Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Tag Archives: arbitration

A Small Tribute to a Professional Arbitrator and Mediator: “Larry” Foy

Posted in Labor Law & NRLB

James “Larry” Foy passed away earlier this week.  (His memorial service is scheduled for tomorrow in Southwick, Massachusetts.) For those of us in Connecticut that were blessed with having had a case with him as an arbitrator or mediator — and there were many — his death will leave a substantial void. Indeed, Larry was a labor arbitrator… Continue Reading

Law Tribune’s Editorial on “Downright Coercive” Employment Arbitration Clauses Is Off-Base

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

It’s hard to read the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Editorial this week on “The Problem of Workplace Arbitration Clauses” with a straight face. It is dripping with sarcasm, filled with sweeping generalities, and reserves its greatest enmity for employers and the lawyers that represent them. If the editorial is to be believed, employers and their lawyers apparently routinely use “deceptive”… Continue Reading

From the Archives: Be Specific In Sending an Issue to Labor Arbitration

Posted in Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

As I’ve done in the past when I’ve been tied up with a trial or arbitration, today will bring a “Blast from the Past” — a post that you might have missed the first time around. Indeed, because this post is from July 2008, odds are that even if you saw it, it’ll still be fresh today. … Continue Reading

Has IBM Found a Way Around the OWBPA and Should Others Follow?

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

Last week, a story caught my eye and the attention of some of my colleagues.  As reported first by Bloomberg BNA, IBM has stopped providing the comparison information that is typically required in separation agreements for older workers under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. You may be wondering how that is possible.  Robin Shea,… Continue Reading

Public Sector Focus: The Perils, Again, of Arbitration and “Just Cause” Dismissals

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NRLB

We’re just a few weeks away from my firm’s Public Sector legal update.  (If you haven’t signed up yet, do so now because it’s getting close to capacity!) So it seems appropriate to bring up a sore point for some: Arbitration Decisions That Leave You Scratching Your Head. Today, I’ve asked my colleagues Saranne Murray… 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

Collective/Class Action Waivers & Arbitration Clauses: Why Employers Should Care

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

Continuing my series of posts this week on recent Second Circuit FLSA cases, today I’ll talk about class action waivers and arbitration clauses. If that last clause is just legalese to you, let me try to walk you through it and why employers should care deeply about it. As I’ve covered in prior posts, wage… 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

Lying to Doctors for Fitness for Duty Exam Can Still Get You Fired… But Only If You’re a Police Officer

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

Sometimes, cases that seem like a no-brainer are anything but.  Just ask the Town of Stratford which finally won an appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court. The case, Stratford v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 15 (download here), will be officially released next week.  The case arises from the town’s termination of a… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: FLSA & Arbitration Agreements, Initial Discovery Protocols, Dating Policies, EEOC Charges, Ledbetter

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation, Wage & Hour

There are lots of items I had hoped to write about but, as many of you have observed, there’s only so much time in the week.  So, it’s time to bring back the recurring “Quick Hits” feature to highlight some tidbits worthy of your consideration: Are arbitration agreements that waive FLSA collective actions enforceable? No,… Continue Reading

The End of the Mega-Class Action Era?

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

In this week’s Connecticut Law Tribune Labor & Employment Law Supplement, I penned a piece about the impact of the new U.S. Supreme Court cases from this past term. My conclusions? It is premature to announce the death of wage and hour class actions. But the cases suggest a different future for those types of… Continue Reading

Court: Class-wide Arbitration May Be Allowed, Even if Agreement Is Silent

Posted in Class Actions, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Earlier this month, the Second Circuit (Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.) affirmed an arbitrator’s decision, concluding that the arbitrator’s analysis should be upheld even if the District Court disagreed with the legal analysis. Such a decision is entitled to “substantial deference”. The case rests on the principle that arbitrations are not going to be going… Continue Reading

