Greg Mersol

Greg Mersol

BakerHostetler

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Second Circuit Finds Auditors Exempt and Endorses Limits on Class Discovery

While the number of class or collective action lawsuits has exploded, decisions from Circuit Courts of Appeal, particularly on procedural issues, are still infrequent enough to warrant comment. In Pippins v. KPMG, Case No....more

7/29/2014 - Accountants Appeals Auditors Class Action Corporate Counsel Discovery Employer Liability Issues Exemptions FLSA KPMG

Arizona District Court Rejects Joint Employer Arguments in Independent Contractor Case Alleging Misclassification of Truck Drivers

A month ago we discussed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp., Case No. 12-56589 (9th Cir. June 16, 2014), in which the employer treated its delivery drivers as employees in everything but name,...more

7/21/2014 - Class Action Delivery Drivers Employee Definition Employer Liability Issues FLSA Independent Contractors Misclassification Over-Time Trucking Industry Unpaid Overtime

California District Court Rejects Shotgun Attacks on Arbitration Agreements

Alright, we all know in the wake of Italian Colors, Concepcion, and now many other cases that the presumption of arbitrability isn’t just a doctrine to recite in the manner of saying grace before invalidating an agreement,...more

7/15/2014 - American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Corporate Counsel

Interns Win One, Lose One, In Having Misclassification Cases Conditionally Certified In New York

There has been a great deal of coverage involving litigation by interns against various media and entertainment companies in New York. We won’t recount the many articles, blogs, and discussions about this issue. If you need a...more

6/18/2014 - DOL Employee Rights Internships Misclassification Unpaid Interns

First Circuit Rejects Equitable Tolling In Class Action Arising Out Of Plant Closing

A luggage plant in France closes in 2007, so a class action suit for French post-termination benefits is brought against a former investor in Massachusetts in late 2011? Former Justice Souter joins the majority in the First...more

6/18/2014 - Class Action Equitable Tolling Fraudulent Concealment Popular

Bankruptcy Court Dismisses Class Action DFR Complaint Involving Airline Merger

One deliberately ironic facet of the 2004 film Howard Hughes bio-pic The Aviator (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio) is the fact that the airlines fighting for world dominance in the 1940s were Howard Hughes’ TWA and Juan...more

6/13/2014 - Airlines American Airlines Chapter 11 Class Action Commercial Bankruptcy Duty of Fair Representation Motion to Dismiss Seniority Union Membership Unions

Ninth Circuit Narrowly Upholds Class Settlement In Misclassification Case

We’ve commented several times recently on the increasing scrutiny courts are giving to class action settlements generally, and to attorney fee awards in particular. A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit, although it...more

6/9/2014 - Attorney's Fees Class Action Equitable Relief Franchises Misclassification Settlement

California Supreme Court (!) Issues Strong Pro-Defense Wage and Hour Class Action Decision

“Depending on the nature of the claimed exemption and the facts of a particular case, a misclassification claim has the potential to raise numerous individual questions that may be difficult, or even impossible, to litigate...more

5/30/2014 - Class Action Employer Liability Issues Exemptions Misclassification Wage and Hour Wages

California District Court Rejects Class Action Settlement Due To Fee, Enhancement, and Other Issues

Do your homework before you seek approval of a class action settlement! Meals on airlines have all but disappeared for anyone other than those in first class, but the company Sky Chefs contends on its website that it...more

5/28/2014 - Airlines Attorney's Fees Class Action Fees Litigation Fees & Costs Penalty Enhancements Settlement

Eighth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment On Overtime Claims For Class of Tax Professionals

Relatively few FLSA cases are certified and then reach a court of appeals on the merits, but that recently happened before the Eight Circuit. In Petroski v. H&R Block Enterprises, LLC, Case No. 13-2076 (8th Cir. May 2, 2014),...more

5/23/2014 - Class Action Class Certification Employee Definition FLSA H&R Block Hiring & Firing Tax Preparers Training Wage and Hour

West Virginia District Court Refuses To Certify Fail Safe Class

It’s not uncommon to see putative classes pleaded in terms of the violation of a specific statute, such as “all managers misclassified as exempt by defendant” or “all persons harmed by defendant’s discriminatory policies.” In...more

5/16/2014

Florida District Court Rejects ERISA Claims Premised on Alleged FLSA Violations

Plaintiffs in most class and collective actions try to plead their claims in such a way as to exert the maximum pressure against the employer. In some instances, that raises the issue of whether the plaintiff should assert...more

