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Wake Up Call: Google Pay Gap Data Incomplete, Activist Says

March 16, 2018, 11:54 AM

• Google said it found no significant difference in what it pays its male and female employees, but activist shareholder Arjuna Capital said it is “uncomfortable” with Google’s omission of 11 percent of its 70,000-member global workforce from the analysis. Arjuna has been pushing tech and financial companies to disclose, and promise to close, gaps between what their male and female employees earn. ( Bloomberg Law )

• The Securities and Exchange Commission has “dozens” of cryptocurrency investigations open, and expects to see many more, a senior agency official said. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB ) What will the enforcement landscape look like for virtual currency? Three Ropes & Gray lawyers make predictions and recommendations. ( BLB )

• With its fraud case against the founder of blood-test company Theranos, the SEC aimed to send a clear message to Silicon Valley that startups aren’t immune to regulatory action. ( Bloomberg )

• Dentons, already the world’s biggest law firm by headcount, plans to tie up with seven more firms, one in Kenya, two in Mauritius, two in the Caribbean -- one each in the Cayman Islands and Barbados, one in Indonesia and a seventh in Malaysia. ( BLB )

• Twitter feed @LadyLawyerDiary gives women lawyers a way to out “stupid sexist stuff” and promote legal profession issues important to them, says a Texas-based Greenberg Traurig lawyer who is among about 15 attorneys managing the feed. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Set to start Monday, the Justice Department’s court fight to stop AT&T Inc. from acquiring Time Warner Inc. could last as long as eight weeks, twice as long as the initial estimate, according to the judge in the case. ( Bloomberg )

• The top Justice Department lawyer behind the AT&T lawsuit, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, has also raised questions about Bayer AG’s plan to win antitrust approval for its takeover of Monsanto Co. ( Bloomberg )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Workplace law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. said it will be working with artificial intelligence provider ROSS Intelligence to deploy the startup’s AI legal research solution firm-wide in 2018. ( )

• Baker McKenzie said New York-based tax controversy lawyerErin Gladney has joined the firm as a partner in its North America Tax Practice. She joins from Mayer Brown. ( )

Legal Market

• The Stanford student behind the DoNotPay bot that helps people challenge parking tickets online, and a bot to help people sue Equifax in small claims court, now has a tool to help air travelers get cheaper flights they might not have known they could get. ( Yahoo Finance )

Sexual Harassment/Violence

• Women suing Uber in San Francisco over claims that it’s failed to protect thousands of passengers from sexual misconduct by drivers are fighting the ride-hailing giant’s move to force them into arbitration. A lawyer for the women with New York law firm Wigdor LLP, rejected the company’s claim that arbitration will protect the women’s privacy. ( Bloomberg )

• In workplace sexual harassment cases, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration takes a backseat to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But OSHA may become involved in a case when there is a physical injury, attorneys said at a recent ABA conference. ( Bloomberg Law )

Legal Actions

• Family Dollar Stores Inc.'s $45 million agreement settling decade-old pay-discrimination claims by dozens of women nationwide was approved by a North Carolina federal judge. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Banana plantation workers cleared a hurdle in Delaware Supreme Court in their long-running pesticide exposure suit against Dow Chemical Co., Dole Food Co., and others. ( Bloomberg Environment )

• Fiat Chrysler Automobile NV’s U.S. unit has to face a lawsuit accusing the carmaker of rigging diesel engines with emissions control defeat devices similar to those installed in 11 million Volkswagens, a San Francisco federal judge ruled. ( Bloomberg )

• Two former Capgemini North America Inc. employees who worked intermittently in the firm’s offices in the U.S. and India can proceed as a class in their lawsuit over health insurance coverage, an Illinois federal court ruled. ( Bloomberg Law )

• In its race to catch in online retailing, Walmart mislabeled products, issued misleading e-commerce results, and fired an executive who complained the company was breaking the law, according to a whistle-blower lawsuit. ( Bloomberg Law )

Regulators and Enforcement

• JetBlue Corp. must reinstate a flight attendant the airline fired after she left a plane to raise safety concerns with a supervisor, a Labor Department agency said.( Bloomberg Law )

• The Labor Department is said to be investigating whether a Minneapolis worker center is actually a union, a case that could test the Trump administration’s commitment to cracking down on advocacy groups that conservatives claim are fronts for organized labor. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Nearly 400 National Labor Relations Board employees asked lawmakers to save the agency from budget cuts they say will water down rights for workers who have nowhere else to turn. ( Bloomberg Law )

Russia Probes

• Special counsel Robert Mueller may have crossed a line Trump set out early in the investigation into possible Russian meddling with his latest move: a reported subpoena of the Trump Organization. ( Bloomberg ) ( New York Times )

• Four Republican senators asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to name a new special counsel to investigate the early stages of the Justice Department’s own inquiry into Russian campaign meddling. ( Bloomberg )

• Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is trying to convince a Washington federal judge that Mueller lacks authority to prosecute him. ( Bloomberg )


• A California bill would punish companies that participate in building Trump’s wall on the state’s border with Mexico by stripping them of five state tax breaks. ( Bloomberg Tax )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The Labor Department’s Obama-era fiduciary rule, which coversfinancial advice to retirement savers, could be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court after two federal courts issued contradictory rulings in two days. ( Bloomberg Law )

• The digital copyright law’s safe harbor protects a one-man porn-clip website operation from infringement claims, a federal appeals court ruled. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )


• Google is fighting a conservative group’s suit accusing it of censoring conservative messages on YouTube, arguing that it is not subjet to the same free-speech requirements a government has to follow. ( Bloomberg )

• Amidst report of Russian hack attacks on the U.S. energy and nuclear sector, Energy Secretary Rick Perry sought to assure House appropriators he is working to shore up the sector against cybersecurity attacks. ( Bloomberg Law )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor/Casey Sullivan.