News & Analysis as of

Clear Sailing Ahead For Class Counsel in California Settlement

In Laffitte v. Robert Half International, Inc., No. BC321317, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Oct. 29, 2014; pub. ord. Nov. 21, 2014), the California Court of Appeal affirmed a $19,000,000 settlement that included an attorneys’ fee...more

Better Warn Santa’s Elves—US Supreme Court Rules that Amazon Does Not Have to Pay Workers to Stand in Security Line at the End of...

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that Amazon does not have to pay its temporary warehouse workers for the time that they spend waiting in line to go through security checks as they leave the facilities. The...more

Court Reverses Denial Of Petition To Compel Arbitration

In Mahmud v. Ralph’s Grocery Company, No. B237636 CA 2/4 (Nov. 10, 2014), the California Second Appellate District reversed and remanded a trial court denying the petition of an employer (Ralph’s) to compel arbitration of a...more

November 2014 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

This month’s headline developments are two independent contractor misclassification class action lawsuits: one was filed in New York against a Silicon Valley giant, Google Inc., and the second was filed in California against...more

Joe’s Crab Shack Managers Move Forward with Class Action Wage and Hour Misclassification Suit Despite Plaintiffs’ Inability to...

Last week, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District reversed a trial court’s class certification denial in a proposed overtime class action brought by Joe’s Crab Shack managers against the restaurant...more

Who Decides the Issue of Class Arbitration?

Two districts of the California Court of Appeal recently issued significant decisions on arbitration agreements. In a published case, the Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal held that if the...more

Ninth Circuit Rules That Twombly Standard of Specificity Applies to FLSA Pleadings

On November 12, 2014, in Greg Landers v. Quality Communications Inc., the Ninth Circuit clarified a previously unsettled point of law by confirming that Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) pleadings must meet the specificity...more

California Appellate Court Rejects Class Action Settlement Due to Excessive Attorney Fees

Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered, so the saying goes. As we’ve noted before on Oct. 7, June 5, and Dec. 18, courts are starting to examine attorney fee awards in class action settlements much more closely, and the...more

Division I Athlete Commences Collective Action Seeking Pay For Play

A complaint recently filed in the Southern District of Indiana alleges that the NCAA and its Division I Member Schools have jointly agreed and conspired to engage in a widespread pattern, policy, and practice of failing to...more

Removing All Doubt: The First Circuit Clarifies the Conditions Triggering the 30-Day Removal Window When the Earlier, Initial...

In Romulus v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 14-1937, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20548 (1st Cir. Oct. 24, 2014), the First Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the conditions triggering a defendant’s 30-day window to remove a case to...more

California District Court Rejects Yet Another Class Settlement

In yet another decision rejecting a settlement of an employment class action, the Northern District of California refused to approve a settlement of a wage and hour suit due to numerous problems with the resolution reached...more

Yes, you really did settle all your claims when you said you did: Ninth Circuit dismisses appeal of class certification denial by...

A plaintiff hopes to represent a class to pursue two sets of wage-and-hour claims but runs into headwinds in the district court. First, one set of claims disappears because his legal theory doesn’t withstand a motion to...more

First Circuit Adopts Bright-Line Rule On CAFA Removal Trigger And Broadly Defines Other Paper

The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the thirty-day time period for removal under CAFA is triggered when the plaintiffs’ complaint or plaintiffs’ subsequent other papers provide defendants with sufficient...more

Employer Prevails on Misclassification Claim Where Employee Fails to Prove Hours Worked

Greg Holaway worked as a Field Service Engineer for Stratasys, Inc. He was categorized as exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requiring the payment of overtime. Even though his title was...more

Using Unpaid Interns Can Land Your Company in Class Action Hot Water

A recent surge in lawsuits against well-known New York-based fashion retailers and media giants, such as Oscar de la Renta, LLC; Marc Jacobs International, LLC; Donna Karan International, Inc.; Calvin Klein, Inc.; Coach,...more

In California, Who Decides If An Arbitration Agreement Covers Class Arbitration?

Network Capital Funding Corp. v. Papke, No. G049172 (October 9, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently held that absent “clear and unmistakable” language in an arbitration agreement authorizing an arbitrator to decide...more

Magistrate Permits Defendants to Depose 196 Absent Class Members

In a class action involving claims of uncompensated, pre-shift off-the-clock work, a California federal magistrate denied plaintiffs’ motion for a protective order to prevent defendants from taking 196 depositions of absent...more

Court Grants Motion to Strike Class Allegations

In granting a recent motion to strike class allegations, the Northern District of Illinois made two notable observations about such motions: first, they are not disfavored, but rather an appropriate device for determining...more

California’s Second and Fourth Appellate Districts Split Over Who Should Decide Whether Agreement Authorizes Class Arbitration –...

In Network Capital Funding Corporation v. Papke, G049172, 2014 WL 5035099 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 9, 2014), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District declined to follow the reasoning of the Second Appellate...more

California District Court Finds Bankrupt Named Plaintiffs Not Adequate Representatives

Anyone questioning whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), has had an impact need look no further than the decision in Alakozai v. Chase Investment Services Corp., Case...more

Quirky Question #242 – Policing Break and Time Records Pays Off

Quirky Question - We are a California employer. After all the publicity surrounding class actions over meal and break periods, we instituted automatic warnings if employees take too long or too short a meal or rest...more

Resource Update: Innovative Strategies for Defending Against the Rising Tide of Wage and Hour Class and Collective Action Claims

Over the last decade, employers increasingly have been bombarded with wage and hour lawsuits filed by current and former employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and various state law equivalents. Though no...more

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 8 of 11 – New York’s Coldest Summer, Especially for Employers Who Utilized Unpaid Interns

It felt like we were in a dream. Or maybe San Diego. Day after day, 82 degrees and little humidity. In a word: pleasant. We know next summer probably won’t be the same, but we sure enjoyed this one. That’s right – this was...more

Minnesota District Court Rejects Nationwide Scope and Conditionally Certifies Class of One Chipotle Store

Employees win most motions for conditional certification under the FLSA, with many courts declining to perform a probing analysis at that stage. A recent case from the District of Minnesota, in which the court still applied a...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Class Allegations for Vague Pleading

Whenever I see the names of the Iqbal and Twombly pleading cases, I can’t help but feel that the names were clipped from lost lines of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky poem, perhaps as something similar to “Iqbal were the Civil...more

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