Labor & Employment Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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EEOC Officials Field Pointed Questions During Senate Committee Hearing

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's enforcement strategies and ligation history came under fire from Republican members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday. During the hearing...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

Sticking up for Their Rights: Employers Taking the Offensive

The traditional posture of California employers apprehensive about “gotcha” wage and hour claims is to hunker down and wait for the next lawsuit. But a few brave souls have taken the offensive. We celebrate two examples here....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

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Severance Agreement FLSA Collective Action Waiver Case

The Supreme Court has declined to grant review of a Sixth Circuit decision that cast significant doubt on the effectiveness of an employee’s waiver of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action rights. Last summer, the...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

Legislation Proposed to Ban Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

On April 29, 2015, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) introduced the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2015 (AFA), which would amend the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. (FAA), by...more

Supreme Court Gives Conciliatory Nod to the EEOC’s Duty of Conciliation

In a unanimous decision issued on April 29, 2015, the United States Supreme Court has unequivocally allowed judicial review of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC)’s pre-litigation conciliation efforts, but...more

Incorporation Of AAA Rules “Clearly And Unmistakably” Delegates Questions Of Arbitrability To Arbitrator

In a putative class action for denial of employment benefits brought by security contractors against their hiring firm, Blackwater Security Consulting, the court found that the governing agreements delegated the issue of...more

SCOTUS: EEOC Must Attempt Conciliation Before Filing Suit

On April 29, 2015, in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, the U.S. Supreme Court held that courts have authority to review whether the EEOC fulfilled its obligation under Title VII to attempt conciliation before filing suit....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

EEOC Required to "Conciliate"—However It Sees Fit—Before Suing Employers

In a limited victory for employers, the Supreme Court held last week in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC that courts have jurisdiction to review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") fulfilled its statutory...more

EEOC Has a Limited Duty to Conciliate, Supreme Court Rules

Before filing suit against an employer, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a duty to notify the employer of the claim and give the employer an opportunity to discuss the matter. But the EEOC has no duty to engage...more

Supreme Court’s Decision in Mach Mining Impacts Employers’ Approach to Conciliation with the EEOC

In a case that has implications for every employer and respondent on each charge in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) finds reasonable cause to support the allegations, the U.S. Supreme Court...more

Supreme Court Calls Out the EEOC for Arguing It Alone Can Determine Whether It Followed the Law

We suggested last year that if you felt paranoid that the federal agencies seemed out to get employers, perhaps it was not paranoia at all. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) spate of recent lawsuits — or at...more

Is the EEOC Rushing Your Company to Court? SCOTUS Says Not So Fast

The U. S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on April 29 that courts can review whether the EEOC has satisfied its obligation under Title VII to conciliate before running to court. Title VII dictates that when the EEOC believes...more

Unanimous Supreme Court Holds EEOC Must Conciliate

Title VII was passed with a strong bias toward voluntary, non-litigation methods of dispute resolution. Indeed, the statute requires that even when the EEOC has found probable cause, the Commission “shall endeavor to...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

City of Waterbury v. Connecticut Alliance of City Police — A New Standard of Impartiality for Arbitrators in Interest...

The Superior Court’s decision in City of Waterbury v. Connecticut Alliance of City Police, could mark the emergence of a new standard of impartiality for party-selected arbitrators in Municipal Employee Relations Act [“MERA”]...more

WDW Not the 'Happiest Place on Earth' for Some Disney Performers

When three Walt Disney World performers complained that their "Lion King" character costumes were too dirty to wear for their upcoming performance they were fired last summer, but an arbitrator has now ordered their...more

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