On January 30, 2018, Columbia University ("Columbia") announced in a campus-wide letter that it will not bargain with the representatives of graduate student assistants ("GSAs") that won a union election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") and will instead challenge the NLRB's ruling that deemed the GSAs employees in a federal appeals court.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero recently certified a group of UnitedHealth Group Inc. ("UnitedHealth" or the "Company") health plan participants alleging that the Company is improperly denying mental health and substance abuse treatments, in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The lack of coverage was common among a large number of participants, which allowed for class certification.
McDonald's Corporation ("McDonald's," or the "Corporation") is appealing to the Ninth Circuit the District Court's certification of a class of more than 800 franchise workers who allege they weren't properly compensated. Plaintiffs claim managers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by editing employees' time sheets to reduce hours, refusing to pay overtime, and banning meal and rest breaks.
In late July 2016, drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber" or the "Company") lost their bid to have a Maryland federal judge reverse his earlier ruling that the dispute must proceed in arbitration. The drivers filed a class action suit in Maryland late last year, spearheaded by the named Plaintiff, Elizabeth Varon, alleging that they were underpaid and that Company withheld tips. The drivers sought to be compensated for the costs of doing business (gas, car maintenance, etc.), and to be reimbursed for the $1 fee Uber takes off of every fare to pay for background checks on drivers.
In 2014, a Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") case against Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC ("Morgan Stanley" or the "Company"), which alleged the Company was not paying its employees overtime, ended with a $4.2 million settlement. Subsequently, on June 30, 2016, after facing several identical lawsuits, Morgan Stanley agreed to pay-out another $6 million to settle those matters.
A report was recently released by the Obama Administration illustrating a link between "unfair" noncompete agreements and low worker job mobility, worker bargaining power and entrepreneurship. The administration highlighted concerns regarding the unnecessary use of noncompete clauses in situations in which workers already have less bargaining power, or when the policies are so broad that the intent is often unclear.
In September 2015, pharmacists at Target Corp. ("Target") voted to unionize in a 7-2 vote, making them members of Target's first-ever union. Target contested the vote, claiming it cut ties with workers through a $1.9 billion acquisition deal with CVS Health Corp. ("CVS"). Target argued that once the deal with CVS closes, its pharmacists and other employees will no longer be employed by Target.