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California’s “ABC” Test for Independent Contractor Analysis to be Applied Retroactively

California employers were dealt another setback in the responding to claims of misclassification of independent contractor status for violations of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order (“IWC Wage Orders”). Noting California’s “basic legal tradition” that “judicial decisions are given retroactive effect,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that the State’s … Continue Reading

Older Applicants Cannot Utilize ADEA to Challenge Neutral Hiring Criteria, Seventh Circuit Rules

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act does not permit non-employees to bring claims under a disparate impact theory, the Seventh Circuit has ruled. Kleber v. CareFusion Corp. (7th Cir. Jan. 23, 2019). Accordingly, in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, job applicants will not be able to challenge hiring decisions that are neutral, but which disproportionately exclude … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court: Employment Class Arbitration Must Be Expressly Addressed in Contract

Class action arbitration is such a departure from ordinary, bilateral arbitration of individual disputes that courts may compel class action arbitration only where the parties expressly declare their intention to be bound by such actions in their arbitration agreement, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision. Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, No. … Continue Reading

Illinois BIPA Defendants May Soon Be Getting Relief

Many businesses currently are defending a wave of class action lawsuits filed under the Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, popularly known as “BIPA” ).  The floodgates to litigation were opened earlier this year when the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that individuals need not allege actual injury or adverse effect, beyond a violation of his/her rights … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Zappos Data Breach Litigation to Proceed

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition for a writ of certiorari by Zappos requesting the Court to review a Ninth Circuit Court decision which allowed customers affected by a data breach to proceed with a lawsuit on grounds of vulnerability to fraud and identity theft. The ruling stems from a 2012 breach that … Continue Reading

Counting Down the Top 5 Employment Class Action Developments of 2018

On the last day of the year, we take a look back at some highlights and our most-read employment class action articles of 2018. #5-Department of Labor Nullifies “80/20” Tip Credit Rule In November, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded Obama-era enforcement guidance that had made the tip credit unavailable to tipped employees who spend more than 20% … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Permits Use of “Inadmissible” Expert Testimony for Class Certification Purposes

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit just denied a request to review en banc a panel ruling that authorizes trial courts to consider evidence that would be inadmissible at trial when deciding whether a class may be certified (Sali v. Corona Regional Medical Center (D.C. No. 5:14-cv-00985-PSG-JPR)). The decision was filed on … Continue Reading

Availability of Class Arbitration is for Court to Decide, Appeals Court Rules

Vacating a $10 million arbitration award resulting from a “collective action” arbitration, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that whether class or collective arbitration is authorized by an arbitration agreement is a threshold question for the district court, not an arbitrator. Herrington v. Waterstone Mortgage Corp., No. 17-3609 (7th Cir. Oct. … Continue Reading

New CA Case Confirms: No Absolute Rule to Permit Leave to Amend to Substitute Class Representative If Named Plaintiff Is Found Inadequate

In Jones v. Farmers Ins. Exchange (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 986 (“Jones”), the California Court of Appeal held that “[t]he lack of an adequate class representative … does not justify the denial of the certification motion.  Instead, the trial court must allow Plaintiff[[] an opportunity to amend [his] complaint to name a suitable class representative.  [Citation … Continue Reading

CAFA Amount In Controversy Is Not Limited To Damages Incurred Prior To Removal And Includes Future Attorneys’ Fees Recoverable By Statute Or Contract

In Fritsch v. Swift Transp. Co. of Ariz., LLC, No. 18-55746 (Aug. 18, 2018), the Ninth Circuit clarified, in a unanimous published decision, that, where a party may recover its attorney’s fees by statute or contract, the Court must include future fees as well as those already incurred in assessing whether a case meets the … Continue Reading

Truckers’ $2.35 Million Dollar Class Settlement Vacated Due to District Court’s Cursory Analysis

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently vacated a Utah district court’s finding that a class of truckers satisfied Rule 23 for purposes of settling two wage-hour actions due to a cursory review below, setting aside a multi-million dollar settlement and remanding the case for further proceedings. In 2016, two putative wage-hour class … Continue Reading

