Tag Archives: Arbitration

Supreme Court Will Rule On Legality of Class Action Waivers in Employer Arbitration Agreements

The United States Supreme Court has granted consolidated review of three cases to determine whether arbitration agreements that waive employees’ rights to participate in a class action lawsuit against their employer are unlawful. The Court’s decision to address the uncertainty surrounding class action waivers of employment claims follows a circuit split last year in which the Fifth and Eighth circuits upheld such waivers and the Seventh and Ninth circuits found that such waivers violate the National Labor Relations Act. Given the increasingly widespread use of class action waivers by employers to stem costly class and collective actions, the high court’s ruling is likely to have a significant nationwide impact.… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits in Holding that Employees May be Required to Arbitrate USERRA Claims

The Ninth Circuit has joined both the Sixth and Fifth circuits in holding that USERRA claims are subject to arbitration pursuant to an employee’s agreement to arbitrate employment related claims. See Ziober v. BLB Resources, Inc., 2016 WL 5956733 (9th Cir. Oct. 14, 2016). In doing so, the Ninth Circuit, a traditionally pro-employee circuit, has assuaged any fear of uncertainty that employers may have had with respect to their rights to compel arbitration of USERRA claims.… Continue Reading

Conflicting Provisions in Arbitration Agreement Puts Employer Back in Court Litigating Representative and Class Claims

A California appellate court recently invalidated an arbitration agreement that an employee had voluntarily entered into on the basis that it contained an unenforceable waiver of the employee's claims under the California Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA") and, under the parties' agreement, that provision could not be severed.… Continue Reading

New NLRB Deferral Standard Signals Changes For Employers

Often times, the same set of underlying facts will give rise to both a contractual dispute between an employer and a union and an unfair labor practice charge. In these instances, an arbitrator usually decides the contract dispute, while it is the National Labor Relations Board's responsibility to determine the merit of the alleged unfair labor practice.… Continue Reading

Top Ten Considerations in Offshore Outsourcing

Jurisdiction   Jurisdiction may be the most important factor organizations should take into consideration when offshoring.  Some countries do not recognize certain U.S. legal doctrines, such as confidentiality agreements, and without proper jurisdiction an organization may be unable to enforce its contract with a vendor.   When selecting an offshore country, organizations should consider whether … Continue Reading

Key United States Supreme Court Decisions Affecting Labor and Employment for the 2012-2013 Term

EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS Vance v. Ball State University: Narrow Definition of Supervisor in Harassment Suits In Vance, the Supreme Court announced a narrow standard for determining which employees constitute “supervisors” for purposes of establishing vicarious liability under Title VII. In a 5-4 decision, the Court decided that a supervisor is a person authorized to take “tangible … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Delivers Another Arbitration Victory For Employers But Challenges Remain

Last week, in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-3 ruling, reversed the Second Circuit and held that a contractual waiver of class arbitration is enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) even if the cost of proving an individual claim in arbitration exceeds the potential recovery.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Arbitrator’s Ruling Authorizing Class-Wide Arbitration in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, Case No. 12-135 (June 10, 2013)

The Supreme Court has unanimously upheld an arbitrator’s ruling that a contract that required arbitration of “any dispute” constituted an agreement to class-wide arbitration. The Court’s narrow ruling turns on the parties’ express agreement to allow the arbitrator to decide whether their contract, which contained an arbitration provision but did not mention class proceedings, authorized … Continue Reading

Arbitrator Has Authority To Determine Enforcement Of Non-Compete Clauses, Not State Court – US Supreme Court Rules

Arbitration provisions are increasingly a focus in non-competition litigation these days and are being used in a variety of strategic ways to assist with the enforcement of non-competition clauses.  The United States Supreme Court recently held that an arbitrator, not a state court, should have decided the enforcement of non-competition clauses.  The employer filed for … Continue Reading

Class Action Waivers In Employment Arbitration Agreements Found Enforceable By California Court Of Appeal

On June 4, 2012, the California Court of Appeal held that class-action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC, the appeal court affirmed an order to compel arbitration of wage-and-hour claims in light of the 2011 United States Supreme Court case … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds That D.R. Horton Engaged In Unfair Labor Practice By Including Class Action Waiver In Mandatory Arbitration Agreement

Two members of the National Labor Relations Board recently held that employers may not require employees to enter into arbitration agreements, as a condition of employment, that waive the ability to pursue class or collective claims. The Board’s ruling does not sound the death knell for class action waivers, however, as many Plaintiff’s lawyers have … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds That Class Arbitration Waivers Are Enforceable Under The FAA

On April 27, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts rules created by states, such as California, that classify most class action arbitration waivers in consumer contracts as unconscionable.  The Court’s 5-4 decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 2011 WL 1561956 (U.S. Apr. 27, 2011) could signal big changes … Continue Reading

Rent-A-Center v. Jackson: A Win for Pro-Arbitration Employers

Who decides whether an arbitration agreement is unconscionable when the agreement explicitly delegates that decision to the arbitrator?  According to a slim majority of the U.S. Supreme Court in Rent-A-Center v. Jackson, No. 09-497, ___ U.S. ___, slip op. (June 21, 2010), the arbitrator does, if a party challenges the enforceability of the arbitration agreement.  … Continue Reading