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Category Archives: Class Actions

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Did You Know…California Supreme Court Holds That a Challenge to Independent Contractor Status Is Class Certifiable

Posted in Class Actions, Wage and Hour

In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers the California Supreme Court held that the critical factor in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is “the degree of a hirer’s right to control how the end result is achieved.”  Notably, even if that right is not exercised, the hirer will be deemed the… Continue Reading

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Approves Class-Action Waivers, But Disapproves PAGA Representative Claim Waivers

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions, Litigation

The California Supreme Court has issued its highly-anticipated opinion in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (“Iskanian”). The decision is mixed for employers: the Court ruled that arbitration agreements with mandatory class action waivers generally are enforceable.  However, the Court also concluded that representative actions under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) cannot be… Continue Reading

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Issues Favorable Decision for Employers in Duran v. U.S. Bank

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions, Litigation, Wage and Hour

The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in Duran v. U.S. Bank.  In a significant victory for employers, the Court unanimously agreed to overturn a $15 million judgment in a wage and hour class action based on the trial court’s improper use of statistical sampling.  The opinion is likely to guide how wage… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Background Checks – Buyer [Employer] Beware!

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination, Forms, Litigation, Privacy

As we recently reported at our annual employment law seminar and discussed in “Did You Know…New Informal Guidance From EEOC & FTC Re Background Checks,” background checks are not only the focus of the EEOC and FTC, but also plaintiff class action attorneys.  Underscoring this point is the recent putative class action filed against UBS Financial Services, Inc…. Continue Reading

Did You Know…Ninth Circuit Holds No Aggregation of PAGA Penalties to Establish Federal Diversity Jurisdiction

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions, Litigation, Wage and Hour

In Urbino v. Orkin Servs. of California Inc., a divided Ninth Circuit held that civil penalties recoverable by individual employees under California’s Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) cannot be aggregated to meet the $75,000 amount in controversy requirement for diversity jurisdiction. A wage-and-hour representative PAGA action brought originally in California state court, Urbino was removed… Continue Reading

Did You Know…U.S. Supreme Court Strengthens Class Action Waivers in AmEx Ruling

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions

In another employer-friendly decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reinforced its support for class action waivers, ruling in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant that an explicit class action waiver in an arbitration agreement cannot be invalidated simply because the plaintiff’s cost of individually arbitrating a claim exceeds the potential recovery. Justice Scalia, writing for… Continue Reading

Did You Know…A Sea Change in Class Action Certification

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation

In Comcast v. Behrend, a class action case involving how much Comcast charged cable TV subscribers, the United States Supreme Court held that as a prerequisite for certification of a class action, a plaintiff must introduce admissible evidence to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis.  Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority… Continue Reading

Did You Know…U.S. Supreme Court Ends Plaintiff’s CAFA Jurisdictional Gamesmanship

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation

The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles that plaintiffs bringing class actions cannot avoid federal jurisdiction by representing that the class will seek less than $5 million in damages — the threshold beyond which defendants can remove a lawsuit initially filed in state court to federal court pursuant… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Class Certification Denied in Wang v. Chinese Daily News

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions, Wage and Hour

In Wang v. Chinese Daily News, the Ninth Circuit reversed the class certification it had previously affirmed and remanded the matter for further consideration of Rule 23(a) commonality and Rule 23(b)(3) predominance.  Notably, the Ninth Circuit applied the 2011 United States Supreme Court decision in Dukes v. Wal-Mart and held that Wal-Mart‘s  prohibition on “trial by… Continue Reading

Did You Know…New Bill Introduced in the House – Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act – Would Overturn Dukes Ruling

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination, Legislation

On June 20, 2011,  the United States Supreme Court decided the landmark case of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes which significantly impacted enforcing anti-discrimination laws (as well as other laws) by way of class actions. One year later, both Al Franken, D-Minn., and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., introduced the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act.    If… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Wage and Hour Class Actions Can Be Converted into Individual Arbitrations Which Can Significantly Reduce an Employer’s Exposure

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions, Wage and Hour

Employers who have arbitration agreements may be able to convert putative wage and hour class actions into individual arbitrations, reducing their potential exposure from millions (or hundreds of millions) to thousands of dollars.  In 2010, the Supreme Court held in Stolt–Nielsen S.A. v. Animal Feeds Int’l Corp. that if the parties to an arbitration agreement… Continue Reading

Did You Know…The California Supreme Court Has Clarified Meal and Rest Period Obligations

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions, Wage and Hour

The California Supreme Court finally issued its long-awaited decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court.  In a unanimous opinion, the Court held employers (1) need only provide meal and rest periods, not ensure nor police that they are taken, (2) are not required to provide a meal period every five hours (no rolling meal… Continue Reading