The United States Supreme Court has agreed to resolve a growing split of authority among lower federal circuit courts regarding the requirement under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) that individuals must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC before bringing Title VII claims against their employer. Specifically, the Supreme Court is set to decide the following issue: “Whether Title VII’s administrative-exhaustion requirement is a jurisdictional prerequisite to suit, as three circuits have held, or a waivable claim-processing rule, as eight circuits have held.”

Continue Reading Supreme Court To Review Administrative Exhaustion Requirements Under Title VII

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

The U.S. Supreme Court held yesterday that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to state and local government employers, regardless of their size.  In doing so, the Court unanimously adopted the Ninth Circuit’s reading of the statute when four other Circuits held the opposing position.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Extends ADEA Coverage to Small State and Local Government Employers

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

In a highly anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public employee unions may not collect involuntary fees from the public employees they represent.  Janus v. AFSCME, U.S., No. 16-1466, 6/27/18.  Here are the key points of the court’s decision:

Janus involved state employees represented in a bargaining unit by an Illinois public employee union.  The union was the exclusive collective bargaining representative of all the employees in a bargaining unit.  The union bargained with the State of Illinois for a collective bargaining agreement covering the employees in bargaining unit.  The union also engaged in other activities not directly related to the bargaining and administration of the collective bargaining agreement. Continue Reading Supreme Court Strikes Down Involuntary Public Employee Union Fees

In China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, the U.S. Supreme Court held that putative class members cannot rely on equitable tolling to file new class actions under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Resh was the third shareholder class action suit filed against China Agritech, Inc. under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The plaintiffs in the two previous suits settled their claims after the court denied their motions for class certification.

Continue Reading SCOTUS Holds That Putative Class Members Cannot Use Equitable Tolling To File Successive Class Actions

In one of the most anticipated decisions of the term, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, dodged the key constitutional questions in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, issuing a narrow opinion finding that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission displayed “impermissible hostility” toward a baker’s sincerely held religious beliefs.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules for Baker in Same-Sex Marriage Wedding Cake Case

In a major win for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held that arbitration agreements with class action waivers do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  The Court’s narrow 5-4 decision paves the way for employers to include such waivers in arbitration agreements to avoid class and collective actions.

Continue Reading SCOTUS Holds Class Action Waivers Do Not Violate the NLRA

The U.S. Supreme Court voted to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Varela v. Lamps Plus, Inc.  The Court is expected to decide whether workers can pursue their claims through class-wide arbitration when the underlying arbitration agreement is silent on the issue.  The case could have wide-reaching consequences for employers who use arbitration agreements.

Continue Reading SCOTUS to Review Right to Class Arbitration in Silent Agreements