Erika Skougard

Erika Skougard

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What Companies Should Know in the Wake of California’s New Worker Classification Ruling

California’s highest court recently pronounced a new worker classification standard in Dynamex v. Lee, a case involving wage and hour requirements under the California Labor Code. Compared with the old rule, the new standard is simpler, arguably more predictable—and will make it more difficult for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors. Dynamex will have … Continue Reading

ERISA Advisory Council Urges DOL to Streamline Retirement Plan Disclosures

The Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (often called the “ERISA Advisory Council”) has released a report urging the Department of Labor (“DOL”) to streamline retirement plan disclosure requirements. The report reiterates concerns the Council expressed in 2005 and 2009, echoed by the U.S. Government and Accountability Office (the “GAO”) in 2013, … Continue Reading

Lawsuit by Surviving Same-Sex Spouse Raises Windsor Retroactivity Question

A complaint filed this month against FedEx Corporation and its pension plan asks a court to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor v. United States retroactively.  The case is Schuett v. FedEx Corporation.  The plaintiff is the surviving same-sex spouse of a FedEx pension plan participant who died six days before the Court issued … Continue Reading

District Court Opens Door to Suits by Defined Benefit Plan Participants

In the wake of investment losses from the 2008 market downturn, many fiduciaries of employee benefit plans faced lawsuits brought by plan participants.  Most cases involved defined contribution plans, in which participants sought to recover investment losses that had directly reduced their individual benefits.  In contrast, fewer cases were brought against fiduciaries of defined benefit … Continue Reading

How Email and Computer Use Policies Can Help (or Hurt) an Employer in Litigation

Employers occasionally find themselves in litigation with current or former employees.  Sometimes an employer-defendant will uncover communications between the plaintiff-employee and her personal attorney or spouse on an employer-owned email or computer system. These communications might ordinarily be privileged, but inadvertent disclosure to a third party–in this case, the employer–could waive the privilege if the … Continue Reading
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