Author Archives: aulaborlawforum

American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant

Class action waivers in arbitration agreements are strictly enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), even in circumstances where an individual’s arbitration costs surpass the potential recovery. Due to the tremendous disparity in the costs of individual arbitration compared with minimal financial recovery, Italian Colors Restaurant and merchants filed a class action suit against American […]

Burrage v. United States

Dicta in this criminal case concerning a heroin death questions the applicability of a penalty enhancement provision in the Controlled Substance Act; the dicta includes a section explicating on causation that Title VII retaliation claims must be proven by a “but-for” causation standard, therefore refining the holding in University of Texas Southwest Medical Center v. […]

Third Circuit Upholds New H-2B Prevailing Wage Calculations

Employers seeking foreign workers through the H-2B visa program will have a new prevailing wage determination pursuant to a 2011 regulation. Concerned employers brought suit against the Department of Labor (DOL) challenging the DOL’s authority to create and implement the rule, citing violations of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The 2011 […]

Du Daobin v. Cisco Sys.

Corporate liability in the aftermath of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. continues to be indefinite. Du Daobin filed action against Cisco in federal district court in Maryland, alleging the Golden Shield (a nationwide surveillance program) detected his circulation of Internet articles calling for fair treatment of rural farmers in China, after which he was […]

EEOC Issues Guidance on Criminal Background Checks

The EEOC issued Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in April of 2012, in light of significant recent rulings against employers related to criminal background checks. The guidance does not prohibit criminal background checks, but rather it requires […]

Weeks v. 735 Putnam Pike Operation

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that the language in the collective bargaining agreement between the defendant employer and the plaintiff’s union was insufficiently explicit to preclude the plaintiff from seeking redress in a judicial, rather than arbitral, forum. In this case, the plaintiff appealed a superior court’s order to submit to arbitration as […]

Treaty Obligations Without Ratification? The Maritime Labour Convention Enters into Force

  The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC), known as the “seafarers’ bill of rights,” entered into force August 20, 2013. The United States has not ratified the MLC, but will still have to apply the MLC requirements, through the “no more favourable treatment clause,” to ships flagged in ratifying countries and comply with the 14 […]

What Not to Wear: The EEOC Guides Employers on Religious Dress and Grooming Practices

by Elan Cameron On March 6, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released additional guidance on religious accommodations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), specifically on issues of religious garb and grooming in the workplace. The guidance requires employers to make exceptions to their usual workplace policies to […]

“Easy” Mail Service is Hard Pill for Workers to Swallow

by John Leddy If you have ever been frustrated by not being able to purchase priority mail envelopes on a weekend or send a package from the post office after the national news, you may be a fan of the Staples pilot program the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced in October of 2013. As […]

No More “Church Plan” ERISA Exemptions for Religiously Affiliated Hospitals?

by Phoebe Ramsey  There has been a flurry of recent litigation challenging whether church-affiliated hospitals and healthcare systems’ pension plans are covered as “church plans,” and thus exempt from the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), including reporting and disclosure, minimum funding, and fiduciary duty requirements. The plaintiffs in these […]

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