SCOTUS Restricts Class Arbitrations

By John Alan Doran In yet another pro-arbitration, employer-friendly decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning that an individual cannot pursue claims in arbitration on behalf of a class unless the arbitration clause involved clearly and unequivocally permits class treatment of claims. Lamps Plus v. Varela, 17-988 (April 24, 2019). Varela worked for Lamps […]

SCOTUS Upholds Class-Action Waivers

By Bryan Stillwagon May employees and employers agree that any disputes between them will be resolved only through one-on-one arbitration? Today, the Supreme Court responded, “YES.” In a 5-4 decision, the Court held in Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young LLP et al. v. Morris et al., and NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, […]

SCOTUS To Decide Class Action Waivers

By Bill Wright The Supreme Court has agreed to resolve the simmering dispute between the NLRB and (essentially all) employers over class action waivers. The NLRB has maintained in a number of cases that employers may not enforce arbitration agreements with employees that (1) require employees to arbitrate all disputes and (2) prohibit the employees […]

Ninth Circuit Strikes Class Arb Waivers

By John Alan Doran The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in, today, on the propriety of class action arbitration waivers under the NLRA.  The Court held that such waivers violate Sections 7 and 8 of the NLRA in the context of a pending FLSA lawsuit. Ernst & Young requires new employees to sign an […]

2 Key SCOTUS Spokeo Takeaways

By John Alan Doran The Supreme Court held this morning that a party suing for a purely technical violation of a statute (in this case, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)) must demonstrate that he/she has suffered or is likely to suffer a concrete harm from the statutory violation. Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins. Robins sued Spokeo under […]

Class Averaging

By Bryan Stillwagon The Supreme Court ruled today that Plaintiffs’ use of average donning and doffing times was proper and sufficient to affirm a $5.8 million judgment against Tyson Foods. Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146 (Mar. 22, 2016). Plaintiffs (employees in a pork processing plant in Iowa) relied at trial on an industrial relations expert’s […]

Not Worth Fighting Over?

By Andy Volin In wage and hour disputes, sometimes an employer would rather just pay a claim instead of fighting it. Maybe the claim is only worth several hundred dollars and attorney’s fees would be a far greater expense. Or maybe not only is the claim small, but the plaintiff claims the dispute should be […]

“Biggest Idiot” Meets Class Waivers

By John Alan Doran The “biggest idiot theory” (our term, not the NLRB’s) states that, when the NLRB reviews an employer’s policy to see whether the policy would “chill” an employee from exercising NLRA rights, the NLRB does so from the perspective of the biggest idiot on the planet, not the mythical “reasonable employee.” (See […]

SCOTUS Benchslaps Cali…Again

By John Alan Doran This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California Court of Appeals decision invalidating class action arbitration waivers. DIRECTV, Inc. v. Imburgia, (No. 14-462 December 14, 2015). DIRECTV’s customer service contract contained a mandatory arbitration clause.  That clause also waived the customer’s right to pursue a class action in arbitration.  […]

Court Order Trumps Board

By Bill Wright What happens when the NLRB says an arbitration agreement is illegal, but a court enforces the agreement anyway? Four plaintiffs recently found out. In Hobson et al. v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., No. CV-10-S-1486-S (N. D. Ala. July 8, 2015), the plaintiffs brought a collective action, for themselves and others, seeking unpaid […]