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Newsroom image for the post Candid Job Applicant Feedback: A Cool Favor That Can Put You in Hot Water

Posted April 17, 2019

Candid Job Applicant Feedback: A Cool Favor That Can Put You in Hot Water

For employers turning down applicants, frank feedback hasn’t exactly been standard protocol. Historically, employers have used boilerplate rejection letters, or simply silence, to turn down applicants. Yet whether it’s due to shortages in talent, generational changes in the workforce, online …

Newsroom image for the post She’s Been Working (And Winning) on the Railroad

Posted April 11, 2019 with Tags , , ,

She’s Been Working (And Winning) on the Railroad

In 1908, Congress enacted the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) to protect and compensate railroad employees injured on the job. While the railroad industry and overall employee protections (workers compensation, etc.) have evolved over the last century, FELA has remained intact, offering plaintiffs lenient thresholds that have rendered a challenging environment when defending FELA cases. While these cases are often handled by male-dominated teams, over the past few years, women at Nilan Johnson Lewis (NJL) have shaken up the traditional FELA landscape, garnishing an undefeated string of defense wins.

Newsroom image for the post Workplace Biometrics Put to the Test

Posted April 10, 2019

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 …

Newsroom image for the post Snowballs and Iceballs: Crossing the Line in Settlement Negotiations

Posted April 1, 2019 with Tags ,

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.

Newsroom image for the post Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Seek to Bring E-Cigarette Lawsuits to Minnesota

Posted March 26, 2019 with Tags , , , ,

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.  

Newsroom image for the post Minnesota Restaurateurs: Get Compliant with Tip Statutes Before the Final Four

Posted March 25, 2019

Minnesota Restaurateurs: Get Compliant with Tip Statutes Before the Final Four

The Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium presents a great opportunity for Minneapolis restaurateurs to generate significant income from parties hosted before and during the big games. With that opportunity, though, comes the challenge of complying with Minnesota’s unique tip-pooling statute—unlike federal laws and those of other states—and avoiding the potential for greater liability. Restaurants planning Final Four parties should prepare now to meet the law’s requirements and avoid litigation after the tournament ends.

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

Posted March 22, 2019

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.

Newsroom image for the post Pharaoh Lewis Joins Nilan Johnson Lewis as Associate

Posted March 20, 2019

Pharaoh Lewis Joins Nilan Johnson Lewis as Associate

Minneapolis-based law firm Nilan Johnson Lewis is thrilled to announce its newest associate hire, Pharaoh Lewis, who joins the firm’s product liability/mass tort and business litigation practices effective immediately.

Newsroom image for the post Department of Labor Proposes Latest Overtime Exemption Rules

Posted March 8, 2019

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 …

Newsroom image for the post U.S. Supreme Court Deems FELA Payments as Taxable

Posted March 8, 2019

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 …

Newsroom image for the post Heath Care in the Minnesota Legislature: Update

Posted February 28, 2019

Heath Care in the Minnesota Legislature: Update

Things are heating up in the Minnesota legislature for nonprofit health care entities. Here are breakdowns of local bills that may affect these types of businesses should they become law.

Newsroom image for the post Veena Iyer Named as the 2019 LCLD Fellow

Posted February 26, 2019

Veena Iyer Named as the 2019 LCLD Fellow

Veena, a labor and employment attorney at NJL, is an active member of several professional and community associations. She’s earned leadership roles on Minnesota’s Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MNAPABA) and Minnesota Women Lawyers. Veena also chairs the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Working Group. In 2018, Veena was honored for her D&I work by both Minnesota Lawyer (Diversity & Inclusion honoree) and Minnesota Women Lawyers (Service to MWL Award).

Newsroom image for the post Manufacturers Take Note: Three Significant Product Liability Cases from Minnesota

Posted February 22, 2019

Manufacturers Take Note: Three Significant Product Liability Cases from Minnesota

Product liability issues are mainly grounded in seldom-changing legal doctrines. However, manufacturers everywhere need to be aware of three relatively recent court rulings should they find themselves facing litigation in Minnesota, says product liability/mass tort attorney Cort Sylvester of Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minneapolis.

Newsroom image for the post Illinois Jury Awards FELA Plaintiff Less Than 1% of Ask

Posted February 13, 2019

Illinois Jury Awards FELA Plaintiff Less Than 1% of Ask

Nilan Johnson Lewis’ Christy Mennen, along with attorneys Ray Groble and Matt Hammer from Daley Mohan Groble in Chicago, prevailed in Velasco v. Canadian Pacific Railway for client Canadian Pacific after a two-week long district court jury trial in Cook County, …

Newsroom image for the post How Lawyers Can Act Ethically When it Comes to Social Media

Posted February 1, 2019 with Tags

How Lawyers Can Act Ethically When it Comes to Social Media

Although most attorneys realize the law is a noble profession, there have always been those who compromise its integrity – sometimes capitalizing on or misleading others in times of misfortune. Legal ethics rules provide some guidance on how lawyers practice or market their services. However, new forms of communication and social media present evolving ethical challenges.

Newsroom image for the post Appellate Court Rules that Age Bias Disparate Impact Theory Pertains to Employees, Not Applicants

Posted January 25, 2019 with Tags , , , , ,

Appellate Court Rules that Age Bias Disparate Impact Theory Pertains to Employees, Not Applicants

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on January 23, 2019, that assertions of age discrimination arising from facially neutral hiring policies can be brought only by a company’s employees, not by job applicants. In Kleber v. CareFusion Corporation, the court agreed with recent rulings by other courts – most recently the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Villareal v. R.J. Tobacco Co. – holding that under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), only employees can state a claim that a company’s actions or policies resulted in an unlawful “disparate impact” due to age.

Newsroom image for the post Minnesota Skiers and Snowboarders Now Liable for Injuries on the Slopes; Are Other Sports Next?

Posted January 24, 2019

Minnesota Skiers and Snowboarders Now Liable for Injuries on the Slopes; Are Other Sports Next?

On January 23, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a decision that impacts the assumption of risk for skiers and snowboarders within recreational areas. Since the early 19th century, Minnesota has recognized a doctrine about who is responsible for protecting against harm associated with activities that have well-known risks. The “doctrine of implied primary assumption” of risk states that when a person enters into an activity that has well-known risks that are either expressed or implied, the individual assumes the risks associated with the activity. However, the Minnesota Supreme Court decision in Soderberg v. Anderson held that collisions with other skiers or snowboarders is not a risk of the sport that participants impliedly assume.

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