Labor & Employment Conflict of Laws

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PAGA Claims and Arbitration – A Federal Court Parts Ways With Iskanian

The California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, held that class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) except as to claims that...more

Workplace Drug Policies and Your Corporate Culture: Four Tough Questions To Ask and Answer

For employers, enforcing workplace drug policies in states where medical marijuana use is legal could boil down to workplace values and culture. And it’s an issue companies will be facing more and more....more

First Circuit Favors Broad Application of Analogue to Airline Deregulation Act Preemption Provision

On September 30, 2014, in Massachusetts Delivery Association v. Coakley, No. 13-2307 (September 30, 2014), the First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s refusal to preempt a Massachusetts independent...more

ERISA’s “Overlapping Fields of Fire” Preempt Wisconsin’s Family and Medical Leave Act

Wisconsin’s Family and Medical Leave Act (“WFMLA”), requires that employers allow employees six weeks of unpaid leave following “[t]he birth of an employee’s natural child,” and that employers allow an employee to substitute...more

Colorado Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Medical Marijuana/Discharge Case

Brandon Coats was partially paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager, using a wheelchair, and has been a medical marijuana patient since 2010 when he discovered that using pot helped calm violent seizures and muscle spasms....more

Is THC “Lawful” in Colorado?

The Colorado Supreme Court heard oral argument this morning in Coats v. Dish Network, LLC, 13SC394. The central issue in the case is whether the Colorado Lawful Activities Statute includes federal law. The Lawful Activities...more

Texas Supreme Court Draws Distinction Between Loyalty Agreement and Non-Compete

In many industries, it is common to pay incentives in the form of restricted stock options payable in the future if certain conditions are satisfied. In Exxon-Mobil v. Drennen, decided on August 29, 2014, the Texas Supreme...more

Sixth Circuit says ERISA does not preempt state law claim for fraudulent inducement.

The Sixth Circuit recently held that ERISA did not preempt a plan participant’s claim for state law fraudulent inducement. McCarthy v. Ameritech Pub., Inc., No. 12-4510, 2014 WL 3930572 (6th Cir. 2014). Defendant-API’s...more

Tennessee Court Of Appeals Issues New Guidance On Trade Secret Issues

On August 19, 2014, the Tennessee Court of Appeals became the first Tennessee appellate court to address the scope to which Tennessee’s Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) preempts common law claims related to unfair competition...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FLSA Overtime Claims in Hospital Meal Break Cases

On August 26, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime claims brought against a myriad of health care systems and their...more

Splits Are Not the Best for Business: Uncertainty after Conflicting Decisions on the Scope of Obamacare Subsidies

The recent decisions by the Fourth Circuit and the D.C. Circuit address a controversy that could have far-reaching consequences for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). Under the ACA, states and the...more

Federal Preemption Defense Running Out of Gas?

Recent decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court have thrown a road block in the way of employers relying on a federal statute to preempt certain state wage-and-hour law claims. At issue...more

July 2014 Monthly Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

The leading development this month in the area of independent contractor compliance and misclassification is an Arizona case that deals with a commonplace event – but one that carries with it the potential for unanticipated...more

Circuit Court Split on ACA Could Impact Employer Penalties

In conflicting opinions released on July 22nd, two federal circuits split on whether Affordable Care Act subsidies are available under a federally operated health insurance exchange. “Pay or play” penalties apply only if...more

Act Now Advisory: New York State's Medical Marijuana Law Gives Workplace Anti-Discrimination Protection

On July 7, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo publicly signed into law New York State's first marijuana legalization law—the Compassionate Care Act ("Act"). The Act (which was actually signed on July 5, 2014, after weeks of...more

Uncertainty Remains Regarding the NLRB's Position on Class and Collective Action Waivers

The law concerning class action waivers continues to develop at a rapid pace. While most courts are now enforcing class action waivers in arbitration agreements, there remains at least one prominent area of uncertainty for...more

Motor Carriers Face Uphill Battle After California Supreme Court Decision

Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., No. S194388 (July 28, 2014): In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not...more

California Employees Can Waive Class Claims In An Arbitration Agreement, But Not PAGA Claims

Resolving an issue that has created uncertainty for California employers, the California Supreme Court recently held in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC that class action waivers in employment arbitration...more

Halbig v. Burwell: A Death Blow for the Affordable Care Act?

On July 22, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorizes the issuance of tax credits to assist...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - July 2014

California Employees Can Waive Class Claims In An Arbitration Agreement, But Not PAGA Claims - Resolving an issue that has created uncertainty for California employers, the California Supreme Court recently held in...more

Six Days on the Road and I'm Gonna Park My Truck to Comply with State Laws Tonight

My apologies to Dave Dudley. The song “Six Days on the Road” just doesn’t stand up to the changes we would have to make after the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the state meal and rest break laws are not preempted by federal...more

Will Minnesota's New Medical Marijuana Law Leave Employers High and Dry?

Minnesota recently became the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana use and, as part of the new law, to enact new potential employment protections for registered users of medical marijuana. Minnesota’s new marijuana law...more

Ninth Circuit Holds FAAAA Does Not Preempt California’s Meal and Rest Break Laws

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded, in Dilts v. Penske Logistics, LLC, that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not preempt the application of...more

Yet Another Reminder on the Importance of Careful Drafting of Termination Clauses…

As if employers needed one, we now have yet another decision invalidating a termination provision for failure to comply with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”): Miller v. A.B.M. Canada Inc., 2014 ONSC 4062...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waiver In Arbitration Agreement

Finally! The California Supreme Court recently fell in line with the United States Supreme Court on the enforceability of class action waivers in arbitration agreements by upholding their enforceability. Previously, the...more

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