On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (Case No. 20-1573) reversing the California Court of Appeal’s decision to affirm the denial of Viking’s motion to compel arbitration Moriana’s “individual” PAGA claim and to dismiss her other PAGA claims.
Continue Reading BREAKING:  Supreme Court Reverses California Court of Appeal in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana

On October 4, 2021, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on a petition challenging the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that California’s strict meal and rest period rules do not apply to commercial truck drivers engaged in interstate commerce.  The Court’s denial of the petition leaves in place a decision that came as a welcome sigh of relief for employers in the trucking industry.
Continue Reading Keep On Truckin’: California’s Meal And Rest Break Rules Preempted By FMCSA

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act requires employers to give employees at least 60 days’ notice when a “mass layoff” is about to occur at a “single site of employment,” which is typically a single location or a group of contiguous work locations.  Courts are beginning to confront the question of what constitutes a “single site of employment” under the WARN Act for employees working remotely, and how remote work policies impact class certification considerations.  Given the prevalence of remote work during the pandemic and the likely continuation of such work arrangements, these decisions are of particular importance to employers considering mass layoffs or facing class actions based on the application of remote work policies or practices.
Continue Reading Remote Employees Can Bring Class Action Under The WARN Act

In a bipartisan vote, Congress passed a new law poised to end employers’ ability to require employees to arbitrate claims for sexual harassment or sexual assault through a pre-dispute arbitration agreement.  This new law is the latest in an ongoing series of state and federal laws inspired by the #MeToo movement, and the most significant federal legislation involving the issue of arbitration in recent years. 
Continue Reading Congress Votes to End Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Claims

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