The Supreme Court once again has shown its strong preference for enforcing the terms of arbitration agreements as written by the parties.  In Henry Schein Inc. v. Archer & White Sales Inc., Justice Kavanaugh’s first written opinion, the Court held that when an arbitration agreement delegates the threshold question of arbitrability to an arbitrator, the arbitrator, not a court, should decide the question, even if it is clear to a court that the dispute is not covered by the arbitration agreement.  This unanimous opinion adds to a growing body of recent Supreme Court case law making clear that the terms of arbitration agreements, like any other contract, should be enforced as written and without policy considerations or exceptions.   Continue Reading Supreme Court Enforces Yet Another Arbitration Agreement

Before the lame duck period of the 115th Congress, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and a group of 58 Democrat co-sponsors, introduced the Restoring Justice for Workers Act (H.R. 7109), which would prohibit  employers from requiring employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements.

Continue Reading Epic Changes to Epic Systems: House Democrats Seek to Prohibit Class Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

Employers failing to strictly comply with FCRA requirements in conducting background checks continue to face expensive consequences.  On November 16, 2018, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California approved a $1.2 million settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the FCRA filed against the popular pet supplies chain Petco.

Continue Reading Failing to Properly Conduct Background Checks Continues To Be a Million-Dollar Mistake

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently published an Opinion Letter (FLSA-2018-27) reissuing its January 16, 2009 guidance (Opinion Letter FLSA-2009-23) and reversing its Obama-era position on the 20% tip credit rule.  This opinion letter marks another major shift in DOL’s policy and presents a welcome change for employers in the restaurant industry.

Continue Reading DOL “Tips” the Scale in Favor of Restaurant Employers by Ending 20% Tip Credit Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is a popular venue for class action lawsuits.  As of November 1, 2018, it is also the first to require parties settling such lawsuits to make broad public disclosures regarding the settlements.

Continue Reading California Federal Court First to Require Class Action Settlement Data To Be Made Public

In a new class action filed recently against a hospital housekeeping company, employees allege their employer’s fingerprint scanning time-tracking system runs afoul of privacy laws.  The Pennsylvania-based company Xanitos Inc. now faces the lawsuit in federal court in Illinois, claiming the company violated the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Continue Reading Press Pause Before Using Biometric Tech in the Workplace

The combination of a quirky procedural posture and broad language used by the Supreme Court in 1941 have left Home Depot trapped in a North Carolina state court defending against a class action, despite the removal provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act.  On September 27, 2018, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether CAFA authorizes removal of class action counterclaims when its requirements are otherwise met.

Continue Reading Supreme Court to Address CAFA Removal of Counterclaims

As we previously reported, the United States Supreme Court held this past Term in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that class action waivers in arbitration agreements do not violate the National Labor Relations Act.  In the wake of Epic Systems, courts have found that class action waivers are likewise permissible under the FLSA.  These cases make clear that class action waivers are here to stay.

Continue Reading Class Wide Arbitrations – Who Gets to Decide?

As we wrote about last month, on May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1632 (2018), rejecting perhaps the largest remaining obstacles to the enforcement of class action waivers in arbitration agreements in the employment context.  The Court concluded that the class action waivers did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Although the Court’s opinion also seemed dispositive of whether such agreements could be avoided under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), at least one claimant tried to continue to litigate the issue, which was disposed of last week in Gaffers v. Kelly Servs., Inc., No. 16-2210 (6th Cir. 2018).  And now the Sixth Circuit has addressed whether Epic Systems would apply to arbitration agreements with putative independent contractors who contended that they should have been treated as employees.

Continue Reading Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding Arbitration Agreements Applies to Independent Contractors Too

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, holding that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) does not prohibit the use of arbitration agreements with class/collective action waivers covered by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).   The Sixth Circuit has now concluded in Gaffers v. Kelly Services, Inc.  that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), like the NLRA, does not bar the use of arbitration agreements with class/collective action waivers.

Continue Reading Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding Arbitration Agreements Extended to the FLSA