Vilches v. The Travelers Companies, Inc., 2011 WL 453304 (3d Cir., February 9, 2011) – The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an arbitrator, not the court, must decide whether a revised arbitration agreement prohibiting class action arbitrations is enforceable. In this case, the plaintiffs agreed upon employment that all disputes would be resolved by arbitration, and that the employer could revise the arbitration policy at any time. The employer later revised the policy to prohibit arbitration of class or collective actions. The plaintiffs subsequently filed a class and collective action to recover unpaid wages and overtime, arguing that the revised policy did not bind them, and in any event was unconscionable. In keeping with prior authority in New Jersey, the court remanded the issue to the arbitrator, ruling that questions of contract interpretation aimed at determining whether a particular procedural mechanism is authorized by a given arbitration agreement are for the arbitrator to decide. The court did, however, address the unconscionability issue, finding that the revised provision was proper because it was not a contract of adhesion.
Chief Justice Denial of Stay Request Clears Way for New FLSA Regulations Affecting Home Care Agencies to Go Into Effect October 13, 2015
On October 6, 2015, Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court of the United States summarily denied the emergency stay application filed by the association plaintiffs in Home Care Association of America v. Weil. In the absence of a stay, the new U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulations extending the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements for home health care workers employed by third-party employers are expected to go into effect on October 13, 2015.
Since 1995, contingency fee enhancements have been available to successful plaintiffs in NJLAD cases pursuant to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Rendine v. Pantzer, 141 N.J. 292, 335 (1995). However, the U.S. Supreme Court has since held that contingency fee enhancements are reserved only for “extraordinary circumstances.”
On March 2, 2021, the City Council of Santa Ana, California, passed an urgency ordinance establishing premium pay for grocery and retail pharmacy workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, located southeast of Los Angeles.