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

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

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

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

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

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

In a unanimous decision in Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Srvs., the Ninth Circuit overturned a California district court’s ruling in a wage and hour class action under the California Labor Code that granted Nike’s motion for summary judgement after applying the federal de minimis doctrine.
Continue Reading