Tag Archives: Class Action

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

Seventh Circuit Bucks the Trend and Creates a Circuit Split Regarding Enforceability of Employment Class Action Waivers

With its May 26 Lewis v. Epic-Systems Corp. decision, the Seventh Circuit became the first circuit to back the reasoning in D.R. Horton, Inc., 357 NLRB No. 184 (2012), and held that a mandatory arbitration agreement prohibiting employees from bringing class or collective actions against their employer violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This decision creates a circuit split regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements with class action waivers in the employment context, and the issue is now ripe for potential Supreme Court review.… Continue Reading

NLRB Continues To Stand Firm On Its Position That Class Action Waivers Are Unenforceable

In the second half of December 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued 16 rulings on the illegality of mandatory arbitration agreements containing class and collective action waivers, even in situations where the agreements allow employees to opt out of, or into, the waiver. The NLRB continues to hold firm that these types of waivers violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) because they infringe upon the employees’ protected right to engage in concerted activity—despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s continued favoring of class action waivers.… Continue Reading

Employers Should Review Their FCRA Disclosure Forms

Retailer Big Lots Stores, Inc. is facing a putative class action in Philadelphia, wherein the plaintiff alleges that the company “systematically” violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (“FCRA”) “standalone disclosure requirement” by making prospective employees sign a document used as a background check consent form that contained extraneous information.… 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

Unlawful Policies Create Class Certification Danger for California Employers

In several recent cases in California, courts have applied Brinker Restaurant Corp., et al. v. Superior Court to reverse trial court decisions denying class certification.  Brinker is the ground breaking case in California where the California Supreme Court held that employers are only required to provide the opportunity for employees to take 30 minute meal … Continue Reading

Dukes Is No Protection Against Class Certification In Recent California Decision

Employers across the Country are relying on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (2011) 131 S.Ct. 2541 to fight class certification or to file decertification motions.  Many are finding success, and for good reason.  Dukes is a major obstacle to class certification.  However, in a recent California appeals decision, Williams v. Superior Court (Allstate Insurance Company), … 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

Chicago Police Officer’s Lawsuit Claims Checking Emails Outside Of Work Should Be Compensated as Overtime

A pending federal case highlights some of the wage-and-hour pitfalls emerging from the use of e-mail and smartphones.  Chicago Police Department Sergeant Jeffrey Allen originally filed his suit, alleging overtime compensation violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 2010.  On January 14, 2013, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier of the Northern District of … Continue Reading

Kmart Settles FCRA Class Action For $3 Million

As reported on Hunton & Williams’ Privacy and Information Security Law Blog, on January 25, 2013, Kmart Corporation (“Kmart”) agreed to a $3 million settlement stemming from allegations that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) when using background checks to make employment decisions. The FCRA addresses adverse actions taken against consumers based on … Continue Reading

California Upholds Employment Rounding Practices

A California Court of Appeal recently found that California employers can lawfully apply the federal standard for rounding. This standard is set forth in 29 CFR Sec. 785.48(b), and previously has been adopted by California’s Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”).  29 CFR Sec. 785.48 (b) permits an employer to round an employee’s starting time and … Continue Reading