Tag: Class Actions
Kate Gold published an article, along with Kathryn Deal, Meredith Slawe, Kate Villanueva, Dan Brewer and Ashley Super titled, “Suit Shopping: Deceptive Pricing Class Actions Persist” for the California Retailers Association’s Golden State Report.
Recent years have seen a considerable increase in deceptive pricing litigation, with plaintiffs’ attorneys turning to untried theories to help advance their cases. As a result, retailers are facing more high-risk class action suits that could lead to significant exposure, reputational damage, and considerable litigation costs. The article details two potential sources of suits—compare-at pricing and shipping charges—and how courts and agencies have thus far responded to such matters.
Read “Suit Shopping: Deceptive Pricing Class Actions Persist.”
By Kate S. Gold
Traci Ribeiro’s class action lawsuit against her employer Sedgwick LLP is the latest in a string of lawsuits in the pay equity battle, which has been highlighted in this year’s Presidential election and through the recent EEOC claim filed by the U.S. womens’ soccer team. Ribeiro is a non equity partner who claims that, as one of the firm’s three highest revenue generating partners, she has been denied equity partnership and was subjected to retaliation for filing an EEOC complaint claiming gender discrimination. She seeks to represent a class of past and present female attorneys in partnership track positions at the firm; her complaint alleges violations of the California Fair Pay Act, Illinois Fair Pay Act, and Federal Equal Pay, as well as gender discrimination and retaliation under the California FEHA, Illinois Human Rights Act, and Title … Read More »
By William R. Horwitz
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a significant decision last week addressing the compensation of tipped employees who perform non-tipped work. In Schaefer v. Walker Bros. Enterprises, 2016 WL 3874171 (7th Cir. July 15, 2016), a restaurant server in Illinois pursued a class and collective action alleging, among other things, that his employer violated state and federal wage and hour laws by failing to pay servers minimum wage for the time they spent on non-tipped duties. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment dismissal of the lawsuit. The Court held that an employer may compensate a tipped employee at the reduced “tip credit rate” of pay for: (1) limited non-tipped work incidental or related to tipped work; and (2) other negligible non-tipped work. The decision provides helpful guidance to restaurant employers regarding the types of duties … Read More »
Split Circuit Court Decisions Create Uncertainty on Class Action Waivers and likely Supreme Court Review
By Vik Jaitly
Last week the 7th Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Lewis v. Epic-Systems Corp., held that a company’s arbitration agreement, which prohibits employees from participating in “any class, collective or representative proceeding,” violated an employees’ right to engage in concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The ruling creates a circuit split on the enforceability of class action waivers because the 2nd, 5th, and 8th Circuits each have held that class action waivers do not violate an employee’s rights under the NLRA. Because of this circuit split, it is likely that the Supreme Court will visit this issue in the near future.
Background on Enforceability of Class Action Waivers
In recent years, federal courts have largely upheld arbitration pacts with class or collective action waiver language that provides that not only must an employee bring his or … Read More »
Wage & Hour class actions are being filed at a pace that dwarfs almost all other types of litigation. With a myriad of federal and state laws and regulation, employers not only need to take steps to minimize the risk of a suit, but also must be prepared to defend themselves. Launch the brief video below to hear how Labor and Employment Group partners Cheryl Orr and Stephanie Gournis are helping employers involved in employment class actions, as well as helping companies to minimize the risk of litigation.
By: Kate S. Gold and Elena S. Min
Summer is quickly approaching, and eager students are lining up for internship opportunities, some of which may be unpaid. The whole topic has caused a firestorm of news stories lately – including an NYU students’ petition to remove unpaid internship postings from the campus career center, and an auction by an on-line charity website for a six week unpaid internship at the UN NGO Committee on Human Rights (the current bid is $26,000). Do unpaid internships run afoul of federal and state minimum wage laws? The answer potentially is yes, but given recent successful challenges to class certification, employers now have useful guidance in developing defense strategies against such claims.
Last week, in Wang v. The Hearst Corporation, U.S.D.C. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 12-CV-00793, the court denied class certification in a case brought by interns at … Read More »
By: Jerrold J. Wohlgemuth
Does an unaccepted offer of judgment for full relief made prior to a motion to certify moot the plaintiff’s claim in an FLSA collective action? That was the question we hoped the Supreme Court would answer in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk. Unfortunately, the majority in the 5-4 opinion issued April 16 refused to decide that question, finding that the issue was not properly before the Court because the plaintiff had conceded her claim was moot in the district court and Third Circuit, and had not contested the issue in her opposition to the petition for certiorari. While we now know from the dissent that Justices Kagan, Breyer, Sotomayor and Ginsburg would find that an unaccepted offer of judgment has no impact on the validity of the underlying claim, the majority opinion leaves unresolved a split among … Read More »
California Court of Appeal Finds Employment Arbitration Agreement Barring Class Claims Unconscionable
By: Fey Epling
In Compton v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. B236669 (2d Dist. Mar. 19, 2013), a divided panel of the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the Los Angeles Superior Court’s order compelling arbitration of her wage-and-hour class action complaint.
The Compton majority found the arbitration provision was substantively unconscionable because it was “unfairly one-sided” for four reasons. First, the agreement exempted the employer from arbitration for injunctive relief on claims related to confidential information and trade secrets. The majority did not find the carve-out of plaintiff’s claims for workers compensation, unemployment and disability claims sufficient to create parity. Second, the majority found the imposition of a one-year time limit to arbitrate employee claims impermissibly shortened the applicable statutes of limitations; for a separate, but related reason, the court found this limitation was unfairly one-sided when compared with … Read More »
By: Laurie A. Holmes
These are real headlines from the last four days:
Holiday Inn at LA Airport Hit with Wage Class Action
Bath & Body Works Will Pay $1.3M to End Managers’ Wage Suit
Texas Sales Managers Hit Gold’s Gym with Overtime Suit
FedEx to Pay $10M to Settle OT, Meal Break Suit
Kraft Paying $1.75M to Settle Sales Workers’ OT Suits
ZipRealty Pays $5M to Settle California Agents’ Wage Claims
Similar headlines from the last two weeks would fill this screen. And these headlines do not reflect a new trend – rather, they are just examples of the many similar headlines featured almost daily in Labor and Employment publications. In fact, a record number of wage and hour lawsuits have been filed in the last 18 months. And there’s no sign that they will be dwindling any time soon.
Why are these suits here to stay? For … Read More »
Is Relief on the Horizon for California Employers Attempting to Enforce Arbitration Agreements as Class Waivers?
By: Heather M. Sager
In California, a hotbed of wage and hour class and collective action filings, a recent appellate court opinion provides some long-awaited good news for employers attempting to enforce arbitration agreements as class waivers. In Reyes v. Liberman Broadcasting, Inc., plaintiff Jesus Reyes worked for Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. from April to September 2009. Pre-hire, Reyes executed an arbitration agreement. In May 2010, he filed a class action alleging wage and hour violations on behalf of a putative class of security officers. When it initially answered the Complaint, Liberman failed to raise the issue of arbitration. In July 2011, Liberman filed a motion to compel Reyes to arbitrate his wage and hour claims as an individual (versus holding a role as a class representative). The court denied the motion, finding that Liberman had waived its rights via the delay. This led … Read More »