General Business Labor & Employment Civil Procedure

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Absolute Priority Remains Absolute – US Supreme Court Holds Structured Dismissals Cannot Violate Priority Rules

In a highly anticipated bankruptcy opinion, the United States Supreme Court, in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., held that courts may not approve structured dismissals providing for distributions that deviate from the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Passes On Opportunity To Address Scope of Dodd-Frank “Whistleblower” Provision

On Monday, March 20, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC. (No. 16-946), thereby declining an opportunity to resolve a conflict amongst circuit...more

Supreme Court Gives WARN-ing To Companies In Bankruptcy: Don’t Ignore Wage Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court held today in a 6 to 2 decision that “structured dismissals” resolving Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings cannot deviate from the Bankruptcy Code’s priority scheme without the consent of the affected...more

Employers Closely Follow Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing as He May Cast Deciding Vote on Validity of Class Action Waivers

March 22, 2017 marks the third day of the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Many employers throughout the Carolinas are watching the process with interest given the impact Judge Gorsuch would...more

If You Checked The Box, You’re Bound By The Contract

A recent decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the well-established legal maxim that “when a party enters into a signed, written contract, that party is presumed to understand and assent to its terms.”...more

Ninth Circuit Enforces Arbitration Agreement's Class Action Ban, but Only After Severance of PAGA Ban

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently overruled a lower court’s decision refusing to enforce an arbitration agreement, holding that the dispute resolution provision of the agreement was valid and...more

Lack of Comma Means That Breaking Up Overtime Pay is Hard to Do: Litigation Trends

Breaking up is hard to do - Not since Neil Sadaka’s classic song has a “comma” meant so much. A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers has come down to punctuation and the lack of an Oxford comma has...more

Supreme Court Decision On Arbitration Clauses Could Significantly Reduce Employer Exposure to Class Claims

Savvy employers always need to be on the look-out for ways to mitigate the ever-growing risks posed by increasingly burdensome state and federal employment laws. Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will have the chance to...more

Arbitrating PAGA Representative Actions: Federal and State Courts Begin to Part Ways

Seyfarth Synopsis: Three decisions issued earlier this month reveal an increasing tension between the Ninth Circuit and California appellate courts on whether representative PAGA actions can be arbitrated. As a result,...more

It’s Smooth Sailing for a Shipping Company After Ninth Circuit Arbitration Victory

Last month, the Ninth Circuit issued a notable opinion addressing the enforceability of arbitration agreements in Poublon v. C.H. Robinson Co., 846 F.3d 1251 (9th Cir. 2017), mandate issued (Feb. 24, 2017). In Poublon, the...more

Arbitrating PAGA Claims: The Ninth Circuit Compels It in the Valdez Case

So much case law has come down in the past several years regarding California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) – and its ability to withstand class and representative action waivers – that observers might have...more

Five Wage and Hour Questions: What’s “In Store” For 2017?

Seyfarth Synopsis: With the new administration and new year well underway, retail employers may be wondering what’s next for likely litigation and legislation impacting their business. Below are thoughts about five questions...more

Vavra Decision Highlights Avenues for Potential Anti-Kickback Act Liability

On February 3, 2017, the Fifth Circuit decided US ex rel Vavra v. Kellogg Brown & Root, No. 15-41623, 2017 WL 473873 (5th Cir. 2017), determining that defendant KBR could be held vicariously liable under the enhanced penalty...more

CASE ALERT: 8th Circuit Rules Against Anheuser-Busch Plan Finding That ERISA-Plan Language Must Be Interpreted According to its...

Case: Knowlton, et al. v. Anheuser-Busch Companies Pension Plan — Eighth Circuit Issue Presented: Whether a plan administrator’s interpretation of ERISA-subject plan language that resulted in a denial of pension...more

February 2017 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

Four of the eight court cases we report on below in our February 2017 monthly update of IC misclassification cases involve Uber, and each of those cases were victories for the ride-sharing, on-demand company. Although none of...more

California District Court Addresses Whistleblower’s Self-Help

In Erhart v. BofI Holding, Inc., Case No. 15-cv-02287, (S.D. Cal. Feb. 14, 2017), a bank’s internal auditor reported alleged misconduct to federal agencies, engaged in self-help discovery by appropriating the bank’s...more

Alberta Law Clarified on Scope of Good Faith in Contract and Incentive Pay Eligibility

Styles v. Alberta Investment Management Corporation, 2017 ABCA 1 (Styles) was the first decision rendered by the Court of Appeal of Alberta in 2017, and contains some noteworthy ramifications for employers. This case dealt...more

The Other Shoe Drops (sort of): The Third Circuit Issues a Ruling on Class Arbitrability

In 2010, two employees filed a claim against their former employer, Robert Half International, Inc., alleging that it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In addition to individual claims, the plaintiffs brought a...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses District Court Decision On Unconscionability Of Dispute Resolution Agreement, Severs Problematic Provisions

The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s finding that a dispute resolution provision (“the Provision”) of an employment agreement was substantively and procedurally unconscionable, upholding the provision as not tainted...more

In Georgia, the Blue-Pencil Only Strikes Overly Broad Non-Competes and Does Not Rewrite Them

In Spring 2011, the Georgia legislature passed a new restrictive covenant statute, which, for the first time, allowed Georgia courts in reviewing non-competition agreements between employer and employee to blue-pencil or...more

Court Allows Retired President to Pursue Claim of Contract for Lifetime Pay and Benefits Against University

On February 7, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky ordered that the former President of the University of the Cumberlands, Dr. James Taylor, may proceed on his claims that the University failed...more

South Carolina court says 'NO' to employee's claims against Boeing

Employees and their counsel have been very aggressive in attempting to couch employment claims as state-law matters and filing claims in state court instead of federal court to try to avoid the federal judiciary. For various...more

The Funny Guy Case is No Laughing Matter: Virginia Supreme Court Applies Res Judicata in Rejecting Contract Claim

The Supreme Court of Virginia recently issued an opinion applying the principles of res judicata to affirm the dismissal of a contract claim.  In The Funny Guy, LLC v. Lecego, LLC, No. 160242 (Feb. 16, 2017), the plaintiff...more

Is This The Definitive Word on Termination Provisions/Consideration?

A series of Ontario cases dating back to 2012 has put into issue the question of what does, or doesn’t, make a termination provision enforceable.  After a number of recent employer-friendly decisions, the Ontario Court of...more

Bank Whistleblower Suits Highlight Limits of Employee Confidentiality Agreements

Employers increasingly face the difficult scenario of employees who misappropriate company data in the pursuit of whistleblower claims alleging misconduct by the employer. Such cases can present a complex mix of regulatory,...more

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