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Total Articles: 10

Compensation Policies Under Scrutiny: Federal Court Conditionally Certifies Class of Female Faculty Physicians in EPA Case

On September 28, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois granted conditional collective action certification in Ahad v. Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, a case under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) brought on behalf of female faculty physician employees of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and SIU Physicians & Surgeons, Inc.

Step Right Up: Tentative Ruling Shows Amusement Park Beats Back Bulk of Class Bid

In a mixed ruling, a California state court judge in Villegas v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., Case No. BC505344, issued a decision last week denying certification of eight subclasses of amusement park workers, but indicating she would consider certification of several others pending further briefing.

eLABORate: Fifth Circuit Holds Employees Do Not Have a Right to Class Actions Under the NLRA

In two recent rulings, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) “does not confer a substantive right to participate in class or collective action litigation.” Class or collective actions allow large groups of employees to collectively pursue similar employment-related lawsuits in court. Such actions are popular with the plaintiffs’ bar, and dreaded by employers because of the increased defense costs and potential liability from such litigation.

Arbitrator Must Rule on Independent Contractor Status of Uber Drivers in Class-Action Notwithstanding NLRA Bar to Class Action Waivers

Last week, a U.S. District Court Judge in Illinois ruled that an arbitration agreement signed by an Uber driver required arbitration on the issue of whether Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors before the driver could proceed with a wage and hour class action lawsuit against Uber. The Court’s decision raises an important exception to current law in the Seventh Circuit, holding that class action waivers in arbitration agreements with employees are invalid and unenforceable under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

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.

New Supreme Court Term to Kick Off With Argument in Class Action Waiver Cases

On July 19, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States released the October 2017 term’s calendar for oral arguments, including the date it will hear oral argument in the three consolidated class action waiver cases that are currently before the Court. The term will start on October 2, 2017, with the justices hearing a total of one hour of oral argument in National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris.

Murphy Oil Case Scheduled for Oral Argument

In January, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in 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. 16-300, consolidating them for argument.

Court Says Uber Drivers Can Proceed With National Misclassification Class Action

A federal court judge in North Carolina last week granted permission to a group of Uber drivers challenging the company’s classification structure to band together and proceed with a class action lawsuit against the ride-hailing company. The drivers claim they are improperly labeled as independent contractors and should be entitled to minimum wage, overtime, and other wage and hour protections under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Class Action Trends Report Summer 2017

Our quarterly report discusses new developments in class action litigation and offers strategic guidance and tactical tips on how to defend such claims.

Fair Credit Reporting Act Developments: Increase in Class Action Litigation

Applicant background reports can be vital tools for employers, especially in the hiring process. However, amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) significantly increase the rights of applicants and employees to receive certain disclosures and to choose whether to authorize certain background reports. Given the increase in litigation over these issues, employers (as well as their attorneys and investigators) are well-advised to pay close attention to the detailed requirements of the FCRA.