The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has joined several sister circuits in holding that courts should consider the amount of “possible” and not “probable” punitive damages in determining the $5 million amount-in-controversy for federal jurisdiction in class action cases. 
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Says Reasonable Possibility of Punitive Damages Will Suffice for Amount-in-Controversy Under CAFA

Virginia has enacted several new labor and employment laws that are poised to dramatically change the legal landscape for employers in Virginia, including enacting “ban the box” legislation for simple possession of marijuana. 
Continue Reading Virginia Enacts “Ban the Box” Legislation for Marijuana Possession Arrests, Charges, and Convictions

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 Seventh Circuit recently held that district courts should not send court-authorized notice of pending FLSA collective actions to employees who are party to a mandatory arbitration agreement.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit: Employees Covered by Arbitration Agreements Should Not Receive Notice of Pending FLSA Collective Actions

On Saturday, April 11, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam officially signed the Virginia Values Act into law.  The bill’s headlining purpose—adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of classes protected under the Virginia Human Rights Act—is commendable and has garnered widespread support.  However, other, more technical changes in the bill that are unrelated to the headlining purpose are poised to change the landscape of employment litigation in Virginia and could lead to a significant increase in discrimination lawsuits filed in Virginia’s state courts.  Virginia employers are well served to begin preparing now for this new procedure in the handling of employment discrimination charges and litigation, as the bill’s new provisions go into effect on July 1st.
Continue Reading Virginia Values Act Could Open Floodgate of New Employment Discrimination Cases For Virginia Employers

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

On March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, an unprecedented $2 trillion economic rescue plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our firm has previously summarized the CARES Act’s tax and health and retirement benefits provisions.  Below, we summarize additional aspects of the Act that impact the workplace.
Continue Reading Key Employment-Related Provisions In Newly-Enacted CARES Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is set to take effect on April 1, 2020.  As we previously reported, the Act requires that employers with fewer than 500 employees provide two new forms of paid leave.  First, covered employers must provide up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work because of certain COVID-19 related reasons.  Second, covered employers must provide up to 10 weeks of paid FMLA leave (in addition to the 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave) to eligible employees who are unable to work or telework because they need to care for a child whose school or daycare is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Continue Reading US DOL Issues Additional Guidance Regarding Paid Leave Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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