Employers failing to strictly comply with FCRA requirements in conducting background checks continue to face expensive consequences.  On November 16, 2018, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California approved a $1.2 million settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the FCRA filed against the popular pet supplies chain Petco.
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The California Supreme Court has ruled that California employers cannot rely on the federal de minimis doctrine to avoid claims for unpaid wages on small amounts of time.   Under the de minimis doctrine, employers may be excused from paying workers for small amounts of otherwise compensable time if the work is irregular and administratively difficult to record.  Federal Courts have frequently found that daily periods of approximately 10 minutes are de minimis even though otherwise compensable.
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The Supreme Court recently approved substantial changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including amendments to Rule 23, which covers federal class actions.  The amendments to Rule 23 seek to modernize and standardize the notice, settlement, objection, and appeal procedures.  If Congress approves the amendments, they will become effective December 1, 2018.     
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The Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2), confers federal subject matter removal jurisdiction over purported class actions filed in state court when, among other things, there is an amount-in-controversry (“AIC”) exceeding $5,000,000.  Deciding whether a class action can be properly removed under CAFA typically turns on whether this high jurisdictional threshold can be met.
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In China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, the U.S. Supreme Court held that putative class members cannot rely on equitable tolling to file new class actions under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Resh was the third shareholder class action suit filed against China Agritech, Inc. under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The plaintiffs in the two previous suits settled their claims after the court denied their motions for class certification. 
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The California Supreme Court has adopted a new three-part test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee under California’s wage orders, which regulate wages, hours, and working conditions.  The highly anticipated ruling could have wide ranging effects for businesses operating in California and beyond, as companies try to navigate the new gig economy. 
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On March 26, 2018, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Resh v. China Agritech, Inc., a case that could have far-reaching implications in the class action context.  Resh addresses the interplay of successive class actions and the statute of limitations, specifically, whether a plaintiff can pursue a class action after the statute of limitations has run.  Although the issue arose in a securities case, the Court’s ruling will affect class actions and time bars in all areas, including employment. 
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