On September 8, 2021, the House Education and Labor Committee issued proposed legislation in connection with the House’s new spending bill. Among other pro-union proposals issued in connection with the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the proposed legislation seeks to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by banning class and collective action waivers.
Continue Reading Proposed Federal Legislation Quietly Threatens Viability of Class and Collective Action Waivers Through New House Spending Bill

On August 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals became the first federal appellate court to hold that where nonresident plaintiffs opt into a putative collective action under the FLSA, a court may not exercise specific personal jurisdiction over claims unrelated to the defendant’s conduct in the forum state.  Canaday v. The Anthem Companies, Inc. (Case No. 20-5947) (6th Cir).  The next day, the Eighth Circuit reached the same conclusion in a separate case.  Vallone v. CJS Solutions Group, LLC, d/b/a HCI Group (Case No. 20-2874) (8th Cir). 
Continue Reading Two Federal Appellate Courts Hold that Nationwide FLSA Collective Actions Cannot Be Brought Outside of a Defendant’s Home State

On August 10, 2021, the Third Circuit in Travers v. Federal Express Corporation revived a class action lawsuit under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (“USERRA”), holding that employers must provide servicemembers with pay during military leave when employers pay employees on “comparable types of leave.”
Continue Reading The Third Circuit Opens The Door to Class Actions Seeking Paid Military Leave

Use of employee biometric data – including fingerprints, eye scans, voiceprints, and facial scans – continues to be a popular, yet legally risky, proposition for employers. Several states and municipalities have laws that specifically govern the use of biometric data, the highest profile of which is the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Continue Reading Amidst Uncertainty Surrounding the Scope of BIPA Liability, Hyatt Settles Employee Biometric Data Class Claims for $1.5 Million

Since the Supreme Court’s 2018 Epic Systems ruling, employers increasingly rely on arbitration agreements for more efficient resolution of both single plaintiff and class action claims.  Prolonged judicial review of arbitration awards, however, can dilute that efficiency.  As a result, some employers include waivers of judicial review, in whole or in part, in their arbitration agreements.

But are such waivers permissible?  In a recent decision, the Fourth Circuit said “yes” as it relates to appellate review. 
Continue Reading Fourth Circuit Holds that the Federal Arbitration Act Does Not Prohibit Parties from Waiving Appellate Review

On April 7, 2021, a split panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued its highly-anticipated decision in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, reversing a 2017 judgment against Winn-Dixie that found that the grocery chain’s website violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Continue Reading The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Its Highly-Anticipated Decision on Website Accessibility

Uber Technologies, Inc. has been sued in a class action lawsuit alleging the company’s use of criminal background checks discriminates against Black and Latinx drivers. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 8, challenges Uber’s “unlawful use of criminal history to discriminate against its drivers in New York City as well as its brazen noncompliance with human rights and fair credit laws.”
Continue Reading Gig Employer Hit with Background Check Class Action

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently decertified a class of female correctional facility employees who alleged gender discrimination based, in part, on a theory of “ambient” harassment.  The opinion underscores how the individualized nature of harassment claims can act as a barrier to class certification.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Decertifies Ambient Sexual Harassment Class of Plaintiffs

While COVID-19 may have hit the business community like a hurricane, whether the pandemic, in fact, qualifies for a natural disaster exception under the federal law requiring businesses to warn employees of impending layoffs, remains an open question. This February, a federal judge paved the way for the Eleventh Circuit to weigh in on whether a class action can proceed against an employer who was forced to lay off employees due to COVID-19.
Continue Reading The Eleventh Circuit Could Tackle Whether COVID-19 is a Disaster for WARN Purposes with Companies Facing Continued Layoffs

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations, requiring that individuals with a disability be offered the “full and equal enjoyment . . . of any place of public accommodation.” The 30-year-old statute does not directly address whether “places of public accommodation” include websites, mobile applications, and other emerging web-based applications and technologies and, therefore, does not provide a standard for ensuring accessibility for web-based accommodations.  
Continue Reading Looking Ahead to Potential Developments in Online Accessibility Law