In a huge win for California employers, the California Court of Appeals recently confirmed that courts have discretion to strike claims for penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) if the claims will be unmanageable at trial.  This decision will help employers defeat—or significantly pare down—the broad and unwieldy claims for PAGA penalties that have become popular with the plaintiffs’ bar.
Continue Reading Courts Have Authority to Strike Unmanageable PAGA Claims, Says CA Court of Appeals

On August 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals became the first federal appellate court to hold that where nonresident plaintiffs opt into a putative collective action under the FLSA, a court may not exercise specific personal jurisdiction over claims unrelated to the defendant’s conduct in the forum state.  Canaday v. The Anthem Companies, Inc. (Case No. 20-5947) (6th Cir).  The next day, the Eighth Circuit reached the same conclusion in a separate case.  Vallone v. CJS Solutions Group, LLC, d/b/a HCI Group (Case No. 20-2874) (8th Cir). 
Continue Reading Two Federal Appellate Courts Hold that Nationwide FLSA Collective Actions Cannot Be Brought Outside of a Defendant’s Home State

On April 7, 2021, a split panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued its highly-anticipated decision in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, reversing a 2017 judgment against Winn-Dixie that found that the grocery chain’s website violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Continue Reading The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Its Highly-Anticipated Decision on Website Accessibility

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently decertified a class of female correctional facility employees who alleged gender discrimination based, in part, on a theory of “ambient” harassment.  The opinion underscores how the individualized nature of harassment claims can act as a barrier to class certification.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Decertifies Ambient Sexual Harassment Class of Plaintiffs

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations, requiring that individuals with a disability be offered the “full and equal enjoyment . . . of any place of public accommodation.” The 30-year-old statute does not directly address whether “places of public accommodation” include websites, mobile applications, and other emerging web-based applications and technologies and, therefore, does not provide a standard for ensuring accessibility for web-based accommodations.  
Continue Reading Looking Ahead to Potential Developments in Online Accessibility Law

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

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently clarified that a named plaintiff gives up his or her right to represent a class if, in an individual settlement, he or she does not carve out from the settlement a concrete financial interest in the putative class action. 
Continue Reading Can Voluntary Individual Settlements Moot Class Actions? Yes, Depending on the Facts, According to the Ninth Circuit

An employer’s obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act are triggered when it obtains a “consumer report” from a “consumer reporting agency” for use in making an employment decision. A federal court in the Middle District of Florida is set to rule on a summary judgment motion clarifying whether a business that transmits public records unaltered to a prospective employer is a “consumer reporting agency”.
Continue Reading New Litigation May Further Clarify the FCRA’s Definition of “Consumer Reporting Agency”

The California Court of Appeals for the Second District evaluated the validity of unlimited vacation policies in a recent decision. Unlimited vacation policies operate how one might expect: instead of having a specific number of hours vest that the employee can use to take paid time off, an unlimited policy provides that the employee can take as much vacation per year as they would like to subject to company approval. In California, when vacation vests, it is treated as wages at termination and must be paid out. Since unlimited vacation does not vest, there is no payment due at termination.
Continue Reading Unlimited Vacation Policies in California – New Decision