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Posts published in “Employment Law”

5th Cir. Affirms Order Compelling Arbitration of Age Discrimination Claim

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently affirmed a trial court’s order compelling the arbitration of an employee’s federal age discrimination claim against a financial institution employer, holding that the trial court correctly found that there was a meeting of the minds between the employee and the employer as required to form the arbitration agreement.

9th Cir. Holds Attorneys’ Fees May Be Included in CAFA ‘Amount in Controversy’

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently vacated an order sua sponte remanding to state court a putative class action removed under the federal Class Action Fairness Act. In so ruling, the Ninth Circuit held: When a notice of removal plausibly alleges a basis for federal court jurisdiction, a federal trial court may not remand the case back to state court without giving the defendants an opportunity to demonstrate that the jurisdictional requirements were satisfied; The amount in controversy may be based on reasonable assumptions tied to the allegations in the complaint; When a statute or contract…

Calif. App. Court (2nd Dist) Upholds Denial of Class Cert Based on Survey and Statistical Sampling

The Court of Appeal for the Second District of California affirmed an order denying class certification in a wage and hour litigation, holding that the plaintiffs’ proposed anonymous, double-blind survey and statistical sampling failed to address individualized issues for liability and damages. In so ruling, the Appellate Court held that the plaintiffs’ trial plan was unmanageable and unfair because, among other things, the proposed survey deprived the defendants of the ability to cross-examine the witnesses and to assert defenses.  A copy of the opinion in McCleery v. Allstate Insurance Company is available at:  Link to Opinion. In this putative class…

8th Cir. Affirms Denial of Motion to Compel Arbitration in FLSA Case Against Lender

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed the denial of a lender’s motion to compel arbitration over a suit filed by a former employee alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In so doing, the Court held that the former employee’s mere review of the employee handbook, and the arbitration and delegation provisions therein, did not constitute acceptance of the relevant clauses, and without acceptance no valid contracts to arbitrate their disputes or delegate the decision to an arbitrator were formed. A copy of the opinion in Shockley v. PrimeLending is available at: …

7th Cir. Vacates $10 Million FLSA Award Against Mortgage Company

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently joined the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, in ruling that class or collective arbitrability is a gateway question that is presumptively for the court to decide, rather than the arbitrator. In so ruling, the Court vacated the trial court’s order enforcing a $10 million federal “wage and hour” Fair Labor Standards Act arbitration award against the defendant. A copy of the opinion in Herrington v. Waterstone Mortgage Corporation is available at:   Link to Opinion. The plaintiff filed a putative class and collective action against her former employer.  She alleged…

8th Cir. Rules Terminating Bank Employees for Criminal Convictions Involving Dishonesty Not Unlawful Discrimination

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of a bank that was sued by a putative class alleging discriminatory employment practices that supposedly violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. In so ruling, the Court held that the plaintiffs failed to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact because even if the bank’s policy of summarily terminating applicants or employees with a criminal conviction involving dishonesty or breach of trust had a disparate impact, the bank’s decision to comply with the applicable…

9th Cir. Rules Mortgage Underwriters Not Exempt Under FLSA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that mortgage underwriters were not exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and were therefore entitled to overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. After analyzing the specific details of the underwriters’ responsibilities, the Ninth Circuit panel concluded that, because the underwriters’ primary job duty did not relate to their employer bank’s management or general business operations, the administrative employee exemption to the FLSA’s overtime requirements did not apply. Recognizing that there was a split between the Second Circuit and Sixth Circuit as…

2nd Cir. Reverses Judgment in Favor of Bank Employer on ‘Remote Work’ Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

In a case involving allegations that a bank employer violated state and federal laws by not allowing an employee to work remotely from home when she became pregnant, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently vacated in part the trial court’s judgment adopting the jury’s verdict in the bank’s favor and the trial court’s disqualification order in the bank’s favor, and dismissed the appeal in part as to the employee’s claim under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), remanding for further proceedings. A copy of the opinion in Sheng v. M&TBank Corporation is available at:…

DC Cir. Denies Lender’s Challenge to NLRB’s Ruling as to Lender’s Confidentiality, Non-Disparagement Employee Rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently denied a mortgage company’s petition for review and granted the National Labor Relations Board’s cross-petition for enforcement, holding that the NLRB correctly determined that the mortgage company’s workplace rules unreasonably burdened its employees’ ability to discuss legitimate employment matters, protest employer practices and organize in violation of section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. A copy of the opinion in Quicken Loans, Inc. v. NLRB is available at:  Link to Opinion. A loan officer began working in the mortgage company’s Scottsdale, Arizona office and signed an employment agreement…