Civil Procedure Labor & Employment Conflict of Laws

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Ex-General Counsel Dodged Privilege Claims Before $14.5 Million Verdict

In our last post, we detailed how Sanford Wadler, the former general counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories, won a $14.5 million verdict against Bio-Rad. Before Wadler could get to a jury, however, he had to surmount a...more

Of Employees and Independent Contractors: The Ninth Circuit to Consider Where Truck Drivers Fall

On February 24, 2017, Senior U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick in the district of Arizona stayed a proposed class action in Virginia Van Dusen et al v. Swift Transportation Co., Inc. et al, No.: 2:10-cv-00899, against Swift...more

The St. Louis Minimum Wage: City’s Press Release Raises More Questions Than it Answers

In our recent blog post, “The St. Louis Minimum Wage Returns From the Dead,” we reviewed the implications of the Supreme Court of Missouri’s Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis (No. SC95401) decision, which...more

Texas High Court Allows Employee to Pursue Assault Claim Against Employer for Tortious Acts of “Vice Principal”

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a decision that is sure to increase the costs and complexity of litigation, the Texas Supreme Court recently held that a former employee’s common law assault claim was not preempted by the state’s...more

Texas Workplace Sexual Assaults May Not be Treated as Sexual Harassment

In Texas, some victims of workplace sexual assault may pursue common law assault claims against their employers, following a recent Supreme Court of Texas ruling. B.C. v. Steak N Shake Ops., Inc., — S.W.3d —, Case No. 15-0404...more

The Ninth Circuit Reiterates State Law Applies to Non-Preempted Claims under the Labor Management Relations Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”) recently provided much needed clarification of the standard for when a unionized employee’s claim may be preempted under § 301 of the Labor Management...more

Waiting for Gorsuch: SCOTUS Kicks Important Class-Action Waiver Case to Next Term

Last week, the United States Supreme Court informed litigants in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that it is pushing the case to its October 2017 term. The lawsuit, which rose up through the Western District of Wisconsin and the...more

Is Same-Sex Discrimination Considered “Sex Discrimination” Under Title VII? 

The Supreme Court made clear in 2015 that same-sex marriage is legal across the nation. However, two years later, we still are not clear whether a person’s sexual orientation is protected under Title VII’s “sex...more

Married, but Without Benefits: The Obergefell Saga Continues in Texas

Same-sex couples can legally marry, but are they legally entitled to benefits? The Supreme Court of Texas will decide this issue after hearing oral arguments in March of 2017 in Pidgeon v. Turner. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Fate of Class-Action Waivers

As many employers may remember, on August, 22, 2016, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that class-action waivers in mandatory employee arbitration agreements were unlawful, holding...more

Supreme Court Agrees To Wade Into Class Waiver Conflict

In a widely expected move, the U.S. Supreme Court just agreed to settle a dispute about whether employers can use mandatory class action waivers with their workers. The decision, which should be issued by June 2017, will...more

United States Supreme Court Agrees to Review Class Action Waiver Cases

Earlier today, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Case No. 16-307, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Case No. 16-285 and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, Case No....more

Supreme Court Justices (presumably 9 of them) Will Again Address Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Clauses

Last Friday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear cases from the 9th, 7th, and 5th Circuits in which the courts are split on the issue whether class action waivers in employee arbitration agreements violate Section 7 of the...more

Federal Court Strikes Down Lincolnshire’s “Right to Work” Ordinance

Recently, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held that the Village of Lincolnshire’s municipal ordinance regulating union activities was invalid under federal law. The ruling is a defeat for...more

Despite Privilege, GC May Pursue Whistleblower Retaliation Suit under SOX and Dodd–Frank

California’s USDC–ND ruled that Bio-Rad Laboratories’ former General Counsel may use privileged communications to prove his retaliatory-discharge case prosecuted under Sarbanes–Oxley and Dodd–Frank’s whistleblower...more

Massachusetts SJC Strikes a Blow to Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently held that the FAAAA preempts the second prong of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute as applied to certain delivery drivers. Although the...more

Preemption by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet: The Exemption for “Pervasive and Intricate Regulation” by Another Field of Law

Courts often opine on the relationship between N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 and other bodies of law. In a recent case, a federal court announced a rare holding of that type: a holding that another body of law regulates an area so...more

Oregon State Court of Appeals Recognizes Federal Slayer Law

Oregon, like many states, has on its books a “slayer statute,” which generally prohibits a slayer or abuser of a decedent from obtaining benefits by virtue of the death of the decedent. The parents of Julianne Herinckx...more

FAQ About California’s New Law on Venue and Choice of Law in Employment Agreements

We recently blogged about Governor Brown signing S.B. 1241, which is now codified as Section 925 of the California Labor Code. The law, which affects venue and choice of law provisions in agreements entered into as a...more

Broadening Split on Viability of Class Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements Invites SCOTUS

In the years following the U.S. Supreme Court’s AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion decision, more and more courts enforced class waivers in arbitration agreements based on the commands of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The...more

Ninth Circuit Invalidates Class Action Waivers in Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

At the end of 2015, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed AB 465, which would have banned mandatory arbitration agreements in the employment setting, including arbitration agreements with class action waivers. As many employers know,...more

Class Actions Back from Verge of Extinction

Back in 2011 it looked like class actions would join the mastodon, the dodo bird and other extinct species. In AT&T v. Mobility v. Concepcion, Justice Scalia and the conservative majority held that the Federal Arbitration...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

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

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