Archives: Class Action

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Supreme Court Weighs Validity of Employer Class Action Waivers; Justices’ Questions Suggest A Close Decision Ahead

Yesterday marked the first day of the United States Supreme Court’s new term, and the first case heard (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis) was one of interest to employers around the country.  In several cases consolidated before the Court on appeal, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) found employer arbitration agreements that included waivers of … Continue Reading

Class Action Waivers: Two More Fifth Circuit Opinions Favor Waivers Over NLRB Challenges

In early August, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued two decisions regarding class and collective action waivers.  Like its earlier decisions in D.R. Horton, Inc. and Murphy Oil USA, Inc., both decisions supported employers’ use of waivers to eliminate group lawsuits against them in employment cases.  The two new cases, … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Joins Two Sister Circuits In Holding That Class Action Waivers In Employment Arbitration Agreements Violate National Labor Relations Act

Court joins Seventh and Ninth Circuits in holding that employer’s requiring employees to waive class and collective action procedures as a condition of employment is unenforceable, but issue will be resolved late this year by United States Supreme Court The issue of whether an employer can require, as a condition of employment, that an employee … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court to Resolve Dispute Over Enforceability of Class Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

  As followers of our blog know, we have been closely watching developments over the past few years involving the tension between the National Labor Relations Board and the courts concerning whether arbitration agreements that require employees to resolve most employment-related disputes in individual arbitration proceedings, and bar the use of class or collective action … Continue Reading

Momentum Continues Against Validity of Class and Collection Action Waivers – Delaware District Court Judge Refuses to Enforce Class Action Waiver

We have been closely monitoring the battle over the legality of class and collective action waivers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been steadfast in its position that such waivers run afoul of the NLRA.  The Fifth Circuit was the first Circuit Court to weigh in, consistently … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Widens Circuit Split on Enforceability of Class and Collective Action Waivers In Individual Employment Arbitration Agreements

Ninth Circuit joins Seventh Circuit in holding that class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act and therefore are unenforceable. The question is straightforward enough:  does an employer violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by requiring that employees sign an agreement to arbitrate any claims concerning their wages, … Continue Reading

Uber’s $100 Million Settlement Gets Wrecked

In a 35 page Order [PDF] issued on Thursday, August 18, Judge Edward M. Chen dealt a surprising blow in O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc.:  he denied preliminary approval for a $100 million settlement.  In no uncertain terms, Judge Chen said the current terms of the settlement are “not fair, adequate, and reasonable.”  In the … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Goes It Alone – Upholds NLRB Decision Holding That Class and Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Are Unlawful and Unenforceable

The court is the first federal appellate court to accept the NLRB’s position on the issue The long-running teeter-totter battle between National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) and employers regarding the lawfulness of class and collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements continues.  Joining the fray this week is the U.S. Court of Appeals … Continue Reading

Driving Uber Crazy: Worker Class Action Lawsuits Ramp Up

Since it was launched back in 2009, Uber Technologies, Inc. has been in the national spotlight for developing and implementing its revolutionary “ridesharing” mobile application. Uber continues to appear in headlines for a multitude of reasons, many of which are desirable, and at least one of which is not: getting sued by its workforce. Despite … Continue Reading

NLRB Not Waffling on Pre-employment Class-Action Waivers Despite Fifth Circuit Reversals

Nearly two years after Waffle House Inc. employee Carrie Harris filed an unfair labor practices charge, the Georgia-based breakfast chain was unable to butter up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Harris’ complaint alleged that Waffle House’s arbitration agreement that employees were required to execute as a condition of their employment violated the National Labor … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reiterates Preemptive Effect of Federal Arbitration Act

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again reinforced its interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act, ruling on December 14 that a California state law prohibiting class action waivers in arbitration agreements may not trump the Court’s earlier decision in favor of enforcement of arbitration agreements. In the four years since the Supreme Court’s decision in … Continue Reading

“It’s like déjà vu all over again” – Fifth Circuit Reverses NLRB, For The Second Time, Rejecting Unfair Labor Practice Finding on Class and Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

With the World Series getting underway, Yogi Berra’s famous quote seemed like the appropriate headline for our latest update in the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) D.R. Horton/Murphy Oil saga.  As we have discussed in previous blog entries, in 2012, the NLRB issued its decision in D.R. Horton, Inc., in which it held that an … Continue Reading

Unpaid Intern or Employee? Recent Decision Announces New Test for Intern Misclassification Cases

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Adopts New Test for Determining Whether Unpaid Interns Should Be Classified and Paid as Employees Unpaid internship programs have come under heightened scrutiny in recent years by the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and other regulatory agencies, as well been the subject of a number of high-profile lawsuits. … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Isolated Position on Class and Collective Action Waivers Takes Another Hit

Fifth Circuit Rejects NLRB’s En Banc Hearing Request, Setting Up Likely Denial of Enforcement in Murphy Oil, USA  In its 2012 decision in D.R. Horton, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that employers that require employees to agree to arbitrate employment-related claims, and to do so only on an individual basis, waiving the … Continue Reading

NLRB Says Employer’s $900,000 Private Settlement Is Insufficient to Escape Unfair Labor Practice Proceeding

Readers of our blog are well aware of the National Labor Relations Board’s position that agreements between employers and employees to resolve employment-related claims on an individual basis through binding arbitration, and which thereby waive or prohibit the bringing of such claims on a class or collective action basis, violate the guarantee in Section 7 … Continue Reading

Class Actions Threaten “On-Demand” Industry—Uber and Lyft in Glare of Unwelcome Spotlight

The explosion in the development of smartphone applications has allowed for all sorts of new businesses to pop up—personal shoppers (Instacart), restaurant delivery (GrubHub) and private chauffeurs (Uber and Lyft).  We, as consumers, now have instant access to goods and services we didn’t even know we needed.  This new boom has even earned its own … Continue Reading

United States Supreme Court Declines to Review California Supreme Court Decision Erecting Barriers Against Arbitrating Private Attorneys General Act Claims

On January 20, the United States Supreme Court denied a motion for certiorari filed by CLS Transportation which was appealing the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation, about which we blogged in June. While Iskanian generally vindicated employers’ right to enforce class action bans in arbitration agreements, the California Supreme Court distinguished … Continue Reading

Employees of New York City Strip Club Dance Off With $10M

On November 14, 2014, a New York federal judge awarded [pdf] over $10 million in back pay wages to about 2,000 current and former exotic dancers in a class action lawsuit brought against Rick’s Cabaret for unpaid wages from 2005-2012.  This recent order awarding damages to the dancers is a furtherance of the Court’s September … Continue Reading

$324.5 million is Not Enough

United States District Judge Lucy Koh, sitting in San Jose, refused to approve a $324.5 million settlement in a case pitting a class of engineers against high tech giants Adobe Systems, Apple, Google and Intel. The engineers’ claims in the case captioned, In re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, stem from a 2010 U.S. Department of … Continue Reading

US Appeals Court Says Collective Action Waiver in Separation Agreement Unenforceable As Improper Limit on FLSA Rights

As we’ve reported here and here, recent decisions from the US Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, and more recently, even the California Supreme Court (see here) have clarified that class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements, including those that waive employees’ right to bring a claim under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) … Continue Reading

US California Supreme Court Says Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Okay, but No Waiver of Private Attorneys General Act Claims

In a long-awaited decision that employers hoped would clarify the enforceability of arbitration agreements under California law, the California Supreme Court in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation [PDF] split on the two issues before it.  The California high court held that class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable but that waivers of claims under the … Continue Reading
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