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Tag Archives: employment

Yes, you really did settle all your claims when you said you did: Ninth Circuit dismisses appeal of class certification denial by plaintiff who accepted Rule 68 offer

Posted in Employment, Motions Practice

A plaintiff hopes to represent a class to pursue two sets of wage-and-hour claims but runs into headwinds in the district court.  First, one set of claims disappears because his legal theory doesn’t withstand a motion to dismiss.  Then class certification is denied on what was left.  After that, the defendant— invoking Rule 68 of… Continue Reading

California Court Says No Need To Resolve Disputes Over Substantive Law In Evaluating Whether Class Can Be Certified

Posted in Class Certification, Commonality, Employment, Predominance

Suppose that you’re a trial court considering a motion for class certification.  And suppose that the parties present you with two competing statutory interpretations.  One legal standard permits the case to be adjudicated with common evidence.  And the other standard would require  individualized inquiries.  What should you do?  Should you decide what the law is… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Rejects Exceptionally Poor Sampling Method, But Leaves Open Many Questions About Sampling And Class Certification

Posted in Class Certification

In Duran v. U.S. Bank N.A. (pdf), the California Supreme Court recently addressed an important question in the context of state-court class actions: Can plaintiffs invoke statistical sampling in an attempt to prove class-wide liability and overcome the presence of individual questions that ordinarily would defeat class certification? The court’s answer to that question is a… Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Fair Labor Standards Act Requires Compensating Employees for End-of-Shift Security Screenings

Posted in Employment, U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court makes its biggest headlines when it wades into the biggest issues of the day. But the Supreme Court also maintains a substantial docket of seemingly small—but ultimately important—technical questions. In recent years, the Court has been particularly interested in defining precisely when an hourly employee is on and off the clock. For… Continue Reading

Do Employers Have To Pay Unionized Workers For Time Spent Donning and Doffing Safety Gear? Supreme Court Says No.

Posted in Employment, U.S. Supreme Court

In recent years, one of the hottest types of collective actions against employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is what is commonly called a “donning and doffing claim”—a lawsuit for unpaid wages for time employees spent changing clothes for work, such as putting on uniforms, safety gear, and the like. In a recent… Continue Reading

Recent Appellate Decisions Underscore That Wage and Hour Class Actions are Alive and Well in California Despite Brinker

Posted in Class Certification, Employment

Some observers of California wage-and-hour class actions contended that the Brinker v. Superior Court—a key decision we have discussed in the past—had sounded the death knell for class certification in those cases. of California wage and hour class actions. Not so fast, according to the California Courts of Appeal, which have, in four published opinions,… Continue Reading

The Fate of Hollywood Internship Programs May Rest With the Second Circuit

Posted in Employment, Predominance

Former interns used to get revenge against their employers by writing tell-all blog posts and memoirs. Now, they’re lending their names to plaintiffs’ lawyers, who then file wage-and-hour class or collective actions alleging that interns must be paid like hourly employees. The unpaid internship is among the hottest areas in wage-and-hour litigation. Two of the… Continue Reading

How to Draft Fair and Enforceable Consumer and Employee Arbitration Agreements

Posted in Arbitration

We frequently help companies address how to manage dispute resolution with their customers and employees—and in particular, how to make use of arbitration as a fair alternative to litigation in court (including class actions).  As a result, we have a great deal of experience with drafting new arbitration agreements and helping companies fine-tune their existing… Continue Reading

Court Allows Employer Discovery Into Whether EEOC Actually Investigated Before Filing Discrimination Suit

Posted in Employment

A quick tip to employers facing class actions brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—don’t forget about the EEOC’s statutory duty to investigate the claim before filing suit. Before the EEOC may file a lawsuit, an employee must have made a timely charge of discrimination of which the EEOC timely notified the employer and… Continue Reading

U.S. Seeks Supreme Court Review of Noel Canning v. NLRB in an Effort to Rehabilitate Recess Appointments to NLRB (and CFPB)

