Employee handbooks typically contain an overview of company history, a set of employment policies and general guidance, and a clear and prominent disclaimer that nothing in the handbook creates a contract of employment between the company and its employees. The Raymours Furniture Company handbook went one step further—it also contained a mandatory arbitration agreement, which purported to require employees to arbitrate any and all employment related claims against the company. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc. v. Rossi, Civ. No. 13-4440 (D.N.J., Jan. 2, 2014). After an employee sent a demand letter to Raymours asserting various claims of discrimination, the company moved to compel arbitration pursuant to the handbook’s arbitration agreement. The court ruled against the company, finding that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable. It noted that the clear disclaimer on the handbook’s first page, which began: “THIS HANDBOOK IS NOT A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT,” did not expressly exempt the arbitration policy. As such, the handbook did not clearly and unambiguously confirm the employee’s agreement to arbitrate. Moreover, Raymours’ reservation of its right to change the contents of the handbook at any time without notice rendered the arbitration provision illusory and unenforceable.
On June 20, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a case brought on behalf of some 1.5 million female current and former employees of Wal-Mart should not have been certified as a class action. According to the Court, the plaintiffs were required to show that their claims depended on a common contention of such
H-1B Cap Case Filing Receipt Deadline Set For April 1, 2015: Retailers Should Start Planning Now for FY 2016
Retailers that utilize the H-1B visa for employees in their information technology, design, marketing, buying, and planning departments should start considering their FY 2016 immigration needs now that the H-1B cap filing season is approaching (as we covered in our November 3 article, “USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions…..
“The Opportunity to Compete Act” (last mentioned in the February 2013 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority) was reintroduced to the state Senate on February 28, 2014. The bill still prohibits the use of criminal background checks until after an employer issues a conditional offer, and the process of revoking a conditional offer requires several steps, including completion of new paperwork introduced by the bill.