Estate of Ruszala v. Brookdale Living Comm., Inc., No. A-4403-10 (N.J. App. Div., August 10, 2010) – In this personal injury case, the Appellate Division analyzed the enforceability of a contractual arbitration provision, which required that all claims between the parties (a resident and a nursing home) be resolved through binding arbitration. The provision contained significant restrictions on discovery, limits on compensatory damages and an outright prohibition on punitive damages. The court voided these provisions, finding that they were substantively unconscionable. Although this was not an employment case, employers preparing arbitration agreements must be mindful that any similar restrictions on employees’ rights such as limitations on discovery and recoverable damages may result in the provisions being stricken.
New Guidance in the Foreign Affairs Manual May Add Challenges to Visa Issuance at US Consular Posts Abroad
In August 2017, the U.S. Department of State made several revisions to the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) that are a direct result of the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order (EO) 13788, which the president signed on April 18, 2017. The FAM is the authoritative source for U.S. Department of State (DOS) policies and procedures and provides instructional guidance to U.S. Consular officers when administering the issuance of U.S. visas.
Rhode Island and Federal Officials Agree to Cooperate in Investigating Independent Contractor Misclassification
On May 7, 2015, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI-DLT) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which they agreed to share information on independent contractor misclassification and coordinate law enforcement efforts in that area.
On November 1, 2020, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Palmer et al. v. Amazon.com Inc. et al., No. 20-cv-2468, 2020 WL 6388599, dismissed a lawsuit against Amazon alleging failures to comply with New York law and “New York Forward” minimum requirements for businesses.