putting Employers on a Collision Course?

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in hiring is growing at a furious pace. While AI can increase efficiencies, some business applications present significant legal risk. For example, using algorithms rather than people to score background checks and other data about job applicants has become commonplace; “but for criminal background checks, a growing number of […] More >

Snowballs and Iceballs: Crossing the Line in Settlement Negotiations

Children of northern climes remember the joys of a snowball fight. We also remember the bully who ruined the fun by packing iceballs. (Those from more temperate zones might consider the line between brushback pitches and beanballs.) What is true in projectile sports is also true in law—there is a boundary between being aggressive and breaking the (express or implied) rules. Recent news of criminal charges against a prominent attorney has focused attention on this boundary in the context of settlement negotiations. Prosecutors allege that Michael Avenatti demanded that Nike not only pay his client, but also hire Avenatti himself to conduct a $15 to $25 million internal investigation. Otherwise, he threatened to take billions of dollars off the company’s market capitalization by going public with his client’s allegations immediately before an earnings call and the NCAA basketball tournament. More >

Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Seek to Bring E-Cigarette Lawsuits to Minnesota

High-profile cases of exploding e-cigarettes and vaping devices have made front-page news in recent months. In January 2019, a Texas man died after a vape pen he was using exploded in his face. This followed a similar death of a Florida man in May 2018, which was believed to be the first death from an exploding e-cigarette or vape device. January and February of this year saw two different instances of vaping devices exploding while in overhead storage on commercial flights. Overall, there have been hundreds of e-cigarette fire and explosion incidents reported in the United States over the past several years, with those instances increasing in number as the popularity of vaping increases.   More >

A Business Tip Before Tipoff: Minnesota Restaurants Face Compliance Issues for Tips During Final Four

As Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium gears up to host its second national sporting event in over a year, nearby restaurants are looking to once again capitalize on the added foot traffic from the NCAA Men’s Basketball “Final Four” competition. However, Minnesota bars and restaurants need to think now about compliance with tip-pooling and service charge requirements to avoid litigation after the final buzzer sounds. More >

Department of Labor Proposes Latest Overtime Exemption Rules

On March 7, 2019, the Department of Labor announced its latest proposed rulemaking regarding the salary threshold for exemption from overtime. The salary threshold has been $455 per week ($23,660 annually) since 2004. In 2016, the DOL attempted to raise the threshold to $913 per week ($47,476 annually), but following immense frustration from the business […] More >

U.S. Supreme Court Deems FELA Payments as Taxable

Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in BNSF Railway Co. v. Loos, holding that a railroad’s payment to an injured worker for lost wages is taxable under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA). In so ruling, the Court rejected the view previously expressed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals […] More >