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Category Archives: Class Actions

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Another March Madness: What Yesterday’s Decision Really Means For Student Athletes

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

Late yesterday, Twitter lit up with news that collegiate student athletes are really “employees”.  But beyond the headline, my colleague Jarad Lucan explains what REALLY happened in plain English. Suffice to say, even though it’s March Madness, you might not want to bet on that result just yet. Many of you may remember a few… Continue Reading

Spiderweb Delivery? Is One Year Enough for a Leave of Absence for a Disabled Employee?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

You have a disabled employee out of leave for 180 days.  Your policy says that employees may be terminated after the end of 180 days. So, on day 181, can you fire the employee? Today, my colleague Christopher Parkin tackles that difficult question in a recent ADA case brought by the EEOC against a very big… Continue Reading

EEOC’s Lawsuit Challenging CVS Separation Agreements Is a Big Deal

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

My good friend, Jon Hyman of the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, probably said it best this morning: I try to shy away from hyperbole, but OH MY GOD, THIS CASE COULD BE RUINOUS!!! Yeah, pretty much. So, if you — like me — have been tied up with day-to-day affairs for a bit, or thinking how tomorrow’s snowstorm… Continue Reading

Donning, Doffing and “Changing Clothes”: Supreme Court Says When Employees Get Paid

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

Raise your hand if you know what “Donning and Doffing” is? To those that have raised your hand, you are most likely: a) an employment lawyer; b) a Scrabble nerd; or c) not being honest with yourself. It’s just not a phrase anyone uses in real life — like a “snood” (I’ll get to the… Continue Reading

Why A-Rod Will Strikeout on His Appeal and What Employers Can Learn

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

Readers of this blog will no doubt notice (in posts here, here, here and here, for example) that my passion for employment law is matched only by my love of the New York Yankees.  (I leave to others to debate whether that is a character flaw; Red Sox fans need not chime in, however.) The story over the… Continue Reading

“D.R. Horton” Ruling by NLRB Gets Overturned; Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Are Alive (and Well?)

Posted in Class Actions, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (which does not include Connecticut) held on Tuesday that the NLRB erred in disallowing an employer’s mandatory arbitration agreement that waived the rights of employees to participate in class actions. The decision in D.R. Horton v. NLRB (download here from Bloomberg Law) has… Continue Reading

State Officials Ask Supreme Court to Rule on Constitutionality of 2002 Layoffs

Posted in Class Actions, Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

Last Friday, lawyers representing two government officials petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments over whether former a 2002 state decision to layoff only union personnel violated those employee’s constitutional rights. Back in June 2013, you may recall that the Second Circuit ruled that such layoffs did violate the right of association.  I’ve discussed the… Continue Reading

History Repeating Itself? $160M Settlement in Race Discrimination Brokerage Case

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

For those of us that have been practicing for a while, it had seemed that the days of the big settlements for race discrimination cases were behind us. After all, when the Coca-Cola and Texaco settlements were announced back in the late 1990s and 2000, many companies took notice. But the news today is a… Continue Reading

Claiming Overtime Pay? Some Specifics Are Required Says Second Circuit

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

As I continue this week to recap some important FLSA decisions this summer by the Second Circuit, the next one will be important in the long run for employers. Wage and hour claims have been a thorn in employers side for a while now.  (My friend, Molly DiBianca of the always fabulous, Delaware Employment Law… Continue Reading

CEOs Beware: You’re Now in the Crosshairs of a Wage and Hour Complaint Under FLSA

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

As we wrap up summer and start returning from vacations, there are several important Second Circuit FLSA decisions decided over the last few weeks that employers need to be aware of.  I’ll cover them in posts over the next few days. Earlier this summer, the Second Circuit (which is the appeals court for the federal… Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Governor’s Layoffs of Only Union Personnel Subject to Strict Scrutiny

Posted in Class Actions, Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

On Friday, the Second Circuit issued an important decision in the long-running battle between the state unions and the government about whether layoffs of only union personnel violated the First Amendment. I’ve previously discussed the background of this case (and my very early involvement in it) in various posts. The Second Circuit not only reversed the… Continue Reading

Offers of Judgment in FLSA Collective Actions: Another Tool for Wage & Hour Claims

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Last week, while most of us were focused on the events in Boston, the U.S. Supreme Court came down with a notable decision last week involving a wage & hour class action (it’s actually called a “collective” action, but for the non-lawyers out there, just think of it as a class action) and what should… Continue Reading

