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Consultation on Employment Tribunal reform proposals – send for Judge Dredd

Last month saw the publication of the Government consultation document on reforming the Employment Tribunal system, a joint production between the Ministry of Justice and BEIS. For when the conversation falls into a flat spin at your next dinner party, here are the highlights, using the word at its most generous. In summary, the reforms … Continue Reading

“I do not like war. It is costly and the outcome uncertain”

So said Queen Elizabeth I in a very early glimpse into English Civil Court proceedings.  Should we therefore be heartened by a possible sign of things to come in the modern employment world, thanks to Lord Justice Briggs earlier this week? Addressing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on 26 September, Briggs LJ told of his … Continue Reading

Twenty-One States Join Forces to Oppose the FLSA’s New Overtime Rule

As most of you know, in May 2016 the Department of Labor (DOL) released its long-awaited Final Rule modernizing the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) white-collar exemptions to the overtime requirements of the FLSA.  See our rundown of the changes in our earlier post here. The new rule is scheduled to take effect December 1, … Continue Reading

Arizona Attorney General Intervenes in Serial Arizonans with Disabilities Act Cases

Arizona is just one of many states in which business owners – many of them, small business owners – are being inundated with lawsuits filed by disabled individuals or disability advocacy organizations alleging inaccessible public accommodations.  These serial litigants allege that the defendants have failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) or … 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

Beware the possible costs of rejecting a good offer in Australian Fair Work cases

The Fair Work jurisdiction in Australia is generally considered a ‘no costs’ jurisdiction, meaning that even if a party is successful in an action, it is usually unable to obtain a costs order against the loser. However in 2012 the Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 (Cth) widened the exceptions to the ‘no costs’ rule by … Continue Reading

Missing you already – Justice Committee torpedoes no-show Government review on Employment Tribunal fees

Those few of our readers who are inexplicably not committed followers of the House of Commons Justice Committee have missed a little cracker this week with the issue of its report on Court and Tribunal fees. As everyone in the business knows, the introduction of fees in 2013 knocked the bottom out of Employment Tribunal … Continue Reading

The German “Arbeitszeugnis” (reference): a sometimes dangerous mystery for non-German employers

Germany is considered a leading industrial nation in many areas of business and technology but when it comes to law and formal requirements it is still rather traditional. For entrepreneurs doing business in Germany for the first time this may come as a surprise. German legal practice still widely depends on original handwritten signatures and … 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

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Attorneys’ Fees In Title VII Cases

On December 4, the Supreme Court agreed to hear CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, a case which will have a significant impact on the availability of attorneys’ fees in cases brought by the EEOC, and perhaps more broadly.  The Court will consider whether attorneys’ fees may be awarded to a successful defendant when a court … Continue Reading

One small step for man in UK Tribunal fee debate – but was it worth going there at all?

Cast your mind back to a time before July 2013 when the perception was that businesses were regularly on the receiving end of Employment Tribunal claims from disgruntled employees and ex-employees. Times were good for lawyers and bad for employers, one might have said.  So sensing a win-win-win (bash lawyers, limit spurious claims against political … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Slams Department of Labor For Botched Investigation and Bad Faith Litigation Tactics

Court Orders DOL to Pay Employer’s Attorneys’ Fees in Agency’s Bungled Misclassification Prosecution Nearly 239 years after the Continental Congress declared a set of self-evident truths paving the way for a system of checks and balances, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals checked the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”), requiring it to … Continue Reading

Colorado Supreme Court Confirms Employers May Fire Employees for Medical Marijuana Use

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed an appeals court decision ruling that employers can lawfully fire employees for use of medical marijuana. Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic medical marijuana user and Colorado resident, sued his employer (Dish Network) for wrongful discharge after it fired him for testing positive for marijuana during a random … Continue Reading

Making legal advisers liable for your wasted costs – quite a privilege

Have you ever looked at the other side’s Schedule of Loss in a Tribunal case and wondered if he inhabits the same legal system you do? Employment Tribunals routinely require such Schedules to try to bring some order and boundaries to both sides’ financial thinking, but this does not always work.  Sometimes the compensation at … Continue Reading

When Judges strike back – UK Tribunal Sexual Misconduct Claimant exposes more than he intended

A particularly brutal little tale from the Employment Appeal Tribunal this month about what happens when you are sacked for deceiving your employer, bring an Employment Tribunal claim and then lie to the ET too. Mr G (not his real name, for reasons which will follow – his real name is Mr Roden, also for … 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

US Supreme Court Substantially Relaxes Requirements for Federal Agency Rulemaking

On March 9, the US Supreme Court issued a decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, 575 U.S. ___ (2015) that significantly relaxes the requirements for federal agencies making changes to rules interpreting the regulations they enforce.  The case stems from a 2010 Department of Labor “Administrator Interpretation” that reversed the Department’s position (articulated in … Continue Reading

EEOC Charge Filing in 2014: Number of Charges Down, Retaliation Claims Up

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released its annual statistical report  detailing charge filing activity in 2014.  The EEOC, the federal administrative agency which investigates and prosecutes claims of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under a number of employment and civil rights statutes, reported 88,778 charges filed in 2014, down from 93,727 charges filed … Continue Reading

UK Government proposals on Employment Tribunal practice suffer serious credibility gap

It wouldn’t happen in professional football. There you are as coach, carefully psyching up your team to a nerve-jangling peak of readiness in the dressing room when one of the match officials trots in to tell you that the other side would actually rather come back and do it in three months, if that’s OK … Continue Reading
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