In a significant win for the #MeToo movement, the U.S. Senate passed a bill on Thursday, February 10, 2021, which ensures that employees who are sexually harassed or assaulted in the workplace can pursue their claims in court. The bill invalidates pre-dispute agreements that require individuals to arbitrate claims related to sexual harassment or sexual
Fifth Circuit Rejects Disgorgement of Profits Claim for Pipeline Trespass
In Mary v. QEP Energy Company, the U.S. Fifth Circuit held that a landowner is not entitled to a pipeline company’s profits as a consequence of a portion of a pipeline being located partially outside of a servitude. The Fifth Circuit concluded that a landowner can only recover the additional profits earned by defendant…
United States Supreme Court Halts OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine-or-Test Rule, But Allows CMS Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandate to Stand
In an opinion that employers across the country have been eagerly anticipating, the United States Supreme Court today issued a per curiam opinion blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) rule that would have required roughly 80 million workers to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination or be tested weekly and wear masks to avoid being…
Louisiana Supreme Court Relies on Employment-at-Will Doctrine in Enforcing Private Employer’s Vaccine Mandate
On Friday, January 7, 2022, the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld a COVID-19 vaccine mandate program that the state’s largest private healthcare system implemented for its employees. Hayes, et al. v. University Health Shreveport, 21-01601 (La. 1/7/22). In doing so, the Court reaffirmed the employment-at-will doctrine, and its decision will likely be cited in…
EEOC Says COVID-19 Can Be a Disability Under the ADA
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced on December 14, 2021, that employees who contract COVID-19 may be protected from discrimination under federal law. This supplements previously issued guidance addressing when people with “long COVID” may be deemed disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
The EEOC’s new guidance clarifies that a person…
Louisiana First Circuit Applies Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine to Property Transfer Involving Closely Held LLC
The subsequent purchaser doctrine has been litigated extensively in Louisiana legacy cases involving claims for oilfield remediation. The doctrine provides that a current landowner has no standing to bring a lawsuit for property damage that occurred prior to its acquisition absent a valid assignment from the prior landowner of the personal right to sue. However, until now, no appellate court had addressed whether the doctrine barred a claim brought by a closely held or family-owned company who acquired the property in an intra-family transfer. In Louisiana Wetlands, LLC v. Energen Resources Corporation, 2021-0290 (La. App. 1 Cir. 10/4/21), 2021 WL 4548529, —So. 3d—, the Louisiana First Circuit answered this question in the affirmative, holding that the subsequent purchaser doctrine applies to property transfers from family members to a company which they also own.
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11th Circuit Finds Not All Disputed Medical Evidence Must be Construed in a Seaman’s Favor
On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed the question of whether the 1962 U.S. Supreme Court holding in Vaughan v. Atkinson, 369 U.S. 527 (1962) requires courts hearing maintenance and cure cases to construe disputed medical evidence in the seaman’s favor. In Witbart v. Mandara Spa (Hawaii), LLC…
United States Supreme Court Blocks New Jersey’s Sovereign Immunity Challenge to FERC Certificate Holder’s Condemnation of State-Owned Land
On June 29, 2021, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, held that a natural gas company’s right to condemn property for a pipeline under the Natural Gas Act includes the right to condemn state-owned property. In PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey, the divided Court held that a certificate from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) entitled PennEast Pipeline Company (PennEast) to use the federal government’s power of eminent domain to seize property owned by the State of New Jersey.
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Louisiana Enacts New Laws Requiring Accommodations for Pregnant Employees and Restricting the Use of Criminal History in Hiring Decisions
The Louisiana legislature has passed new laws requiring employers to provide accommodations for certain pregnant employees and limiting an employer’s use of an applicant’s criminal history in hiring decisions. Both laws become effective on August 1, 2021.
Amendment to Pregnancy Accommodation Law
By Act No. 393 of the 2021 Regular Session, Louisiana’s nondiscrimination…
TC Energy’s $15B Claim Against U.S. for Biden’s Revocation of Keystone XL Pipeline Permit
TC Energy Corporation stated that it filed a notice of intent with the U.S. Department of State that it will make a claim against the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The claim will be based on President Biden’s January 2021 revocation of TC Energy’s Keystone XL Pipeline permit.
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