On March 12, 2024, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed two separate district court decisions addressing how pizza delivery drivers should be reimbursed for their vehicle-related expenses under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Highlights The Difficulty of Calculating Work-Related Expenses Under the FLSA

The legal path between employee arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and representative claims under the California Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) has been anything but smooth. A new (albeit unpublished and uncitable) case, Piran v. Yamaha Motor Corp., et al., No. G062198, 2024 WL 484845 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 8, 2024)(unpub.) (“Yamaha”), helps to illustrate the challenges and unanswered questions lingering in the wake of this rapidly-developing area of law.
Continue Reading In High Stakes Battle Between Arbitration and PAGA, Wins, Losses, and Questions

When there is a willful violation to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (”FCRA”) consumers can recover either actual damages sustained by the consumer or statutory damages of no less than $100 and not more than $1000. (Punitive damages and attorney fees also are available).  There has been a trend in the district courts examining whether plaintiffs must prove that they suffered actual damage in order to recover statutory damages. Since 2007 several Circuits have reviewed this argument and each has explained that the provision for statutory damages does not require a showing of “actual damages.” The Eleventh Circuit is the most recent to weigh in on this question in Santos v. Healthcare Revenue Recovery Grp., and agrees with its sister Circuits.
Continue Reading 11th Circuit Reaffirms FCRA Statutory Damages Available Even in the Absence of Actual Damages

Tyson Foods, Inc. (“Tyson”) is no stranger to religious accommodation lawsuits over the impact of its COVID-19 vaccine mandate given its continued efforts to operate through the height of the pandemic in 2021—but the battle just heated up with a proposed class action complaint filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Continue Reading COVID Vaccine Class Action Reminds Employers to Individually Consider Accommodations

On August 29, 2023, the California Court of Appeal issued a new opinion that, once again, changes how parties litigate and settle claims brought under California’s Private Attorneys’ General Act (“PAGA”). See Robert Lacour v. Marshalls of California, LLC, et al., 94 Cal.App.5th 1172, 313 Cal.Rptr.3d 77.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Reminds Parties that a Plaintiff’s Pre-Litigation Notice to the LWDA Controls the Scope of PAGA Settlements

Recently, in Restaurant Law Center, et al. v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas affirmed the validity of a new Department of Labor (DOL) rule, known as the “80-20-30” or “dual jobs” rule, which limits the ability of employers to satisfy a portion of tipped employees’ wages with earned tips.
Continue Reading Texas Federal Court Upholds DOL Rule Attacking FLSA Tip Credit

In Harris et. al. v. Medical Transportation Management, Inc. et. al., the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that a putative class cannot be certified as an “issue” class under Rule 23(c)(4) without also satisfying the requirements in Rule 23(a) and (b). This ruling is important because it prohibits putative classes from using the “issue” class mechanism of Rule 23(c)(4) to skirt the important procedural requirements in Rule 23(a) and (b) that are meant to protect both the litigants and absent parties. The court also encouraged the use of the partial summary judgment mechanism, rather than Rule 23(c)(4), to resolve discrete legal issues common to many class members.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Requires Compliance with Rules 23(a) and (b) to Certify Rule 23(c)(4) “Issue” Class Actions

On May 19, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit became the second circuit court to reject a familiar two-step certification procedure for collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Clark v. A&L Home Care and Training Center, LLC, the court held that FLSA plaintiffs who seek to represent other employees in a collective action must demonstrate a “strong likelihood” that other employees they seek to represent are “similarly situated” to the lead plaintiffs.
Continue Reading The Sixth Circuit Creates a New FLSA Certification Process

Last week, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision holding that California employers can require employees to enter into mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of their employment. In the decision, Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta, No. 20-15291 (9th Cir., Feb. 15 2023), a three-judge panel reversed the Ninth Circuit’s own prior decision and found that Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51), which sought to impose criminal and civil penalties on employers who require employees to enter into such agreements, is preempted by federal law.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Holds California’s Ban on Mandatory Arbitration Agreements is Preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act

In January 2021, the Ninth Circuit upheld a 2018 ruling by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), which found that federal law preempts California state meal and rest break laws as applied to drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles. A few months later, the United States Supreme Court denied a petition challenging the Ninth Circuit’s decision. We previously wrote about the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, and the Supreme Court’s denial, in a post that you can read here.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Confirms FMCSA Preemption of California’s Meal and Rest Break Laws Applies Retroactively