Are offices of the state attorney general, like so many government institutions and agencies in our country, captured and defined by the partisan politics of the age?Read More
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood just settled a case that will benefit up to 1400 workers by giving them the ability to move on to better jobs in their field. The settlement was with the co-working space company WeWork (press releases here and here, media coverage here, here, and here).
Under the terms of the settlement, 1400 lower level WeWork employees nationwide (like janitorial workers or baristas) will no longer be subject to "non compete" agreements, while 1800 higher-level employees of the company will have non compete agreements that are significantly narrowed in key ways.
Non compete clauses unfairly limit workers from getting ahead as they should be free to leave their jobs and advance in their lives. The attorneys general of New York and Illinois have been working extensively on this issue (settlements with Jimmy Johns by Illinois and New York; Illinois case against a national payday lender; New York settlements with Law360 and with a medical information services company).
Because use of these restrictions has been growing in recent years — one report found that nearly 20% of workers are covered by non competes — their unfairness may put this issue on the agenda of a growing number of attorneys general in the years to come.
For more information, please see this paper co-authored by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Chief of her Workplace Rights Bureau, Jane Flanagan.
It is no secret that for two years Ct. Attorney General George Jepsen and his experienced antitrust division have been investigating and litigating against generic drug manufacturers. The case exploded this week with the announcement that 46 other attorneys general officially joined the case and asked a federal court to expand both the number of companies from six to eighteen and the number of drugs from two to fifteen. The potential liability to the generics companies is staggering, and the combined strength of 47 state attorneys general makes this one of the major cases pending in the country today.
- Press Release, Connecticut Attorney General, AG Jepsen Leads Coalition in New, Expanded Complaint in Federal Generic Drug Antitrust Lawsuit (Oct. 31, 2017).
The Connecticut Mirror has a great profile on the Connecticut Attorney General’s office. Set against the backdrop of the current multi-state investigation/lawsuit into generic drug price-fixing, the article tells readers something we have known for a long-time: this is one talented and powerful office. The Connecticut AGs office proves, once again, that talent and passion of staff can overcome any relative size and resource constraints. From the rating agency cases to this current antitrust lawsuit, Connecticut is once again leading the way on major multi-state cases. It also shows the leverage that any attorney general has when they put it all together, and in these times, that is vital to remember.
- Mark Pazniokas, How a small-state AG’s office plays in the big leagues, The Ct. Mirror (Jan. 27, 2017).
Led by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and his staff, 20 attorneys general sued some of the largest generic drug companies for price fixing. These AG's have uncovered what appears to be egregious wrongdoing that falls on to the bottom line of almost every American family. This case is proof positive that state attorneys general - operating on a bi partisan basis - are essential to defending all of us in the marketplace.
See, Pharma in their sights: Attorneys general get real on alleged price-fixing, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Dec. 18, 2016).