The Beginning of the End for Wage & Hour Class Actions Through Arbitration Agreements? Second Circuit Sets Stage

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Suppose you have your employees’ sign agreements to arbitrate all of  their employment disputes.  (I’ve talked about arbitration agreements in many posts before.) Can you have an arbitration agreement that says that an employee is precluded from bringing a Title VII (race or gender discrimination) class action claim in Court? Employees have argued that because most arbitration agreements… Continue Reading

More Litigation, More “Doing” Assistant Store Manager Overtime Cases

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

At 47 pages, U.S. District Court Judge Hall’s decision last week in Costello v. Home Depot USA (download here) denying an employer’s motion for summary judgment in an overtime case, isn’t exactly a light read.  She is, of course, not to blame. The case is complicated and has a “somewhat convoluted procedural history” because it was first filed… Continue Reading

Should You Care That Supreme Court Will Rule on Offers Of Judgment in Wage Cases?

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Not all employment law cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court matter are of equal significance and importance to employers. What? How can that be, you say? It’s the SUPREME COURT!  Isn’t everything that they say important? Well, sort of. The truth is that sometimes… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: Holiday Parties, HIPAA and ADA, Non-Compete Agreements, “Supervisor”, Facebook

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation, Social Media

It’s been a crazy week here for reasons I hope to share in a future post. But in the meantime, the world of employment law still continues. Here are some items worth reading that I had hoped to talk about further. This brief recap will have to do for now. Want some tips on how to… Continue Reading

What Remedy Is Appropriate When a Jury Concludes Sexual Harassment Occurred?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

A case out of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (of which, Connecticut is part of) addresses an interesting question: When a jury  finds that sexual harassment has been perpetuated by a single employee, is injunctive (non-monetary) relief required to be issued by the District Court? The EEOC argued yes and argued that remedies such as… Continue Reading

Court Bars Use of Fluctuating Work Week to Calculate Award in Overtime Case

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Wage & Hour

In prior posts, I’ve talked about the fluctuating work week and how it can be a useful tool for employers in limited circumstances.  Yesterday, a federal court in Connecticut had a very interesting ruling that addressed whether an employer — when faced with a suit for overtime by a group of convenience store employees (“clerks”,… Continue Reading

The One In Which I Try to Explain the Joint Employer Test

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

“How You Doin’? said the character Joey from the TV show “Friends“.  I say that here because this post is about the “joint employer” test for the Fair Labor Standards Act and its an otherwise dry post. “I know!” (You might be saying, if you were Monica from that same show.) “Could that BE any more boring?” (To… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: NY Deductions, ADA Accommodations, Offers of Judgment, FMLA Report, Facebook & Hiring

Posted in Class Actions, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Social Media, Wage & Hour

As the dog days of summer drag on, the news from the employment law arena slows to a trickle.  But here are a few recent stories that may be of interest to employers in Connecticut. New York recently expanded the types of things that employers can deduct from wages. For Connecticut employers with cross-border employees,… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms a Broader Definition of “Executive” FLSA Exemption

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

There are three major “white-collar” exemptions to the federal overtime rules that are, to some employers, a bit confusing to say the least.  One of them — the “executive” exemption — is mistakenly understood to just include, well, senior executives of a company. A new case out by the Second Circuit (Ramos v. Baldor Specialty… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Pharmaceutical Representatives are “Outside Salesmen” Under FLSA; Exempt from Overtime

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled, 5-4, that pharmaceutical representatives are “outside salesmen” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In plain English, this now means that those representatives are now considered exempt from overtime. This decision is a big victory for pharmaceutical companies who have been facing years of class action suits (some of… Continue Reading

Guest Post: NLRB Acting General Counsel Addresses At-Will Disclaimers and More at CBA Annual Meeting

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Labor Law & NRLB, Social Media

On Monday, the Connecticut Bar Association held its annual meeting. Lots of labor and employment law topics were covered, some of which I missed. I’ve asked one of my bar colleagues, Rita Trivedi — who will be a Teaching Program Fellow at Columbia Law School in the fall — to share her insights on the… Continue Reading

Keep an Eye Out for Court’s Ruling on Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. Case

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday heard arguments over whether pharmaceutical sales reprsentatives were properly classified as exempt (from overtime) because they fall within the “outside sales” exemption of the nation’s wage & hour laws. The plaintiffs said that they were not properly classified because, while the representatives do a lot of tasks, the one thing that… Continue Reading