Showing 22 posts in Arbitration.

Portion of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order Blocked

On Tuesday of this week, a federal judge in Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the portions of President Obama's "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" Executive Order. 

That order, signed in 2014 and scheduled to take effect on October 25, 2016, has three discrete parts, each described as being designed to help executive departments and agencies identify and work with contractors who will comply with labor laws while performing federal contracts.  More ›

In a Twist, Judge Overturns Arbitration Decision Suspending Tom Brady

On September 3, Judge Richard Berman of Southern District of New York overturned the NFL's four-game suspension of New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady.  Besides being a dream come true for ESPN, the ruling is quite significant from a labor and employment law perspective, as the judge drastically departed from courts' typical deference to arbitration awards and unwillingness to interfere with the language in collective bargaining agreements. More ›

General Acknowledgment of Receipt of Employer's Policies Sufficient to Compel Employee to Arbitrate

In recent years, the courts and state legislatures across the country have been interpreting and enforcing laws regarding arbitration more strictly. What this means is that a lot of existing arbitration agreements no longer pass muster and must be revised in order to be compliant with the ever-changing laws. In this particular case, the employee's agreement to arbitrate employment disputes stood up, and it was because the employer had the right language in its policy documents. Read on. More ›

California Court Allows Employee to Disaffirm Arbitration Agreement due to Age

We thought we'd heard everything! This is a new one, that's for sure. It's no secret that employees try to wiggle out of arbitration agreements all of the time. There are the usual digs: the agreement was buried in the middle of the documents, the font was too small, it didn't have the magic words, it requires the splitting of fees, etc. This case presents an entirely different type of argument, however. As demonstrated more fully below, in this case, the federal district court in California agreed with an employee that he was not bound by the arbitration agreement that he previously executed when he was a minor. More ›

WDW not the 'Happiest Place on Earth' for Some Disney Performers

When three Walt Disney World performers complained that their "Lion King" character costumes were too dirty to wear for their upcoming performance they were fired last summer, but an arbitrator has now ordered their reinstatement with back pay.   More ›

"Unconscionable" to Provide Arbitration Agreement to Dancers While "Mostly Naked"

Not surprisingly, a court has found that employers should probably not present (and potentially force execution of) important legal documents to employees while they are mostly naked.  This shouldn't be too much of a stretch for most employers, but the reasoning behind the court's ultimate decision could have more far-reaching implications for all employers. More ›

Fifth Circuit Hands down Mixed Ruling on Validity of Later-Added Arbitration Clause

Employers must always be careful when adding an arbitration clause to an existing employment agreement. The amendment process becomes even trickier when the employment relationship is governed by multiple documents.That was the situation in Sharpe v. AmeriPlan, where the Fifth Circuit analyzed whether an arbitration provision that an employer added to one contract could be harmonized with provisions in two other contracts that defined the employment relationship.

The Fifth Circuit faced two fundamental issues: (1) whether the later-added arbitration requirement was compatible with the forum selection clause contained in another document, and (2) whether the arbitration clause could be reconciled with provisions in other contracts requiring that disputes first be submitted to non-binding mediation.  The court ultimately held that the arbitration requirement could be harmonized with the forum selection clause, but not with the mediation requirement under these facts. The case provides potentially important guidance for employers to follow when considering whether they can lawfully add an arbitration provision to an existing agreement. More ›

California Supreme Court Issues key Arbitration Ruling

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, No. S174475 (October 17, 2013), holding that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts California's rule categorically prohibiting waiver of a Berman hearing in a pre-dispute arbitration agreement imposed on an employee as a condition of employment. More ›

Ninth Circuit Allows Parties to Arbitrate Dispute Which had been Litigated for Years

In this recent arbitration decision out of the Ninth Circuit, the employee brought an action against her employer, alleging violations of California’s overtime laws and sought to assert claims on behalf of a class. After several years of litigation, the employee moved to certify a class. The District Court granted the motion in part, narrowing the class which the employee represented. In the same order, the court denied the employer's motion to compel arbitration, which was after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011). The District Court found that the employer had waived its right to arbitration by litigating the action for years without raising the binding arbitration clause contained in the employee's employment agreement. More ›

Seventh Circuit Finds Companies to be Single Employer for Purposes of Arbitrability Under Union Contract

A tile installation company employed union workers. Certain customers of the company request non-union employees in order to obtain cheaper labor. As a result, the owners of the company started a second company which employed only non-union employees. The union filed a grievance, seeking union benefits for the employees at this new company. The joint arbitration committee granted the union’s request, which prompted the companies to file a motion in federal district court seeking to vacate the award. The union also filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking to enforce the award. The owners argued that the new company was not subject to the collective bargaining agreement and thus should not be bound by the arbitration award. The district court granted the union’s motion to enforce the award on the grounds that under the “single employer” doctrine, the companies were treated as one and the same. The companies appealed, but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s ruling. The Court of Appeals concluded that the two companies were centrally operated by the same entity, and were thus one and the same for purposes of arbitrability under the contract.

For more information read Lippert Tile Co., Inc. v. International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen, et al. No. 12-2658 (7th Cir., August 1, 2013).

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