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February 23, 2020
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E-Cigarette Toxic Vape Ban Less Than Meets the Eye, Critics Say
E-Cigarette Toxic Vape Ban Less Than Meets the Eye, Critics Say
Washington, DC Effective February 6, a change in FDA policy banned sales of fruit, mint and dessert-flavored vape pods that were reportedly intended to attract teens. The effectiveness of this ban in protecting young consumers from e-cigarette health hazards remains in doubt, however. The ban does not affect menthol or tobacco-flavored pods, open-tank systems and thousands of flavored e-liquids not in pod form, including a disposable brand called Puff Bar that comes in flavors such as strawberry, cool mint and mango.

Judge to Uber on AB5:  That Means You, Too, and Now
Judge to Uber on AB5: That Means You, Too, and Now
Los Angeles, CA On February 10, the District Court for the Central District of California denied a motion for injunction that would halt enforcement of California’s Gig Worker Law against Uber and Postmates while both companies challenge the law’s constitutionality. The decision means that both companies must begin to treat workers as employees in accord with California labor law--and entitled (with few exceptions) to the benefits of California’s prevailing wage laws.

Discrimination Pervasive Despite California Labor Law
Discrimination Pervasive Despite California Labor Law
Sacramento, CA California has always been at the forefront of protecting individuals from workplace discrimination and employment laws. Despite the California labor law, within some groups, discrimination is pervasive.

3M Earplug Lawsuits Filed by Veterans Mounting
3M Earplug Lawsuits Filed by Veterans Mounting
Maplewood, MN As of January 2020, approximately 1,000 defective earplug lawsuits, filed by over 2,000 U.S. veterans were transferred to the MDL court in Florida. All plaintiffs claim that 3M, the manufacturer, knew the earplugs worn by vets during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan or while training on U.S. military bases would result in hearing loss and/or tinnitus.  

Rantidine Recalls Stoke Zantac Cancer Lawsuits
Rantidine Recalls Stoke Zantac Cancer Lawsuits
Washington, DC A cascade of recalls – by Sanofi, the manufacturer of Zantac and a collection of pharmacies that distribute the heartburn drug – is fuel to the fire of the Zantac cancer lawsuits now forming. Lawyers reportedly anticipate an explosion of Zantac lawsuits over the next several months.

Supreme Court Sends IBM Stock Drop ERISA Lawsuit Back to Second Circuit
Supreme Court Sends IBM Stock Drop ERISA Lawsuit Back to Second Circuit
Washington, DC On January 14, the Supreme Court sent Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander, a much-watched ERISA lawsuit, back to the Second Circuit for further consideration of defensive arguments raised by the plan administrators. The decision is a setback, although perhaps not a fatal one, for participants in employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) who claim that they have been injured because of corporate financial fraud. These “stock drop” lawsuits are one of several different kinds of 401k fiduciary mismanagement lawsuits.

Strippers Settle California Labor Lawsuit for $3.65 Million
Strippers Settle California Labor Lawsuit for $3.65 Million
Riverside, CA The District Court for the Central District of California has approved a $3.65 million settlement to end a California labor lawsuit that claims The Spearmint Rhino nightclub chain misclassified dancers as independent contractors in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and provisions of California Labor Law. The dancers, who "provided nude, semi-nude, and/or bikini entertainment," at the club’s locations since Oct. 30, 2017, will ultimately net about $2.6 million.

Follow-up with California Labor Commissioner’s Office after Wage Theft Fines
Follow-up with California Labor Commissioner’s Office after Wage Theft Fines
Pasadena, CA After an employee at the Chapala Bakery complained about California labor violations, specifically wage theft, a joint investigation with Pasadena officials and the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) followed by several meetings held with Pasadena officials and the bakery business owner, the bakery was fined more than $80,000.

Bank of America Breached Customer Contracts, Charging Overdraft Fees on Non-Recurring Transactions
Bank of America Breached Customer Contracts, Charging Overdraft Fees on Non-Recurring Transactions
New York, NY Cockrom v. Bank of America alleges that Bank of America (BofA) charged overdraft fees on everyday one-time purchases, like a cup of coffee or a tank of gas, even when its deposit agreements promised that overdraft fees would be levied only on recurring transactions, such as a mortgage payments. This is a new twist on bank overdraft fee lawsuits, but it’s a relatively simple scheme. There is nothing about the difference between “available balance” and “actual balance;” there are no delayed deposits and no selective check clearing. It’s a straightforward New York law breach of contract lawsuit.

Uber Steering around AB40
Uber Steering around AB40
San Fransicso In an effort to steer its way around the definition of independent contractor and avoid regulation under Assembly Bill 5 and the California labor law, Uber is re-introducing features it once considered untenable.

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