Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: Employment

Tenth Circuit Prohibits Class-Action Waivers in Benefit Plan Documents

It is no secret that many businesses minimize risk by requiring arbitration of disputes on an individual basis. The exposure created by a single claim pales next to that presented by a class claim, asserted under Rule 23, on behalf of numerous individuals. To implement this mitigation strategy, businesses typically include in their agreements an […]

Alleging Classwide Racial Discrimination Can Be Uber-Challenging

If you’re an Uber rider, you’re probably familiar with Uber’s requests that you rate your driver. It’s a five-star rating system. Five is the best. One is the worst. As it turns out, those ratings are vitally important to Uber drivers. Uber requires its drivers to maintain a minimum star rating. This post is about […]

Supreme Court Requires Unambiguous Consent to Class Arbitration

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court held in Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, No. 17-988 (April 24, 2019) that an ambiguous agreement cannot authorize class arbitration. The 5-4 decision split along ideological lines, with Chief Justice Roberts writing for the Court’s conservative majority. Per Roberts’ opinion, the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires both parties to an […]

Court Denies Attempt to Recast ERISA Class Action as a Derivative Claim

According to the Company website, “Piggly Wiggly has been bringing home the bacon for millions of American families for over 100 years.” But a putative class of former employees of Piggly Wiggly filed a class action complaint in the District of South Carolina, asserting various claims under ERISA pertaining to the Company’s employee stock ownership […]

Class Certified on Failure To Notify Employees of Impending Hospital Closure

Failure to give the requisite 60-days’ notice to a group of employees under the WARN Act seems like it implicates a quintessential common question for adjudication under Rule 23. But in Hutson v. CAH Acquisition Company 10, LLC, 1:15CV742 (M.D.N.C. Aug. 15, 2016), Defendant gamely tried to suggest that there were factual issues that must […]

Supreme Court Rebuffs Predominance Challenge to “Donning and Doffing Class”

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, voting 6 – 2 to uphold a jury verdict in favor of employees in a donning and doffing action. The class of employees, certified under Iowa Wage and Hour law pursuant to Rule 23, and as a collective action under the Fair […]

Court Certifies State Wage and Hour Claims Alongside FLSA Collective Claims

We have reported recently in this space on the certification of state wage and hour claims. Judge Gergel recently continued with this trend, certifying a class of Jamaican workers at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort who contend they weren’t paid enough by the Resort. See Moodie v. Kiawah Island Inn Co., LLC, No. 2:15-cv-1097 (D.S.C. […]

Fail-Safe Class Fails to Obtain Class Certification

Courts have understandably been reluctant to certify a class consisting of “persons who are injured by the defendant” or “individuals to whom the defendant is liable,” i.e., a class definition that depends on the outcome of the case. Such a “fail-safe” class is unfair to defendants:  if defendants win the case, there is no class […]

Local lawsuit mirrors FLSA class action appeal to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court

In Johnson v. dedc, LLC, No. 3:14-cv-01797 (D.S.C. May 2, 2014), seven South Carolina Amazon warehouse workers sued Amazon on behalf of themselves and similarly situated employees alleging unpaid overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) at Amazon’s fulfillment centers in West Columbia and Spartanburg. Plaintiffs allege that they should be […]

Family Dollar Files Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Family Dollar, a national discount store retailer based in Charlotte, was sued by a putative class of female store managers alleging gender discrimination in pay in the Western District of North Carolina. In January 2012, Judge Cogburn dismissed the class claims, holding that they weren’t viable under Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 131 S. Ct. […]