General Business Labor & Employment Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

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News & Analysis as of

Hooli Needs New Lawyers on “Silicon Valley”

As is obvious from our many posts on the subject, we here at IP Legal Forum are big fans of the show “Silicon Valley.” That said, its season finale could have used more Jared Dunn (can we give him a spin-off already?), as...more

Enforcing Arbitration Agreements: The Choice of Procedural Law

The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) applies generally to most arbitration agreements, but parties can choose to have the procedural law of the place of arbitration apply instead. On many issues, there is no material difference...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

Tenth Circuit Affirms Lift Of Arbitration Stay For Failure To Pay Requisite Fees

In late May, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court decision to lift an arbitration stay for Plaintiff Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“Pre-Paid”) as Defendant Todd Cahill (“Cahill”) failed to pay his...more

Missouri Supreme Court “Calls an Audible,” Upholds Arbitration Agreement

In recent years, Missouri courts have seemed reluctant to enforce arbitration agreements entered into between employers and employees. But in a recent decision, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed that trend and compelled...more

Proposed FAR Amendments Create New Disclosure Obligations and Compliance Regime - The Complex Proposal Will Have High...

On May 28, 2015, the government proposed to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to mandate disclosure by government prime and subcontractors of violations of 15 categories of worker protection laws. The Department...more

Justices Pass on Second Opportunity to Resolve the California PAGA Divide in the Bridgestone Case

For a second time the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging a California Supreme Court holding that the state’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) could not be waived in a mandatory arbitration agreement....more

Supreme Court Denies Review of PAGA Waiver Case… Again

In a move that will undoubtedly frustrate California employers, the United States Supreme Court has denied review of Bridgestone Retail Operations v. Milton Brown, a California Supreme Court case which held that Private...more

NLRB Judge Finds Employment Contract’s Arbitration Clause Invalid Although No Explicit “Waiver” of Class Actions

Last week, a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Administrative Law Judge reiterated the agency’s position that employers who require the arbitration of grievances by employees on an individual basis violate the National...more

Ninth Circuit Again Clarifies that Arbitration Is Creature of Contract: Employee's Agreement to Abide by Company Manual Is...

The court’s opinion instructs that employee agreements to arbitrate may be obtained through written acknowledgments referencing company manuals. Arbitration remains a preferred forum for many employers, yet courts are...more

Knowingly or Not? When Does an Employee Agree to Arbitrate?

There was a time, not so long ago, when federal courts refused to enforce arbitration agreements in Title VII cases, rendering arbitration agreements in the employment context virtually meaningless. Then, in 1991, Congress...more

Spring Vacations: Which arguments are winning on appeals from arbitration so far in 2015?

Today I present a collection of recent state and federal appellate court decisions that vacate or un-vacate arbitration awards. The seven opinions below emphasize how difficult it is to prove that an arbitrator exceeded his...more

Ninth Circuit Reinforces that Arbitration Agreements Will be Enforced

Ashbey was employed from December 1996 until November 2010, when he was discharged. He started with Archstone as a service technician and was promoted to regional service manager. In 2009, Ashbey signed a document titled,...more

Surprise! You Get to Arbitrate! Massachusetts Courts Continue to Permit Third Parties to Enforce Arbitration Agreements

Two Massachusetts decisions—including one from the state’s highest court—applied the same standard regarding enforcement of an agreement to arbitrate. In each case, plaintiffs signed arbitration agreements with another...more

Federal Case Update| Mail and Carrier

Court Dashes Postmaster General’s Hopes That New Argument to Avoid Administrative Arbitration, Not Raised Below, Is Unwaivable Because It Goes to Subject-Matter Jurisdiction - Ruiz v. Donahoe - 2015 WL 1811810...more

NLRB Holds Firm on its View that Class/Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Violate the NLRA

Despite overwhelming judicial disapproval, the NLRB simply will not relent in its view that mandatory arbitration agreements containing class/collective action waivers violate the National Labor Relations Act....more

California Court Allows Employee to Disaffirm Arbitration Agreement Due to Age

We thought we'd heard everything! This is a new one, that's for sure. It's no secret that employees try to wiggle out of arbitration agreements all of the time. There are the usual digs: the agreement was buried in the middle...more

NLRB Sticks To D.R. Horton

Recently in Chesapeake Energy Corp., 362 NLRB No. 80 (Apr. 30, 2015), the NLRB held fast to its ruling in D.R. Horton, Inc., 357 NLRB No. 184 (2012). The employer required its employees to sign an arbitration agreement as a...more

California Employer Successful in Arbitration Policy Dispute

Serafin v. Balco Properties Ltd., LLC, No. A141358 (March 16, 2015): The California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District recently upheld an arbitration award in favor of an employer despite the employee’s...more

California Court Finds Arbitration Agreement Did Not Unlawfully Limit Judicial Review

Valdez v. Santa Lucia Preserve Co., No. H040685 (March 23, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District overturned a trial court’s ruling denying an employer’s motion to...more

Mediation Pilot Program Caps Year of OSC Enforcement Developments

On May 1, 2015, the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will launch a mediation pilot program. This program caps a year that has seen significant changes to the OSC’s approach to initiating and...more

ADR Is on the Rise in Employment Cases

While there is a long history of utilizing arbitration in the labor union context, the majority of employment disputes have historically been litigated in federal court. Federal courts tend to be more formal than state...more

Decisions Raise Bar on Waiver of Arbitration Agreements Under Texas Law

While employers may enter into arbitration agreements with employees relatively easily, ensuring the enforcement of arbitration agreements can be a different matter. For this reason, employers are rightfully cautious to avoid...more

Sixth Circuit Decision Refusing to Enforce Collective Action Waiver Included in Separation Agreement Remains Intact; Supreme Court...

This week, the Supreme Court disappointed many employers by declining to determine whether the Fair Labor Standards Act does or does not provide employees with a non-waivable substantive right to bring a collective action. ...more

A Court Abandons Horton

In February 2013, we reported on a federal court in Idaho that followed the NLRB’s D.R. Horton decision and ruled that agreements to arbitrate all claims solely on an individual basis were unenforceable. Here’s the rest of...more

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