5/9/2014 - Employer Liability Issues ERISA FLSA Human Resources Professionals Lowes Misclassification Recordkeeping Requirements Retirement Plan

Ninth Circuit Reverses District Court’s Refusal To Certify Age Discrimination Class

The most famous, if fictional, San Francisco police Inspector was, of course, Inspector Harry Callahan of the Dirty Harry succession of Clint Eastwood films. The first Dirty Harry movie came out in 1971when its star, known...more

5/8/2014 - ADEA Age Discrimination Class Action Class Certification Discrimination

California District Court Rejects Overtime Settlement Over $50,000 Incentive Awards

Large incentive awards continue to jeopardize class action settlements. We wrote on February 14 about recent cases in which Circuit Courts rejected settlements due to disproportionate incentive awards. A recent case from the...more

4/29/2014 - Class Action Incentive Awards Over-Time Settlement Unpaid Overtime

Tenth Circuit Criticizes District Court for Permitting “Death by Discovery” in Dispute over Arbitrability

The purpose of arbitration is to resolve disputes more quickly and inexpensively than litigation. It’s getting less difficult to enforce such agreements, but apparently some courts and parties have yet to get the message as a...more

4/28/2014 - Arbitration Agreements Contract Disputes Question of Fact

Eleventh Circuit Refuses to Enforce Post-Suit Arbitration Agreements Based upon Employer Misconduct

The British have a phrase “too clever by half” to describe complex schemes that ultimately won’t work. We all know from cases such as Concepcion, Stolt-Nielsen, Italian Colors, and their progeny that arbitration...more

4/7/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employer Liability Issues

Fourth Circuit Affirms Sanctions Against the EEOC In Action Fraught with Delays

Many employers who have dealt with the EEOC in large cases suffer frustration over inexplicable delays combined with at times unreasonable requests for information and/or relief. In a recent case from the Fourth Circuit, that...more

4/7/2014 - Attorney's Fees EEOC Sanctions

Sixth Circuit Holds That Duty To Arbitrate Survives Expiration of Employment Contract, Requires Individual Arbitration

With the Supreme Court having issued a series of decisions overruling many of the roadblocks to the enforcement of arbitration agreements in the class context, we are now seeing more courts fill in the gaps as to whether and...more

3/31/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employment Contract

Supreme Court Accepts Certiorari In Security Screening Case

We’ve written at least twice now on class actions arising out of time spent by employees going through security lines, primarily at the end of their shifts. The question is whether and when such time might be compensable...more

3/21/2014 - Employee Rights SCOTUS Security Wage and Hour

Massachusetts Court Refuses to Certify Case Involving Alleged Independent Contractor Misclassification

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently issued a case involving the straight-forward application of the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011),...more

3/19/2014 - Class Action Class Certification Commonality Dukes v Wal-Mart Independent Contractors Misclassification

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of RICO Claims

Is there a statute with a better acronym than RICO? The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, apart from its great acronym, has been both a great success and a tool for misuse. We don’t often see RICO...more

3/18/2014 - Class Action Corruption Dismissals Racketeering RICO Undocumented Immigrants Wages

Ninth Circuit “Chases” Away Another Option for Removing PAGA Actions to Federal Court

In yet another setback for employers seeking to remove California wage and hour cases to federal court, the Ninth Circuit held that the federal Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) provides federal courts with no basis to...more

3/17/2014 - CAFA Class Action Federal Jurisdiction Jurisdiction PAGA Removal

Washington (State) District Court Dismisses Putative ADA Class Action

As we’ve commented before, disability claims are particularly poor fodder for class actions. Unlike other protected traits, there are often threshold questions as to whether an individual is even in a protected class. Even in...more

3/7/2014 - ADA Class Action Disability Dismissals Putative Class Actions

New York District Court Dismisses Putative ERISA Class Alleging Illegal Kickbacks

Sometimes in the rush to meet Rule 23(a) and (b)’s requirements, what gets overlooked is whether there is any underlying claim in the first place. In a refreshing opinion, the Southern District of New York disposed of a...more

3/6/2014 - ERISA Kickbacks Morgan Stanley Putative Class Actions

Incentive Awards, Bounties, and Adequacy of Representation

A common feature of class action settlements, whether in employment actions or otherwise, is the payment of an incentive award to the named plaintiff. Such payments are frequently approved by courts, but have been criticized...more

2/17/2014 - CAFA Class Action Incentives Settlement

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