As we wrote about last month, on May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1632 (2018), rejecting perhaps the largest remaining obstacles to the enforcement of class action waivers in arbitration agreements in the employment context.  The Court concluded that the class action waivers did not violate the National Labor Relations Act.  Although the Court’s opinion also seemed dispositive of whether such agreements could be avoided under the Fair Labor Standards Act, at least one claimant tried to continue to litigate the issue, which was disposed of last week in Gaffers v. Kelly Servs., Inc., No. 16-2210 (6th Cir. 2018).  And now the Sixth Circuit has addressed whether Epic Systems would apply to arbitration agreements with putative independent contractors who contended that they should have been treated as employees.
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When a party receives an adverse order on a motion for class certification, whether the court of appeals grants permission to appeal under Rule 23(f) can be a crucial turning point in the case.  If the appellate court will not hear this interlocutory appeal, the only way to obtain review of that decision is to take the case through trial, to a final judgment.  But, due to the high stakes and large costs involved, few class actions are tried and cases often settle after the class certification order is issued by the trial court. 
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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

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),

On March 27, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held that evidence of class-wide injury must survive a “rigorous analysis” before a putative class can be certified.  Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11–864, 2013 WL 1222646, at *5 (U.S. March 27, 2013). While the Comcast case involved subscribers to Comcast’s cable television service who filed a class action lawsuit alleging anti-trust violations and monopolization, the decision is significant for employers facing class actions.


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