Class Certification Granted in Goldman Sachs Gender Discrimination Litigation

In a 49-page opinion issued last week, Judge Analisa Torres of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted class certification to a group of women alleging that Goldman Sachs systemically and pervasively discriminated against female professional employees in violation of Title VII and the New York City Human Rights … Continue Reading

Court Finds Individualized Issues Predominate and Grants Company’s Motion to Decertify Branch Administrators’ Class

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana recently decided a case highlighting the importance of clear employer policies when it comes to wage payment issues. In Smith v. Professional Transportation Inc. et al., 13-cv-00221 (N.D. Ind. January 26, 2018), the named plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to pay Branch Administrators … Continue Reading

“Ticket-gate”- Revisiting the Intersection of Professional Football and Class Actions

First, Deflategate. Now, “Ticket-gate?”  Stirring in the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, a putative class action takes aim at an unsafe football field, a cancelled preseason game, and over a million dollars in alleged consumer class damages.  The case is Herrick v. National Football League, et al. (N.D. Ohio, Case No. 5:17-cv-00472-CAB). … Continue Reading

Illinois Court of Appeals Holds BIPA Plaintiffs Must Allege Some Actual Harm

In a ruling that may have significant impact on the recent wave of biometric privacy suits, an Illinois state appeals court held that plaintiffs must claim actual harm to be considered an “aggrieved person” covered by Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), in a dispute arising from the alleged unlawful collection of fingerprints from a … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Application of American Pipe Tolling Decision on Class Actions

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to China Agritech, Inc., a fertilizer manufacturer, from the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Resh v. China Agritech, Inc., 857 F.3d 994 (9th Cir. 2017).  In reviewing Resh, the Court will consider whether its American Pipe and Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974) ruling tolls … Continue Reading

ALERT- Plaintiff’s Bar Currently Targeting Online Hiring Practices: What Your Company Needs to Know

 The latest target of the plaintiff’s overly-aggressive tactics—a company’s use of recruitment ads in hiring employees.  All industries and all forms of advertising are potentially coming under attack, including social media platforms and websites dedicated to employee recruiting.  Specifically, the plaintiff’s bar has repeatedly targeted certain advertisements on social media sites that encourage individuals to … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Allows Intervenors in Buccaneers Class Action Lawsuit

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered two class action lawsuits under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which involved the same class and allegations and the question of whether additional parties could intervene in a pending case. In Technology Training Associates, Inc., et al. v. Buccaneers Limited Partnership, Cin-Q Automobiles, Inc. filed a complaint … Continue Reading

General Awareness Is Not Enough for Willfulness Under the FLSA

A recent decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals involving the nature of the evidence sufficient to create a jury question on willfulness has carved out additional guidance for employers defending against Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuits. Though the FLSA generally applies a two-year statute of limitations, the limitations period can be extended … Continue Reading

Certification of Alleged Misclassified Bakery Distributors Denied due to Predominance of Individualized Issues

Class certification would have been granted in Soares v. Flowers Foods, Inc., 3:15-cv-04918 (N.D. Cal., June 28, 2017), but for the allegedly misclassified independent contractors’ decision to deliver, or not deliver, the goods themselves. In Soares, the named plaintiffs sought to represent a class of truck drivers who were paid to distribute baked goods manufactured by … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Changes Stance on Class Action Waivers in Favor of Employers

In a fascinating turn of events, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) switched sides in a critical pending Supreme Court case last Friday. The three consolidated cases—National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Case No. 16-307, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Case No. 16-285 and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, Case No. … Continue Reading

ALERT: Senate confirms Acosta as Secretary of Labor

Today the U.S. Senate approved Alexander Acosta as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor by a vote of 60-38.  Click here to read more background information on Acosta.  Acosta’s nomination was previously approved by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee by a 12-11 party line vote in March. Chief among the issues awaiting Acosta is … Continue Reading
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