The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, D.C. could impact your business.
On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States settled the contentious class action waiver issue that has riled courts for the past six years. In a 5-4 opinion, the Court upheld class action waivers in arbitration agreements.
On October 2, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in three consolidated cases that will decide the future of class action waivers in the employment context.
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.
On June 16, 2017, Ogletree Deakins filed an amicus brief in the class action waiver cases that are currently before the Supreme Court of the United States: National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals—apparently unable to wait a few months for the Supreme Court of the United States to rule on the issue—has now cast its lot with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Seventh and Ninth Circuits in finding class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
On January 31, 2017, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States.
On January 13, 2017, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the contentious class action waiver issue that has riled courts for the past four years.
The arbitration restrictions contained in Executive Order 13673, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (EO 13673), have been largely overshadowed by other parts of the so-called “contractor blacklisting” rules. Nonetheless, for those federal contractors that have adopted or are considering adopting an employee arbitration program, the arbitration restrictions in EO 13673 are just as significant—and more imminent. On August 24, 2016, the White House announced the release of the final blacklisting rules, along with a gradual phase-in schedule that starts on October 25, 2016. While the final rules will not be in full effect for the next couple of years, the arbitration restrictions contained therein are set to take effect in just a few weeks. Between now and October 25, contractors that want to retain existing arbitration programs or implement new arbitration programs need to evaluate new limitations imposed by the final rules.
In an important 2–1 decision, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded class action waivers in arbitration agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and therefore are unenforceable. This ruling adds to the growing circuit split on this critical issue, increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court of the United States will resolve the open question, and presents key strategic decisions for employers to make in the interim.
Paying hot-shot drivers by the load or mile? Contracting out repair work to vehicles or machinery? Are individuals who regularly perform work integral to your business being paid through accounts payable? Have welders that you regularly call for work? Under new guidance published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), what might be considered standard or normal practices in the energy industry could expose employers to claims and the risk of significant damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
As we discussed yesterday in our blog post, “President Obama Issues Two Executive Orders in 10-Day Period,” this week President Obama issued the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. Under this order, federal contractors will be required to disclose labor law violations and comply with additional obligations regarding pay…..
In a major win for employers, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, on December 3, 2013, rejected the highly controversial D.R. Horton, Inc. decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In D.R. Horton, the NLRB ruled for the first time that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) bans employers from including class action waivers
The Supreme Court of the United States recently issued two landmark rulings affecting the viability of arbitration as an alternative to costly litigation. As a result, every employer of every size needs to reassess whether the protections an arbitration agreement can afford are worth the potential negative ramifications. It is no…..
This morning, with Justice Scalia writing for a 5-3 majority, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a waiver of class arbitration in a commercial contract is enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), even if the plaintiffs’ cost of individually arbitrating a federal statutory claim exceeds the potential recovery. The Court refused to invalidate the class-action waiver on the ground that pursuit of individual claims would be fiscally impractical. According to the Court, “The class-action waiver merely limits arbitration to the two contracting parties.
Justices Hold Employee Response During An Internal Investigation Is “Protected Activity” On January 26, the U.S. Supreme Court once again expanded employ-ees’ ability to sue for retaliation. With seven Justices in agreement, plus the remaining two concurring in the judgment, the Court held that an employee who answers a question about a fellow employee’s improper
On January 26, the U.S. Supreme Court once again expanded the ability of employees to sue for retaliation. With seven Justices in agreement, plus the remaining two concurring in the judgment, the Court held that an employee who answers a question about a fellow employee’s improper conduct during an internal sexual harassment investigation is engaging
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court further expanded the ability of employees to sue for retaliation – an area of employment law that has exploded in recent years. Specifically, the Court held that a federal statute enacted shortly after the Civil War granting all citizens the right to enter into and enforce contracts (commonly referred to
The U.S. Supreme Court has further expanded the ability of employees to sue for retaliation – an area of employment law that has exploded in recent years. Specifically, the Court held that a federal statute enacted shortly after the Civil War granting all citizens the right to enter into and enforce con-tracts (referred to as “Section 1981”) can be used to bring a claim of employment-related retaliation.
Court Finds Workers Not Entitled to “Two Bites At The Apple” A federal appellate court recently held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may not seek monetary relief or reinstatement on behalf of four workers who brought and lost a state court action based on the same set of facts. According to the court,
In a long-awaited decision, the Texas Supreme Court today drastically altered the landscape for the enforcement of covenants not to compete. In Alex Sheshunoff Management Services, L.P. v. Kenneth Johnson and Strunk & Associates, L.P., the Court modified its earlier holding in Light v. Centel Cellular Co., so that a unilateral contract can support a covenant not to compete.