Court Approves Expedited Appeal for Decision Mandating Exotic Dancers Arbitrate

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Last month, I discussed a very notable decision in D’Antuono v. Service Road Corp. in which the federal court — relying in part on the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility — ordered two exotic dancers to arbitrate their employment-related claims. A few days ago, the same district court allowed the dancers to take an… Continue Reading

In Titillating Case, Court Compels Strip Club Dancers to Engage Individually …in Arbitration

Posted in Class Actions

A few weeks ago, I indicated (in posts here and here) that the AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion case would have a huge impact on forcing arbitrations of employment matters and limiting class actions. An important new federal District Court case in Connecticut decided yesterday, D’Antuono v. Service Road Corp., (download here) has shown that to be… Continue Reading

The Quickly Shifting Landscape of Class Actions and Arbtirations

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Now that the dust has settled a bit, it’s time to look at the long-term impact of last month’s Supreme Court decision in AT&T v. Concepcion for employment matters.  (For a great analysis of the decision itself, see this SCOTUSblog post.)  All the analysis that has been coming out seems to suggest that there are two main… Continue Reading

Federal Arbitration Act Preempts Connecticut Sales Representative Commission Statute

Posted in Wage & Hour

My colleague, Joshua Hawks-Ladds, has this post regarding an important new case that further explains the breadth of the preemption effect of the Federal Arbitration Act, a case he handled on behalf of our client, Ulti-Mate Connector, Inc.  Last week was a watershed moment for arbitration preemption cases, both at the federal and state level…. Continue Reading

Are Some Employment Law Class Actions in Jeopardy? New Supreme Court Case Suggests Path

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

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision,  yesterday held that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state laws that discuss or limit arbitration agreements on the availability of class action arbitration procedures.  The case, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (download here) isn’t an employment law case (it concerns whether AT&T should have charged consumers sales tax on… Continue Reading

Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Arbitration Provisions in Employment Disputes; What It Means for Employers

Posted in Litigation

In a 5-4 decision released this morning in Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson (download here), the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to an arbitration agreement that purported to address all matters arising out of an employment dispute.  This decision isn’t the easiest to digest.   First, understand that arbitration provisions governed by federal law have… Continue Reading

CBA Labor & Employment Quarterly Now Online

Posted in Litigation

The Connecticut Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section (led by my colleague Joshua Hawks-Ladds) has begun posting its quarterly newsletter online.  I expect to see more of this as the CBA moves to a new website next month. In the meantime, you can check out the latest issue here.  It features articles on:  Attorneys Fees… Continue Reading

Court Upholds Arbitration Agreement; Says Employee Can Waive FLSA Collective Actions

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Employers who have shunned using arbitration agreements for fear that they will be overturned, will want to take a look at a recent federal court decision that upheld an arbitration agreement that had provisions that some would consider very pro-employer. In Pomposi v. GameStop, Inc. (download here),  the employer moved to dismiss a collective action… Continue Reading

House Passes COBRA Subsidy Extension and..What’s This? Restrictions on Arbitration Clauses??

Posted in Legislative Developments

UPDATED The health care bill debate seems all consuming. At least in terms of press coverage. But yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a defense spending bill (H.R. 3326) that, according to the DC Employment Law Update:  "prevents most defense contractors and subcontractors from forcing their employees or independent contractors to sign, as a condition of… Continue Reading

Congress Reviewing Employee Arbitration Provisions; Bill Would Ban Certain Provisions

Posted in Legislative Developments

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court revisited the subject of arbitration provisions in the employment context, creating some concern among legislators about the implications of this decision.  In this week’s Connecticut Law Tribune, my colleague Cara Ceraso has drafted a nifty article about legislation now pending in Congress that would allow employees to bring their… Continue Reading

Words Matter: Being Specific In Sending an Issue to Labor Arbitration

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation

Suppose you, as an employer, have union-backed employees. The union files a grievance on behalf of three employees alleging that they did not receive "premium" pay on three holidays.  Because the dipsute cannot be resolved, the matter is sent to arbitration.  For some employers, defining the issue to be sent to arbitration may not seem… Continue Reading