Civil Procedure Labor & Employment Civil Remedies

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No Waiver Of PAGA Representative Claims (Yet)

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in connection with the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angleles, LLC. Had the Court heard the Iskanian case, it was expected to...more

Employee Who Was Sued By Former Employer Collects $271,000 From Employer

PCGH sued its former employee, Thomas Keck, to collect on an unpaid promissory note. Keck defended against the action by claiming that any money he owed PCGH was offset by monies PCGH owed him for unpaid bonus and severance...more

Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Retaliation Policies Save Employer from $3.5 Million Punitive Damages Award

On January 7, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico issued an opinion overturning a jury’s $3.5 million punitive damages award for retaliation claims brought under Title VII and Puerto Rico law,...more

$300,000 In Punitive Damages Upheld In Sexual Harassment Case Despite Nominal Damages Award

Angela Aguilar who worked in a copper mine for approximately 11 months claimed she was sexually harassed, retaliated against, subjected to intentional infliction of emotional distress and was constructively terminated from...more

Michigan Protects Employers from Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims

On January 1, a new Michigan law took effect to protect companies that hire ex-offenders who go on to cause damage or injury during the course of their employment. Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas recently passed...more

$6.5 Million Class Action Settlement Imparts Four Lessons for Companies Seeking to Minimize Independent Contractor...

A $6.5 million settlement between Lowe’s Home Centers and a class of its home improvement contractors was approved by a federal court judge in California earlier this week. The contractors claim that they had been...more

California Employment Law Notes - January 2015

$300,000 In Punitive Damages Upheld In Sexual Harassment Case Despite Nominal Damages Award - State of Arizona v. ASARCO LLC, 2014 WL 6918577 (9th Cir. 2014) (en banc). Angela Aguilar who worked in a copper mine...more

Employers Finally Get a Break—Court Reverses $90 Million Verdict and Holds That Employers Are Not Required to Relieve Employees of...

On December 31, 2014, the Court of Appeal for the Second District of California held in an unpublished opinion that employers are not required to relieve employees of all duty during rest periods mandated by California state...more

Carolina Metal Finishing Will Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC Racial Harassment Lawsuit

Bishopville Plant Subjected African-American Employee to Racial Abuse and Fired Him for Complaining, Federal Agency Charged - COLUMBIA, S.C. - Carolina Metal Finishing, LLC, a Bishopville, S.C. based metal finishing...more

Interns’ Class Action Carries Multimillion Dollar Price Tag

Late last spring I posted on this blog about the pitfalls for employers of unpaid internships, often offered to young people during the summer months, or to students or recent college graduates as “pre-entry-level” positions....more

Braun v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc: Opening the Door to Class Actions?

In Braun v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a $187 million jury verdict in favor of class action plaintiffs. The rationale of the ruling raises the concern that Pennsylvania state courts may...more

Construction And Engineering Briefing - December 2014: Holiday Pay - Counting The Cost This Christmas

It's that time of year again. The decorations are out, Christmas parties are in full swing and the construction industry is gearing up for its annual shut down period. With the holiday season fast approaching, employers will...more

Ninth Circuit Finds State Trespass and Nuisance Laws Not Preempted by Secondary Boycott Law

In a recent decision involving the interplay between California law and federal labor law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that state trespass and nuisance laws are not preempted by the federal secondary...more

Fifth Circuit upholds “seamen” exemption and dismisses “day-rate” FLSA collective action suit.

A wave of FLSA collective (class) actions have been filed against scores of marine shipping and towing companies in the Gulf States for violation of the FLSA. Specifically, these suits claim that the commonly used “day-rate”...more

ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

Flash No. 44 - 2014 … A Year In Review

2014 was uncomfortably fast. When did you last write 2013 on a check or a letter by mistake? If you did, rest assured that you are not alone. So, while we still have a few weeks before we have to face the start of a new year...more

Government action on holiday pay claims

BIS has announced this afternoon that a statutory instrument is being laid before Parliament to limit back pay in holiday pay claims to a maximum of two years. ...more

Can Offensive Personal Tweets Justify Dismissal?

Most of the case law in the UK on dismissals related to employees' social media activity has been at employment tribunal level and therefore the recent decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) in Game Retail v Laws...more

Minor League Baseball Players Take a Swing at MLB in Antitrust Suit

Several minor league baseball players have filed an antitrust class action against Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB and its teams operate as a cartel to impose restrictive contracts on minor league players. The suit,...more

Ninth Circuit Breathes Life Into Participant’s Claim for Surcharge

A panel of the Ninth Circuit withdrew its earlier opinion and has now joined other circuits in finding that the equitable remedy of surcharge is available for participants seeking recovery of personal losses as opposed to...more

Clear Sailing Ahead For Class Counsel in California Settlement

In Laffitte v. Robert Half International, Inc., No. BC321317, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Oct. 29, 2014; pub. ord. Nov. 21, 2014), the California Court of Appeal affirmed a $19,000,000 settlement that included an attorneys’ fee...more

Changes Coming To Colorado Discrimination Claims

On January 1, 2015, changes to Colorado’s employment anti-discrimination statute will go into effect, drastically impacting employers facing employment discrimination claims. The changes will significantly expand the remedies...more

Court Rejects Manifest Disregard Of Law Claim

A district court in Pennsylvania has denied a motion to vacate a prior arbitration award based on the arbitrator’s alleged manifest disregard of the law, and instead granted a motion to confirm the award in a case arising out...more

Fabricating Evidence and Losing Arbitration

Seagate Tech., LLC v. W. Digital Corp - Addressing an issue of whether an arbitrator inappropriately sanctioned a party that had been found to have fabricated evidence and whether the arbitrator refused to consider...more

Autozone's Predicament: A $185 Million Punitive Damage Award

The record $185 million punitive damage award by a California jury in November 2014 against AutoZone has been widely reported. This huge verdict raises immediate questions: How did this happen? What circumstances led the jury...more

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