On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis.  In a 5-4 decision written by the newest jurist, Justice Gorsuch, the Court declares that employers can require employees to arbitrate their employment disputes individually and waive their rights to resolve those disputes through class or collective actions.

Background.

The case was a consolidation of three cases (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, and National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc.).  In each case, the employees brought a class action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and related state law against their employer on behalf of themselves and similarly situated employees for wage and hour violations. However, in each of the cases, the employees had entered into an agreement with their employer providing for individualized arbitration proceedings to resolve employment disputes between the parties. Although the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) generally requires courts to enforce arbitration agreements as written, the employees argued that the FAA’s “savings clause” removes this obligation if an arbitration agreement violates some other federal law and that, by requiring individualized proceedings, the agreements they signed violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).
Continue Reading GOOD NEWS EMPLOYERS – The U.S. Supreme Court Says You Can Require Class Action Waivers In Your Arbitration Agreements

Count the Fifth Circuit among the latest to allow emotional distress damages to employees who successfully sue for retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In a December 19, 2016 opinion, the Fifth Circuit held that the district court should have allowed the jury to receive an instruction on emotional distress damages when it was

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you are undoubtedly aware that December 1, 2016 marks the day that the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new overtime rules become effective. The new minimum salary level for the executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act

In July 2016, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) updated two posters that employers are required to post in the workplace.

  1. The “Employee Rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act” poster; andBeth-West-15_web
  1. The “Employee Rights – Employee Polygraph Protection Act” poster.

According to the DOL, every employer subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act

In an effort to clarify the circumstances that may create a joint-employment relationship, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Administrator’s Interpretation this week.  This Administrator’s Interpretation, which can be found at this link, analyzes joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. Brenden-Begley-05_web

Joint