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The ABC Test: California States and Localities Support Plaintiffs’ Appeal, Signal Aggressive Enforcement

The fight over the scope of the “ABC test” for determining the status of workers under California state law continues unabated. A series of court filings last week suggests that state and local officials may be gearing up to aggressively enforce AB 5, the law that codified and expanded the application of the ABC test in the Golden State.

New Class Action Suits Claim Stores Must Supply Gifts Cards With Braille

Since October 24, 2019, blind and vision-impaired individuals have filed more than ninety lawsuits claiming that the public accommodations provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title III) and its state and local equivalents require retailers and restaurants that offer gift cards to offer those cards in Braille.

Recent Case Suggests Food and Beverage Service Charges May be “Gratuities” Payable to Employees

A California appellate court just held that mandatory service charges added by banquet facilities to their contracts may need to be paid to banquet service employees essentially as a form of a gratuity. The October 31, 2019 decision changes up what some considered to be a settled area of law and may require you to immediately adjust your pay practices in order to get into compliance.

Class Action Trends Report Summer 2019

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

COBRA Notices Potentially Subject to Class Action Litigation if Not Complete

While notices pursuant to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”) are viewed as fairly standard, some plaintiffs’ counsel have recently zoomed in on the type of information included in these notices. Recently in Florida, three separate class action lawsuits alleged that the employer’s COBRA notice did not comply with the Department of Labor regulation.

The Beginning of the End for 401(k) Class Actions? Ninth Circuit Enforces Individual Arbitration

In Dorman v. Charles Schwab Corp., No. 18-15281 (August 20, 2019), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a 401(k) plan participant was required to individually arbitrate his claims regarding the plan’s fees and investment options, pursuant to the plan’s arbitration provision.

Workplace Safety in California, Episode 4: Cal/OSHA Hearings

In this episode of our Workplace Safety in California series, Kevin Bland and Karen Tynan discuss Cal/OSHA hearings. Topics include discovery, admissibility of evidence and hearsay, and general strategy for Cal/OSHA hearings.

Personal Anecdotes and Perceived Disparity in the Workplace Insufficient to Certify a Class Action

A federal judge in Kentucky recently ruled that anecdotal accounts alone cannot support a class claim of discrimination without “substantial statistical evidence of company-wide discrimination.” Freeman v. Delta Air Lines, No. 2:15-cv-160 (WOB-CJS) (E.D. Ky. June 14, 2019).

Does Jander Signal the Liberalization of Pleading Standards in Stock-Drop Cases? Signs Point to No

The Second Circuit sent shock waves through the community of ERISA stock-drop practitioners late last year in Jander v. Retirement Plans Committee of IBM1 by finding plan participants had plausibly alleged a breach of duty of prudence claim against plan fiduciaries.2 Jander is the only appellate court decision to have found such a claim plausibly pled since the Supreme Court’s decisions in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer3 and Amgen Inc. v. Harris4 significantly raised the pleading bar for plaintiffs. It thus raised the prospect that the Second Circuit was signaling the liberalization of pleading standards in stock-drop cases (at least in the Second Circuit), despite the long line of cases finding stock-drop plaintiffs had failed to meet their pleading burden under Dudenhoeffer.

Second Circuit Sends Home Care Worker’s Putative Class Claims to Union Arbitration on an Individual Basis

On July 2, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit handed a significant victory to New York’s home care industry.1 In Abdullayeva v. Attending Home Care Services, the appellate court reversed a lower court’s decision denying Attending Home Care Services’ (“Attending”) motion to compel arbitration of the plaintiff’s putative class action complaint, and sent the plaintiff’s claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, New York Wage Parity and New York Labor Law to arbitration on an individual basis. This decision will impact other home care employers in New York with similar arbitration provisions in their collective bargaining agreements.
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