Author Archives: Scott Michelman

Labor Dep’t concerned about workers’ comp opt-out program

NPR reports that the U.S. Department of Labor is looking critically at a practice by thousands of employers in Texas and Oklahoma to opt out of conventional state workers' compensation in favor of benefits plans that provide lower and fewer payments, make it more difficult to qualify for benefits, control access to doctors and limit […]

BuzzFeed News on for-profit colleges and arbitration

The story provides detailed account of what happens to students of for-profit colleges when they find themselves stuck in arbitration. Particularly revealing about the arbitrariness of the system was this side-by-side comparison of two plaintiffs with the same evidence and the same lawyer before two different arbitrators: Eventually, Jacob and a classmate both hired the […]

The meaning of Tyson Foods

Last week's Supreme Court decision in Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo represents not just a reprieve but an affirmative win both for workers and for class action plaintiffs more generally. First, as to workers: In applying Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery, the Court reinvigorated and confirmed an important extension of the principle that workers can use representative proof […]

Can police search your prescription drug records without a warrant?

That's the issue on appeal in Pyle v. Woods, in which Public Citizen filed the opening brief today in the Tenth Circuit. Utah law directs the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to create and maintain a state Controlled Substance Database of all prescriptions for controlled substances filled at pharmacies in the state. Pharmacists are […]

Supreme Court affirms class certification in Tyson Foods wage/hour case

Today, the Supreme Court decided in Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo that a group of 3000-plus meat processing workers were properly permitted to proceed as a class in seeking unpaid wages from their employer. It's an important win for workers, consumers, and plaintiffs generally seeking to hold corporations accountable for wrongdoing. Just as important, in a case […]

Criminal justice databases and online privacy

Ars Technica reports on a disturbing report out of Colorado that Denver cops are querying state and federal law enforcement databases for personal uses, such as "to help officers' in the romance department and to assist friends, according to an independent department monitor." Read the story here and the independent monitor's report here (go to page 16 for […]

On the influence between drug company payments and doctors’ prescription decisions

NPR reports: Doctors have long disputed the accusation that the payments they receive from pharmaceutical companies have any relationship to how they prescribe drugs. There's been little evidence to settle the matter, until now. A ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average […]