Legal Grounds

Lisa T. McElroy is a law professor at the Drexel University School of Law. She regularly comments on legal issues on CBS Radio and several NPR affiliates, as well as in newspapers, journals, and blogs like the New York Times, the National Law Journal and the Huffington Post.

ESOP Administrators Have Duty to Employees, Supreme Court Says

The Supreme Court is looking out for Americans with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), a form of retirement plan. That’s what the justices essentially said in their unanimous June 25 decision in Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, in which employees sued because their ESOP administrators invested in a way that caused them to lose money. In this case, the administrators, or “fiduciaries,” had invested the employees’ money in the employer’s own stock even though they knew (according to the plaintiffs) that …

Why Is Basketball Legend Bill Russell Suing the NCAA?

This month, after five years of legal wrangling, the NCAA finally finds itself facing off in court against basketball legends Ed O’Bannon, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and more than a dozen other former college athletes, some long since graduated and even retired from professional sports. The issue in the class-action lawsuit? Whether former student athletes should, on graduation, be entitled to financial compensation for commercial uses of their images by the NCAA. The NCAA, which governs all college sports, has …

4 Ways to Avoid the Casey Kasem Nightmare

(Updated June 16) A judge in Los Angeles ruled June 11 that Casey Kasem‘s daughter could stop feeding and hydrating the 82-year-old radio legend and allow him to die. The order came after many months of legal battles over who had the right to visit and care for Kasem, who had a form of progressively debilitating dementia. Kasem died on June 15 in Gig Harbor, Wash. See also: Casey Kasem: America’s DJ Did the tumultuous family feud swirling around Kasem make you think …

Nursing Home Hit With $3.3 Million Negligence Verdict

Every now and then, a jury reaches deep into a defendant’s pockets to punish it for its reprehensible conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar acts. Such was the case in May, when a Colorado jury awarded 83-year-old James Sharon and his family $3.3 million after finding the nursing home entrusted with his care guilty of negligence. Sharon’s injuries included bedsores, skin tears and abrasions, dehydration, malnutrition, and E. coli and urinary tract infections – all because he …

Age Discrimination Claim Valid Despite Waiver, Court Says

Most employers realize that age is not a legal – or valid – reason to terminate an employee. That doesn’t stop some companies from trying to circumvent the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by asking terminated employees to sign waivers that promise never to sue for age discrimination. That’s what happened to Robert Fisk, an underground miner for Colorado’s Mountain Coal Co. Laying off Fisk, an eight-year employee, in 2009, MCC required him to sign a waiver to …

Changing Reasons for Firing May Be Evidence of Age Discrimination

Imagine that you are terminated from your job. You’re in your 60s. You know that it’s going to be hard to find new work. You consider filing an age-discrimination complaint. But your employer says that it’s just eliminating your position, not discriminating against you because of your age. That means your employer is acting legally, right? Well, maybe not, a federal appeals court ruled last month. In 2011, James Pierson was fired from his job as facilities manager at the …