In January 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) narrowed the standard for when an employee’s conduct is considered protected concerted activity. The 3-1 ruling upheld the dismissal of a complaint accusing Alstate Maintenance LLC of violating the National Labor …
Posted April 19, 2019 in Top Stories
Nilan Johnson Lewis is excited to announce the hire of Katie Eisler. Effective immediately, she joins the Minneapolis-based firm’s Corporate and Transactional Services practice, where she will work with clients to handle general corporate, intellectual property and transactional matters.
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 …
Posted April 11, 2019 in Top Stories
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Nonprofit association attorneys Heidi Christianson and Zach Crain have compiled a list of the top 10 questions their association clients have been asking about in 2019.
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.
Posted March 25, 2019 in Legal Insights
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.
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.
Posted March 20, 2019 in Top Stories
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.
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 …
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 …
Posted February 26, 2019 in Top Stories
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).
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.
Posted February 13, 2019 in Top Stories
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, …
On January 29, the Ninth Circuit issued an important decision clarifying what can and can’t be included in the background check disclosures mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA).
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.