An Executive Order Responds to a Lack of Paid-Sick Leave in America and Gives Government Workers Something to Celebrate

By: Charity Barger*| Staff Writer 

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In America today, many households are dual-career households, meaning both parents have jobs outside of the home.  However, there is no federal legal requirement that businesses provide paid sick leave to their employees, although some companies are required to offer unpaid sick leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  In fact, the United States is the only wealthy nation that does not require a minimum of paid sick leave. Continue reading »

Pirate Joe’s Days on the High Seas May Be Numbered

By: Libby Casale*| Staff Writer

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Trader Joe’s in Orlando, Florida

Trader Joe’s first opened in 1967 in Southern California. Trader Joe’s seeks to embody a farmer’s market style feel, with unique and exclusive products. There are Trader Joe’s stores in forty-one states and Washington, D.C. There are no Trader Joe’s stores in Canada.

Pirate Joe’s is a Canadian grocery store that sells Trader Joe’s goods. The goods are purchased at Trader Joe’s in America and then moved across the border to Vancouver. The goods are sold at a 30-40% markup. Pirate Joe’s also imports other brands that Canadians do not have access to. Continue reading »

Yahoo: Two Years Two Late

By: Anna-Bryce Flowe*| Staff Writer

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Yahoo!, the technology tycoon that took the Internet by storm in the early 2000’s, announced that upwards of 500 million user accounts were victim to a data breach of the company’s technology infrastructure in early 2014. An uproar ensued, as people questioned why and how the Company could wait nearly two years to inform the public. The massive data breach of Yahoo’s infrastructure also affected many Flickr accounts tied to Yahoo ID’s for the photo-sharing service. A former Yahoo executive suggested that the number of effected users might be closer to one billion. Continue reading »

Private Arbitration Clauses: Why Consumers and Employees Should Read the Fine Print

By: Charity Barger*| Staff Writer 

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In today’s fast-paced society, written agreements are entered into constantly.  However, it is not always clear what these agreements entail.  It is difficult today to apply for a credit card, use a cellphone, or shop online without agreeing to private arbitration.  However, not all consumers are aware that these private arbitration clauses even exist or what they have agreed to. Continue reading »

Federal Judge Freezes Starbucks Cold Drinks Lawsuit

By: Libby Casale*| Staff Writer 

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A federal judge recently threw out a proposed class action lawsuit that accused Starbucks of misleading customers about the amount of ice in its cold drinks.  The Plaintiff alleged that Starbucks “systematically defrauds its customers by advertising its cold drinks as containing more liquid than they do by ‘underfilling’ its cups with liquid and then adding ice to make the cups appear full.”  The complaint alleged that because Starbucks fills its cups to a “fill” line and then adds ice, that the actual amount of drink does not correspond to the listed amount.  The complaint cites the Venti Starbucks drink as an example.  As a result of the fill lines, the Plaintiff alleged that a Venti will contain approximately 14 ounces of liquid instead of the 24 ounces listed on the menu.   The complaint alleged claims for breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, fraud, and violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Continue reading »

IS WELLS FARGO OUT OF THE WOODS? DON’T BANK ON IT

By: Zack Young*| Staff Writer 

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By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17445718

Wells Fargo, the San Francisco-headquartered banking titan, has come under fire from seemingly all angles after creating nearly 2 million fraudulent bank and credit card accounts for customers without their permission. Lauded above competitors for its ability to remain profitable following the 2008 financial crisis, performance supposedly fueled by Wells’ operational discipline and internal controls, Wells Fargo has significantly undercut the goodwill its name had as a bank by creating sham accounts and charging customers fees on these accounts. In the wake of its fraud, Wells Fargo has been through the ringer. The Bank has settled civil charges with the city and county of Los Angeles, been charged with $185 million in fines, refunded close to $2.5 million to customers for the wrongful fees it charged, and received subpoenas from three different United States Attorneys’ offices. But the worst may still be yet to come for Wells Fargo. Continue reading »

Tumultuous Past Leads ITT Tech to Close All Campuses

By: Libby Casale*| Staff Writer

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ITT Technical Institute Canton, MI campus. Photo credit: Dwight Burdette

ITT Technical Institutes was founded at the end of World War II as part of International Telephone & Telegraph.  It split off from the corporation in the mid-1990s.  The spin off came at a time when privatization was embraced.  Investors flocked to the for-profit education sector. From 2000 to 2003 spending in the education sector was higher than any other sector on Wall Street. Continue reading »

Old Statute, New Tricks, and the Spirit of the Law

By: Santiago Herrera*| Guest Writer

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US Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Trust Indenture Act of 1939 (“TIA”) is administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission. By D Ramey Logan – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36799399

The Trust Indenture Act (TIA) is a depression-era statute that was passed to protect retail investors and minority bondholders from majority bondholders and insiders who occasionally operated in collusion with the issuer to the detriment of minority bondholders and outsiders.

This is the purpose or spirit of the TIA: protecting the little guy.  Minority bondholders, however, are not always “little guys” in today’s financial markets.  Far from it.  Sometimes they are specialized distressed-debt funds or event-driven funds which buy minority positions—sometimes at a deep discount—to exert pressure on an anticipated debt restructuring, hoping to drive the price of the minority position up, and thus turn a profit on the investment. Continue reading »

Credit Rating Agencies Dodge Investors’ Lawsuits

By: Brad Fleming*| Guest Writer

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The “Big Three” credit rating agencies (CRAs)—Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s (S&P), and Fitch Ratings—have come under intense scrutiny in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Meant to provide investors and regulators with credit ratings which weigh the riskiness of various kinds of securities, companies, and governments, CRAs have instead exacerbated the financial crisis by skewing assessments to please their clients instead of providing accurate credit ratings.  In turn, these reckless credit ratings helped the financial system undertake far more risk than it could safely handle. Continue reading »

Coal Titans’ Bankruptcies May Cost Taxpayers

By: Rachel Raimondi*| Guest Writer 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Coal_mine_Wyoming.jpgAs the coal industry faces declining demand and struggles to recover from several “ill-timed multibillion-dollar acquisitions,” it becomes increasingly likely that taxpayers will be on the hook for exorbitant environmental cleanup costs.

Continue reading »