Recently-introduced federal legislation could have a significant impact on equal pay class actions. On January 30, 2019, Democratic legislators reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7), which provides for various changes to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (“EPA”).  Earlier versions of this bill, which was originally introduced in 1997, have all died in Congress. However, on February 26, 2019, the House Committee on Education and Labor voted in favor of H.R.7, which means the legislation will now be presented to the full House for a vote.

Some key features of the newly-proposed legislation include: Continue Reading Proposed Legislation Could Change the Landscape for Equal Pay Class Actions

We recently highlighted DOL opinion letter 2018-27, which rescinded the 80/20 rule and was a welcome change for employers in the restaurant industry.  However, less than two months after the DOL’s policy change, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri rejected the DOL’s new guidance, claiming it is “unpersuasive and unworthy” of deference.

As a refresher, the 80/20 rule requires businesses to pay tipped workers at least minimum wage (with no tip credit) for non-tip generating tasks when these tasks take up more than 20% of the tipped workers’ time.

Continue Reading Federal Court “Tips” the Scale in Favor of Restaurant Workers by Reviving 80/20 Rule

Two years after jointly issuing its 2016 Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals with the FTC, the DOJ is now taking active steps to clarify its stance on no-poaching agreements.  On January 25, 2019, the DOJ filed a Notice of Intent to File a Statement of Interest in three different class action lawsuits brought by employees of fast-food franchises against their employers alleging that no-poaching agreements in franchise agreements violate antitrust law.

Continue Reading No-Poaching Agreements May Not Be Entirely Out of the Question

If your background check forms include too much information about rights under state law, or even grammatical errors, you might be in trouble according to the Ninth Circuit.  In Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores, the appeals court recently ruled against an employer for using background check disclosure forms that violate both the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA).

Continue Reading State Law Information + Unclear Wording = FCRA Violations

The California Second Appellate District has held that retail employees who were required to “call in” two hours before their scheduled shift to find out if they actually needed to report to work were entitled to reporting time pay. The Court held that California retail employees do not need to physically appear at the workplace in order to “report for work,” and be entitled to reporting time pay, under the Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Order 7.  Given the robust dissent and sweeping change this decision could bring about, this is a case to watch as it may find its way to the California Supreme Court.

Continue Reading California Court Holds On-Call Scheduling Means Reporting Time Pay for Employees

As detailed in our previous article on this issue, in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco Cty., 137 S. Ct. 1773 (June 17, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court established limitations on personal jurisdiction over non-resident defendants in “mass actions,” effectively supporting the view that plaintiffs cannot simply “forum shop” in large class and collective actions and instead must sue where the corporate defendant has significant contacts for purposes of general jurisdiction or limit the class definition to residents of the state where the lawsuit is filed.  Notably, the Supreme Court’s decision was limited to personal jurisdiction issues in state courts, which has led to a split on the question of whether, and to what extent, the Supreme Court’s analysis applies to class and collective actions pending in federal court.

Continue Reading District Courts Are Divided On Whether Bristol-Myers Extends to the Federal Class Action Context

In a rare win for plaintiffs seeking to avoid arbitration, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a trucking company’s attempt to compel arbitration in a driver’s proposed minimum wage class action.  The Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act’s exemption for interstate transportation workers applies not only to employees, but also to those classified as independent contractors.

Continue Reading SCOTUS Rejects Employer’s Attempt to Compel Arbitration of Independent Contractor’s Class Claim

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