On December 13, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued its long-awaited decision determining that the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, G.L. c. 149, § 148B (“Independent Contractor Statute”), which establishes the three-pronged “ABC” test used to classify workers as independent contractors or employees – and provides for a rebuttable presumption that workers are employees unless the purported employer proves otherwise – is not the applicable standard to determine whether an entity is a joint employer.
Continue Reading Massachusetts High Court Rules “ABC” Test Is Inapplicable To Joint Employer Status

On November 15, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Robyn Morgan v. Sundance, Inc. (No. 21-326), a lawsuit from a fast-food worker who asserts that her employer waived its right to compel arbitration by engaging in litigation conduct inconsistent with its purported contractual right to arbitration.  By granting review, the Court is poised to resolve a circuit split as to whether a party must prove prejudice when arguing that the other party waived its right to arbitration by acting in a manner inconsistent with the arbitration agreement.  
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Will Address Circuit Split on Arbitration Waiver

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