Our colleague Michael S. Kun at Epstein Becker Green was recently quoted in SHRM, in “Distinctions Among Class, Collective and Representative Actions Make a Difference,” by Allen Smith.

Following is an excerpt:

The terms “class,” “collective” and “representative” actions sometimes are bandied about as though they were the same thing, but they have distinct meanings that employers benefit from understanding. This article, the second in a series, examines the differences among these types of lawsuits and practical ramifications, such as how an employer might seek early resolution, as well as how certification of a class or collective action affects whether an employer’s attorney may speak with plaintiffs.

Continue Reading What Are the Differences Between Class, Collective, and Representative Actions?

Our colleague Michael S. Kun at Epstein Becker Green was recently quoted in SHRM, in “How to Respond to Class Actions,” by Allen Smith.

Following is an excerpt:

Frequently involving wage and hour issues, class actions against employers can result in lengthy litigation, but early response to them may reduce damages. This article, the first in a two-part series on class actions, examines strategies for responding to such actions, including how to interact with current employees who are seeking information on a lawsuit. The second part explains the differences among class, collective and representative actions. …

Continue Reading How Should Employers Respond to Class Actions?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 15, 2022 decision in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana could have a tremendous impact upon pending and future litigation, as well as employment practices in the state.

For some California employers, it will impact pending Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) litigation where the named plaintiff has an arbitration agreement with a class and representative action waiver.

Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court’s Viking River Cruises Decision Is a Significant Victory for California Employers – at Least for Now

Litigators who defend cases brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), particularly ‘collective actions” alleging wage-and-hour violations, often have been able to counter, or even sometimes support, allegations that arbitration agreements have been waived where the conduct of a party has caused prejudice to the other side. In the case of Morgan v. Sundance, Inc., a unanimous Supreme Court has now held that the determinant of waiver is solely dependent upon the nature and magnitude of the actions of the party that might be inconsistent with arbitration, without respect to alleged prejudice.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Holds That Judges Can’t Invent Rules Governing Arbitration Waiver

Earlier this month, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill (SB) 47, which formally adopted sections of the Portal-to-Portal Act (Portal Act) amendments to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), exempting employers from paying overtime under certain circumstances. SB 47 also eliminates so-called “hybrid” collective/class actions for Ohio plaintiffs by adopting the FLSA’s “opt-in” requirement for individuals seeking to join a wage and hour lawsuit on Ohio state law claims for failure to pay overtime. The law takes effect on July 6, 2022.

Portal-to-Portal Act

Continue Reading Ohio Enacts Changes to Overtime Exemption Laws and Class/Collective Action Procedures

In a recent post addressing the U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana, we mentioned that employers in California will want to consider the “pros and cons” of arbitration agreements should an employer-friendly decision be issued in that case, rather than rush to implement them.

In response, more than a few people have asked the same or similar questions — What are the “cons” of arbitration agreements? Why wouldn’t an employer want to use arbitration agreements, particularly if they will foreclose Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) actions in California?

There are “cons” to these agreements — and they are not insignificant.

Continue Reading The Pros – and Cons – of Arbitration Agreements with Class Action Waivers

Silence can be telling.

That is especially so in the legal industry.

In the context of a hearing or oral argument, if judges or justices don’t ask an attorney a question, it can be incredibly encouraging – or incredibly discouraging.  It often means that the judges or justices have already made up their minds after having read the parties’ briefs and simply don’t have any questions or don’t need to hear anything more.

Continue Reading Did the Supreme Court Oral Argument on Viking River Cruises Signal a Coming Sea Change for California Employment Law?

Since the Supreme Court issued its seminal 2018 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, acknowledging that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) permits the use of arbitration agreements with class action waivers, many employers have implemented arbitration programs for their employees. Those arbitration programs have been aimed, in no small part, at avoiding the class and collective actions that have overwhelmed employers, particularly in California.

In response, California passed AB 51, which prohibits imposing “as a condition of employment, continued employment, or the receipt of any employment-related benefit” the requirement that an individual “waive any right, forum or procedure” available under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and Labor Code.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Decision Holds That California Law Addressing Mandatory Arbitration Agreements May Go Into Effect

In a provocative  decision in the case known as  Swales v. KLLM Transport Servs., L.L.C., No. 19-60847 (5th Cir. 2021), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit broke from the pack by upending the standard two-step process for Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or the “Act”) collective certification. The Court opined

At the time we are posting this, we are just weeks away from the inauguration of President-Elect Joseph Biden. Although perhaps not at the very top of the list of questions about the forthcoming Biden administration, somewhere on the list has to be this question: “What changes will we see in wage-hour law?”

We don’t