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Posts from December 2006.

On December 18, the First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in an FMLA case holding that, although the plaintiff had a five-year break in service, he was still eligible for FMLA leave, and could proceed with his claim that he was terminated in violation of the statute.

Kenneth Rucker, a car salesman, had been employed by Lee Auto Malls for approximately five years when he left and ...

In a decision issued October 24 (which is to be published), the Sixth Circuit held that employers do not engage in unlawful retaliation merely by including a waiver of an employee’s right to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC in a severance agreement. At issue was the severance agreement offered by SunDance Rehabilitation Corp. to several of its employees who were being ...

On December 6, a California judge refused to set aside a $172 million verdict against Wal-Mart in a wage and hour case. The verdict included a whopping $115 million in punitive damages. The case arose under a California statute requiring employers to provide employees with a 30-minute unpaid meal break for every five hours worked. Another section of California’s labor code provides ...

On November 30, a jury in Georgia found the chairman and controlling shareholder of “Jocks & Jills,” a chain of restaurant/sports bars in the greater Atlanta area, personally liable for racial and sexual harassment in violation of Title VII. He was ordered to pay $250,000 in compensatory damages and another $750,000 in punitive damages to the plaintiff, Tracey Tomczyk, after the ...

In a case of first impression, Adams v. Federal Materials Company, Inc., Action No. 5:05CV-90-R, a Kentucky federal court ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) can be used to remove an action from state to federal court by a defendant who is added to the lawsuit after CAFA was enacted (even though the other two defendants were sued prior to the enactment of CAFA).

In January 2006, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a wrongful discharge claim brought by former employee, Jerry Hall, against Consol of Kentucky, Inc.

On August 17, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (Act), a comprehensive reform of the nation’s private retirement system. This summary will explore some of the highlights of the provisions of the 907-page Act that particularly affect defined contribution plans. Subsequent articles will address how the Act affects plan design changes, cash balance plans and the funding of defined benefit plans

In a decision “not to be published,” Department of Revenue v. Hines, No. 2006-SC-0113-MR (Ky. Aug. 24, 2006), the Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals’ denial of the Department of Revenue’s (Revenue) Petition for Writ of Prohibition requesting reversal of the McCracken Circuit Court’s decision to deny a Motion to Dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction sought by Revenue. The court held that Revenue failed to demonstrate that it lacked an adequate remedy on appeal. 

In Monumental Life Insurance Co. v. Department of Revenue, 201 S.W.3d 500 (Ky. App. 2006), the Kentucky Court of Appeals granted Monumental Life Insurance Company’s (Monumental) Motion to remand the administrative (appellate) record to the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals (KBTA) for proper organization and indexing. 

Greenebaum represented Knology, Inc. (Knology) in an unfair competition lawsuit filed in federal court against Insight Communications Company, L.P. and Insight Kentucky Partners, L.P. (collectively Insight) stemming from what was alleged to be Insight’s attempts to block Knology’s efforts to enter and compete in the Louisville cable television market. In its complaint, Knology sought a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief and monetary damages. The district court initially granted summary judgment to Knology on its claim for declaratory judgment, injunctive relief and two of its claims for monetary damages. Insight appealed the district court’s decision on Knology’s damage claims. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court ultimately reversed the district court’s decision, finding Insight immune from liability on those claims. The district court’s decision granting Knology a declaratory judgment and a permanent injunction, however, remained intact.

One of the remaining tax breaks in the estate and gift tax system is your right to make gifts of $12,000 ($24,000 if you are married) to any number of donees free of transfer tax every year. (Note the upward inflation adjustment from last year.) Making these gifts is a great way to reduce your estate and avoid death taxes. Each year that goes by without your making these gifts is a lost opportunity, and a gift to Uncle Sam. Use it by the end of December – or lose it!!

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