Archives: Litigation

Subscribe to Litigation RSS Feed

Employment Litigation Impacted By U.S. Supreme Court Decision Reining In Successive Attempts at Class Litigation

In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538, that the timely filing of a class action complaint tolls the applicable statute of limitations for all persons encompassed by that complaint. The impact of that ruling was that potential class members did not have to intervene … Continue Reading

US DOL’s Voluntary Wage Underpayment Reporting Program – PAID – Now Underway

As we blogged earlier this year, in March 2018, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new program, referred to as PAID (or, Payroll Audit Independent Determination), under which employers may voluntarily apply for DOL assistance in resolving potential claims for wage underpayment under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  As previously … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Says No Overtime Pay for Auto Service Advisors

In a case of straightforward statutory interpretation, the U.S. Supreme Court held on April 2, 2018 in Encino Motorcars LLC v. Navarro that service advisors employed at car dealerships are exempt from the overtime pay requirement under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The dispute began in 2011, when service advisors employed by Encino Motorcars, … Continue Reading

NLRB Releases Slew of Advice Memoranda Providing Interpretative Guidance On Labor Issues (US)

During the first month and a half of 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) released a torrent of memoranda authored by its Division of Advice (“Advice”), a section of the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel.  As you may have read on our blog before, Advice memoranda are issued by the NLRB’s … Continue Reading

All the rage – should confidentiality agreements in harassment cases be allowed?

News out this week that a committee of MPs is to look into workplace harassment, and in particular the use of confidentiality wording in settlement agreements arising from harassment allegations. Critics allege, says the BBC New Online, that such clauses are “abused by employers and legal experts to cover up wrongdoing” and used to “buy … Continue Reading

The Japanese layoff that didn’t “fly”

As I wrote in this space last year, layoffs for economic circumstances exist under Japanese law, but are exceedingly difficult to achieve without constituting wrongful dismissal. One major international airline is learning this the hard way. Three years ago, the airline terminated three Japan-based employees in connection with the closing of its call center in … Continue Reading

Take time to understand Court Orders; do time for ignoring them

“The system will not work if people think they can ignore court orders and destroy evidence. Those who so can expect terms of imprisonment.”   Mr Dadi was an employee of OCS, an aviation cleaning contractor working at Heathrow for (amongst others) British Airways. OCS lost the British Airways contract to a competing firm Omni Serv … 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

Restrictive covenants clauses: consistency is the key

Restrictive covenants in employment contracts are a bit like lifejackets: it’s nice to have them there and you hope that they will fit you in an emergency but you would really prefer not to have to use them. That said, if the time comes and your employees are approached by a competitor in breach of … Continue Reading

UK Employment Appeal Tribunal confirms that statutory holiday pay should include voluntary overtime

One of the last remaining pieces in the jigsaw of what constitutes “normal pay” for the purpose of calculating statutory holiday pay was slotted into place by the Employment Appeal Tribunal on Monday when it confirmed that such calculations should include voluntary overtime. Willetts and Others v. Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council is a claim for … Continue Reading

Sow the wind, reap the hurricane for UK Government in Tribunal fee fiasco

There was a great deal of entirely unfair schadenfreude directed at the Government last month over its abject failure to justify the Employment Tribunal fees regime in front of the Supreme Court. After all, apart from the report of its own Justice Committee, the views of everyone else from both sides of industry and all … Continue Reading

Staying in tune with whistleblowing law – just what is “the public interest”?

Back in 2015 we reported on the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Chestertons, a ruling which struck fear into the hearts of employers everywhere by the ease with which it suggested that employees could bring their personal complaints into the whistleblowing arena just by referring to other people who might be similarly affected. In brief, … Continue Reading

Federal Court Overturns NLRB, Says Jimmy John’s Employees’ Disloyal Conduct Not Protected 

In a closely-watched case, on July 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit refused to enforce a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision in which the Board found MikLin Enterprises, Inc. (“MikLin”), owner of 10 Jimmy John’s franchises in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, violated the National Labor Relations Act … Continue Reading

Intentional Segregation By Race Is Not Enough to Trigger Title VII Liability, Says Seventh Circuit

In EEOC v. AutoZone, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) ruled that AutoZone did not violate the anti-segregation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), when it transferred Kevin Stuckey, an African American employee, from a store with … Continue Reading

Context or causation – the role of race in unfavourable treatment

Statutory construction can be a bit like nuclear fusion – you take an atom of something relatively ordinary and then subject it to such pressure that it explodes into a million flaming pieces and lays waste to your entire afternoon.   Employment Tribunals and Courts do the same to words, taking perfectly mundane sentences and phrases … Continue Reading

When perseverance does not pay – repeated attempts to settle leave would-be claimant out of time

Since 6 May 2014 it has been a pre-condition of starting most Employment Tribunal claims that the employee first refers the matter to Acas for early conciliation. If that process fails for any reason then Acas will issue an early conciliation (EC) certificate to that effect which is essentially a green light to issuing proceedings … Continue Reading

Justification of Redundancy Following Disability-Related Absence

If because of your disability you are absent from work and if because of that absence your employer discovers that it doesn’t actually need you, does your resulting redundancy arise from your disability?  This is important because Section 15 Equality Act 2010 says that if A treats B unfavourably “because of something arising in consequence … Continue Reading

Whose lie is it anyway? Not for employer to decide if whistleblowing disclosure is protected

For a whistleblower to benefit from the statutory protections, his disclosure must be protected, i.e., be (usually) about the breach of a legal obligation and reasonably believed by him to be true and in the public interest.  If he deliberately lies or makes his disclosure only to advance his own interests or prejudice somebody else’s, … Continue Reading

One Racial Slur May Be Sufficient To Create a Hostile Work Environment, Says Second Circuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held last week that a single racial slur might provide sufficient basis for a hostile work environment claim.  In the case, Daniel v. T&M Protection Resources, LLC,  Plaintiff Daniel, a black, gay man from the Caribbean, alleged he was harassed at work on the basis … Continue Reading

Treading the thin line between incompetence and discrimination

In a boost to the cause of inept line management everywhere, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held last month that it is not permissible to extrapolate without more from conduct which is unreasonable, incompetent and lackadaisical to that which is discriminatory. The point is not wholly new. Back in 1998 the then House of Lords heard … Continue Reading
LexBlog