A recent Fifth Circuit opinion held that a company’s arbitration agreement did not prevent employees from pursuing their claims as a collective arbitration, rather than individual claims.  As class claims related to COVID-19 begin to surge, the opinion provides occasion for companies to review their arbitration agreements to ensure that the companies’ aims are clearly drafted.
Continue Reading As COVID-based Class Actions Loom, Fifth Circuit Provides Reminder for Arbitration Agreements and Class Action Waivers

The Ninth Circuit recently overturned a district court’s grant of class certification on a wage statement claim under California Labor Code §226 because there were no “real-world consequences” stemming from the alleged misidentification of the employer’s name on the wage statement.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Strikes Down California Wage Statement Class Action for Plaintiff’s Failure to Show “Real World Consequences” to Establish Standing

For the first time in the Ninth Circuit, the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether every class member in a class action lawsuit needs “standing” to recover damages at the final judgment stage, and found in the affirmative.  In Ramirez v. TransUnion LLC, No. 17-17244, 2020 WL 946973 (9th Cir. Feb. 27, 2020), a class of 8,185 consumers brought a class action against the credit reporting agency TransUnion LLC pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, alleging that TransUnion, knowing that its practice was unlawful, incorrectly placed terrorist alerts on the front page of consumers’ credit reports and later sent the consumers misleading and incomplete disclosures about the alerts and how to remove them. 
Continue Reading For the First Time in the Ninth Circuit, the Court Finds That All Class Members in a Class Action Must Have Standing to Recover Damages

Last month, a court in the N.D. of California denied class certification to a group of Chipotle workers who alleged that the burrito chain maintained unlawful English-only workplaces in the state of California.  Guzman v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Case No. 17-cv-02606 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 15, 2020).  The opinion is a textbook example of how a lack of uniform written policies can, in some instances, benefit employers defending pattern and practice lawsuits.  Separately, the case also provides occasion to review the EEOC’s stance on English-Only policies.
Continue Reading Lost in Translation: Court Denies Class Certification to Chipotle Workers Alleging Unlawful English-Only Policy

A recent California appellate court decision has held that a banquet hall’s “mandatory service charge” could, under the right circumstances, be a “gratuity” that must be paid to employees under California Labor Code § 351.
Continue Reading California Appellate Court Rules that a Service Charge Could Be a Gratuity under the Labor Code

Dollar General and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a six-year-old Title VII lawsuit.  The EEOC brought its race discrimination claim on behalf of a Charging Party and a class of Black job applicants, alleging that Dollar General’s use of criminal justice history information in the hiring process had a disparate impact on Black applicants.
Continue Reading The EEOC Settles Six-Year-Old Lawsuit Attacking Background Check Policy

The body of law surrounding class action employment arbitrations received another jolt Monday when the Second Circuit revived an arbitration action with a potential class of roughly 70,000 employees. In Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, the Second Circuit overturned the district court and upheld an arbitrator’s decision to bind absent class members to the arbitration provisions of the company’s agreement.  The case represents another significant development in the realm of class arbitrations and class waivers, which have been the subject of significant recent litigation.
Continue Reading Second Circuit Revival of 70,000-Employee Class Action Adds Ripple to Uncertain Waters of Class Arbitrations