Labor & Employment Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

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Common Sense Prevails: Arbitration Award OK’ing On-Duty Drug Usage Overturned

In the world of labor arbitration, common sense sometimes takes a holiday. Fortunately, a Superior Court judge recently overturned an arbitrator’s attempt at second guessing an employer’s response to serious misconduct...more

Arbitration Agreement With PAGA Waiver And Opt Out Provision Deemed Unenforceable

Last month, a California Court of Appeal invalidated an arbitration agreement for including a representative action waiver combined with a non-severability clause....more

Fenwick Employment Brief - March 2015

Recent Cases Provide Helpful Reminders Regarding Best Practices (and Pitfalls) with Employment Arbitration Clauses - Scrutiny of mandatory, pre-employment arbitration agreements continues before California state and...more

Circuit Courts Address Impact of Arbitration Agreements on Labor Class and Collective Actions

In Conners v. Gusano’s Chicago Style Pizzeria, plaintiffs, former employees of defendant, brought a collective action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Defendant responded by implementing a binding...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview - 3/15

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of Texas will hear argument in three cases. - No. 13-1026, Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams LLP v. Lopez - The Petitioner law firm seeks to enforce an arbitration...more

No punches thrown, but employee properly dismissed for yelling, swearing and abusive conduct

An employee need not physically assault a co-worker in order to be dismissed for workplace violence, an arbitrator’s decision shows. The employer had 8 “Golden Rules” of workplace health, safety and environmental...more

Eighth Circuit Finds Former Employees Lack Standing To Challenge Employer’s New Arbitration Policy

What’s one way to derail a potentially large collective action about Fair Labor Standards Act violations? To implement a new arbitration policy within days, thereby ensuring that your current employees cannot join the court...more

"Unconscionable" to Provide Arbitration Agreement to Dancers While "Mostly Naked"

Not surprisingly, a court has found that employers should probably not present (and potentially force execution of) important legal documents to employees while they are mostly naked. This shouldn't be too much of a stretch...more

The White House's So-Called "Black List" Order Aims to Deny Federal Contracting with Companies Not in Compliance with Federal...

In July 2014, President Obama issued an Executive Order dubbed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order that, once implemented, will allow the government to deny a company a contract if it or certain subcontractors violated –...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 191

In this Issue: - Georgia Federal Court Rejects Franchisees' Supply Chain Kickback Claims arbit - Court Holds Nonexclusive Forum Selection Provision Is Not Barred By The Minnesota Franchise Act - Courts...more

Court Rejects General Unconscionability Argument And Compels Arbitration

Late last year, a district court judge in Connecticut granted Defendant General Electric’s (“GE”) motion to compel arbitration based on Plaintiff’s signature to GE’s Acknowledgement Conditions of Employment Form. Ms. Pingel,...more

Opalinski v. Robert Half International, Inc. — A Footnote in a Prior Opinion Doesn’t Signal the Supreme Court’s Willingness to...

After reading the Supreme Court’s opinion in Oxford Health Plans, LLC v. Sutter, 133 S. Ct. 2064 (2013), some might have concluded that the Court was ready to resolve who determines the availability of class arbitration court...more

Tactics Kill Arb Agreement

In Roe v. SFBSC Management, LLC, No. 14-cv-03616 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2015), a federal district court in California rejected a night club’s attempt to compel arbitration by a class of performers who claimed they were...more

Disability Discrimination Claims Were Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Tony Nealy worked as a solid waste equipment operator for the City of Santa Monica before injuring his knee in July 2003 while moving a large bin full of food waste. Nealy was temporarily totally disabled due to the injury...more

Employee Who Was Working Elsewhere During Medical Leave Of Absence Was Properly Terminated

Avery Richey worked for Power Toyota Cerritos, part of the AutoNation consortium of automobile dealerships, for approximately four years before allegedly injuring his back while moving furniture at his home. Following the...more

Forced Arbitration Pervades Contractual Agreements, Binding Consumers

Margaret Jane Radin, author of Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law, is of the point of view that the American court system is “allowing contract to gobble up tort.” In other words, the 37-year...more

NLRB Tightens Arbitration Deferral Standards

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) has long limited its involvement in disputes between employers and unions concerning labor agreements that provide for binding arbitration where the disputes involve...more

Arbitration Agreements Can Backfire on Employers

It is no secret that arbitration agreements may greatly reduce the risks that many employers face in disputes with employees. For example, when used correctly, such agreements can curb exposure to class actions by forcing...more

California Court Rules on Whether to Compel Arbitration Where Employer Could Not Authenticate Employee’s Electronic Signature

Ruiz v. Moss Bros. Auto Group., Inc., No.E057529 (December 23, 2014): Challenges to the validity and enforcement of arbitration agreements continue to be a hotly litigated area of California wage and hour law, specifically...more

Why The Arbitration Award Against Adrian Peterson Was Vacated

A federal judge in Minnesota today vacated the arbitration award that confirmed the NFL’s discipline of Adrian Peterson.  You can read the decision here.  The judge found two separate bases for vacating the award: 1) the...more

SuperVision Today - February 2015

In this edition of SuperVision Today, Carrie Harris examines how a recent Fourth Circuit decision on the scope of harassment could apply to you, Milind Dongre reviews a recent United States Supreme Court decision regarding...more

Termination Of Employee For Engaging In Outside Work While On FMLA/CFRA Upheld, But “Honest Belief” Standard Not Addressed

In Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., the California Supreme Court held that an arbitrator committed no legal error when he determined that an employer lawfully terminated an employee for engaging in outside employment while on...more

The Changing Face of Employment Arbitration Agreements in California

Arbitration. A simple word, but one that, in the context of employment agreements, was typically a “dirty” word in the eyes of California courts. Indeed, for many years, state courts could be seen as openly hostile to...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - February 2015

On Premises, On-Call Time Compensable; Sleep Time Not Excluded - Emphasizing that California law provides greater protections than federal law to on-call employees, the California Supreme Court in Mendiola v. CPS...more

Quirky Question #253, Private arbitrations becoming not-so-private?

Question: I read with interest the answer to Quirky Question #248 about mandatory arbitration. You mentioned one of the benefits of arbitration being that is more private than a dispute in court, which is certainly a...more

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