The body of law surrounding class action employment arbitrations received another jolt Monday when the Second Circuit revived an arbitration action with a potential class of roughly 70,000 employees. In Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, the Second Circuit overturned the district court and upheld an arbitrator’s decision to bind absent class members to the arbitration provisions of the company’s agreement.  The case represents another significant development in the realm of class arbitrations and class waivers, which have been the subject of significant recent litigation.
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Last week, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Michigan granted Domino’s Pizza, Inc.’s motion to dismiss, holding that workers operating under the Domino’s brand must arbitrate their claims that the pizza chain made its franchises promise not to hire each other’s employees, then misled the public to believe no such agreement existed.
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Earlier this year, a federal court in Illinois decertified a small class of Physicians who alleged gender-based pay discrimination under the Equal Pay Act.  Although not a groundbreaking appellate court decision, the opinion does provide a roadmap for employers facing EPA collective actions, which may gain traction in the wake of increasing media attention on pay disparities.
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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.
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Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) governs petitions for interlocutory appeals of orders that grant or deny class certification and requires that a petition for permission to appeal must be filed “within 14 days after the order is entered.” It makes no mention of motions for reconsideration.
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Recently-introduced federal legislation could have a significant impact on equal pay class actions. On January 30, 2019, Democratic legislators reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7), which provides for various changes to the Equal Pay Act of 1963.  Earlier versions of this bill, which was originally introduced in 1997, have all died in Congress. However, on February 26, 2019, the House Committee on Education and Labor voted in favor of H.R.7, which means the legislation will now be presented to the full House for a vote.
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Two years after jointly issuing its 2016 Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals with the FTC, the DOJ is now taking active steps to clarify its stance on no-poaching agreements.  On January 25, 2019, the DOJ filed a Notice of Intent to File a Statement of Interest in three different class action lawsuits brought by employees of fast-food franchises against their employers alleging that no-poaching agreements in franchise agreements violate antitrust law.


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