Posted in Employment, U.S. Supreme Court

We’ve previously written about the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Noel Canning v. NLRB, which held that President Obama’s three recess appointments in 2012 to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are unconstitutional. The Solicitor General has just filed a petition for certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to review the D.C. Circuit’s decision. The Obama administration’s… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds that Plaintiff Whose Individual Claims Were Mooted by an Offer of Judgment Lacks Standing to Maintain FLSA Collective Action

Posted in Employment, U.S. Supreme Court

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) permits an employee to file a “collective action” for damages against an employer individually and on behalf of other “similarly situated” employees who later choose to join the lawsuit. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). In Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, before any other employee had opted to join… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Reverses Denial Of Individual Arbitration In Title VII Class Action

Posted in Arbitration, Employment

Since Concepcion, the plaintiffs’ bar has been exhorting courts to recognize exceptions to its holding that courts may not refuse to enforce an arbitration agreement on the ground that it precludes class actions.  In the employment context, the plaintiffs’ bar thought that it had a winner with Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs,  in which a magistrate… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Grants Review In Employment Arbitration Case

Posted in Arbitration, Employment

The California Supreme Court granted review last week in Franco v. Arakelian Enterprises Inc., No. S207660, in which the California Court of Appeal had refused to enforce an agreement to arbitrate on an individual basis in the context of a wage-and-hour class action. For more on Franco, please see our prior post. The California Supreme… Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit: A “Shapeless, Free-Wheeling” Trial Plan Is Grounds for Decertifying Class

Posted in Class Certification, Employment, Predominance, Rule 23(b)(2), Superiority

The Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Espenscheid v. DirectSat USA, LLC—authored by Judge Posner—is full of good news for employers and other class-action defendants. The case is a hybrid collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (pdf) and opt-out Rule 23(b)(3) class action asserting state-law wage-and-hour claims. The plaintiffs—a group of home satellite-dish installers who… Continue Reading

How Much Discovery From Opt-Ins in FLSA Collective Actions Should Businesses Seek?

Posted in Class Certification, Employment, Motions Practice

A recent federal court decision has addressed the knotty issue of a defendant’s right to discovery in an FLSA collective action from the individuals who opt into the class after it is conditionally certified but before the court decides whether to grant final certification. The case, Scott v. Bimbo Bakeries, USA, Inc. (pdf), No. 10-3154 (E.D…. Continue Reading

Brinker’s Impact on Certification of Meal-Break Class Actions in California

Posted in Class Certification, Employment, Predominance

Class actions alleging that employers’ meal-break policies violate California law have long been a favorite of the plaintiffs’ bar.  Earlier this year, however, the California Supreme Court handed employers a victory in Brinker Restaurant Corp v. Superior Court, 53 Cal. 4th 1004 (Cal. 2012), holding that the obligation under the California Labor Code to provide… Continue Reading

California Court Of Appeal Strikes Down Arbitration Agreement In Wage-And-Hour Class Action Despite Concepcion

Posted in Arbitration, Employment

A California appellate court weighed in last week with another effort to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion. In Franco v. Arakelian Enterprises, Inc. (pdf), a panel of the Court of Appeal in Los Angeles affirmed an order refusing to enforce an employee’s agreement to arbitrate disputes with his… Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Time Entry Rounding in Wage and Hour Class Action

Posted in Employment

Many employers, especially in California, are targeted by wage and hour class actions.   A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal may provide employers with some much-needed relief (and certainty) about a common practice: rounding time clock entries. Both the U.S. Department of Labor and California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement permit employers to… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Grants Review In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation; Will Address Enforceability of Employee Arbitration Agreements After Concepcion

Posted in Arbitration

For years, the California Supreme Court was one of the strongest forces against arbitration in the country. A disproportionate number of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions addressing preemption under the Federal Arbitration Act have reversed decisions of the California state courts or of federal courts applying California law. A recent pro-arbitration decision (Pinnacle Museum Tower… Continue Reading