Civil Procedure Labor & Employment

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West Coast—Time to Check Your Employment Agreements: Ninth Circuit Negates No-Class Action Clause in Arbitration Agreements

This week, the Ninth Circuit held that Ernst & Young’s (E&Y) arbitration agreement that prohibited its employees from filing class actions violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). E&Y required as a condition of...more

Divide Deepens Over Enforceability of Class Arbitration Waivers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (covering California and eight other western states) on Monday joined the Seventh Circuit, and disagreed with the Fifth Circuit, in rejecting a mandatory employment arbitration...more

Seventh Circuit Clarifies Evidentiary Standard for Employment Discrimination Claims

In Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clarified its standard for evaluating evidence in employment discrimination cases and rejected prior decisions to the extent they...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19496 - Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities v. Echo Hose Ambulance - The issue of this case was whether or not an unpaid volunteer, in this case for an ambulance...more

OCSLA Coverage for Land Injuries Has Limits

James Baker, Jr. v. Director, OWCP; Gulf Island Marine Fabricators, LLC, U.S. Fifth Circuit No. 15-60634 (August 19, 2016). In this case the Court of Appeals affirmed the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) determination that...more

Michigan Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act is Not Preempted by ERISA

The Sixth Circuit, has decided, on remand from the Supreme Court, that the Michigan Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act (Act) is not preempted by ERISA. The Act imposes a 1 percent tax on all paid claims by insurers or...more

ERISA Preempts State Law Requiring Insurer “Prompt Payment”

Alaska’s prompt pay statute—which requires insurers to pay benefit claims within 30 days of submission—is preempted by federal laws governing employer-provided benefits and benefits for government workers, a federal judge...more

And Now There Are Two: The Ninth Circuit Strikes Class Arbitration Waivers Joining the Seventh Circuit on Finding that these...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Ninth Circuit joined the Seventh Circuit and the NLRB in finding that mandatory arbitration agreements that require all claims to be brought by employees on an individual basis violate the NLRA. On...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Arbitration Provision Prohibiting Concerted Actions Violates the National Labor Relations Act and is...

In Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP (hereinafter “Morris”), the Ninth Circuit held that an arbitration provision prohibiting the filing of concerted actions, signed as a condition of employment, violated the National Labor...more

The NLRB Opens the Door to Union Organizing Among Teaching Assistants and Other Student Assistants at Private Colleges and...

In what will come as no surprise to even the most casual labor law observer, yesterday the National Labor Relations Board jettisoned established precedent and granted teaching assistants and other student assistants at...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Arbitration Agreement That Required Employees to Bring Claims in “Separate Proceedings” Illegal Under the NLRA

On August 22, 2016, in Morris et al. v. Ernst & Young, LLP, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit followed the lead of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the U.S Court of Appeals for the...more

Universities: Growing Concern With Explosion of Retirement Plan Fee-Related Lawsuits

In a concerning development for universities and other institutions of higher learning nationwide, a growing number of schools, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Yale University, Johns...more

Transgender Claim Meets Dress Code

The worlds of transgender versus religious rights collided hard recently when an EEOC action on behalf of a discharged transgender worker ran full force into a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) defense, and the EEOC...more

Minister or Not? Gay Bias Case Turns on Employee’s Role

Seyfarth Synopsis: A federal judge has allowed a discrimination lawsuit to proceed against the Archdiocese of Chicago. The plaintiff alleges that his engagement to another man resulted in his termination. The church sought...more

The Seventh Circuit Clarifies Evidentiary Standards in Employment Discrimination Cases

In Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., the Seventh Circuit stated in very clear terms that lower courts and parties to discrimination actions should not divide evidence into direct and circumstantial buckets under the familiar...more

Wisconsin Court Strikes Clause Restricting Solicitation of Employees

An engineer’s employment contract provision imposing a post-termination restriction against soliciting former co-workers to quit or to accept employment with a competitor, supplier, or customer is an unenforceable restraint...more

Windsor Inn Will Pay $200,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Restaurant Owner Harassed Female Employees, Federal Agency Said - BALTIMORE - A Baltimore restaurant, R.V. Associates Limited, doing business as Windsor Inn, will pay $200,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to...more

N.J. Supreme Court Rejects Defense of Federal Labor Law Preemption of CEPA Claim in Underlying Unpaid Wage Action

On August 16, 2016 the N.J. Supreme Court held, in a 6-0 opinion, that neither the federal Labor Management Relations Act nor the National Labor Relations Act preempts a claim under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act...more

Mandatory Class Waivers Struck Down By 9th Circuit

Employers received their most bruising loss in the ongoing war involving class action waivers today, as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals became the second federal circuit to strike them down as illegal. When the 7th Circuit...more

Ninth Circuit Invalidates Class Waiver in Arbitration Agreement

In a ruling that widens the divide between federal appellate courts, the Ninth Circuit sided today with the Seventh Circuit and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in holding that the class action waiver provision of...more

FLSA Conditional Certification Denied in NYS for 5,000 Home Care Workers

In a case with far reaching implications, Cowell v. Utopia Home Care, Inc., 2:14-cv-00736-LDW-SIL, Magistrate Judge Steven Locke of the Eastern District of New York (covering Brooklyn, Queens and Long island) ruled that...more

Ninth Circuit Strikes Class Arb Waivers

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in, today, on the propriety of class action arbitration waivers under the NLRA. The Court held that such waivers violate Sections 7 and 8 of the NLRA in the context of a pending...more

Ninth Circuit Finds That Removal of Action to Federal Court Does Not Waive Tribe's Sovereign Immunity

In a precedential opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently chose to follow the lead of the Eleventh Circuit, holding that tribes do not waive sovereign immunity merely by removing a case to federal court. This...more

Multiple Universities Sued Over 403(b) Retirement Plan Investment Fees

In the last several days, a number of large private universities have been sued regarding the investment fees in their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits claim that these universities breached their fiduciary duties under...more

Where Does a Third Party “Stand” on Liens?

Dion v. William Robert Batten, Sr. (8/2/16) Facts and Procedural History: Plaintiff was employed by Neuwirth as a servicing agent. In the course and scope of his employment with Neuwirth, he was involved in a car...more

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