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Southerland v. Ernst & Young LLP, Case No. 12-304 (August 9, 2013)

Articles Discussing Case:

Second Circuit Enforces Collective/Class Action Waiver and Upholds Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

Ogletree Deakins • August 20, 2013
A recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals marks a significant victory for employers. Sutherland v. Ernst & Young LLP, which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided on August 9, fortifies an employer’s ability to use individual arbitration agreements to avoid wage and hour collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Second Circuit Upholds Class-Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements in Certain Circumstances

Goldberg Segalla LLP • August 19, 2013
A recent Second Circuit decision has resulted in a major victory for employers who seek to eliminate class actions and resolve employment disputes through arbitration. In Southerland v. Ernst & Young LLP, Case No. 12-304 (August 9, 2013), the court held that nothing in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. prohibits an employer from including a class action waiver provision in an arbitration agreement. Under this holding, an employee cannot avoid a class-action waiver provision in an arbitration agreement by claiming that the waiver removes the financial incentive for her to pursue a claim under the FLSA. However, the Second Circuit did note that such a provision can be invalidated if it seeks to waive or prohibit the employee’s legal rights.