On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, Alameda Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman gave preliminary approval to a proposed $1.95 million settlement to resolve a class action against Moët Hennessey USA ("Moët") and Strategic Experiential Group ("SEG") (collectively, the "Defendants") over alleged employee misclassification.
The Supreme Court began its fall 2017 term with three consolidated cases concerning Epic Systems Corp., Ernst & Young, and Murphy Oil USA Inc. (collectively, "the Companies"). The Companies require pre-employment agreements forcing employees to waive their right to pursue class action relief. Several justices are questioning the legality of this practice, worried that it contradicts the spirit of federal labor law.
On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, a class of employees led by Thomas Bitner (collectively, the "Plaintiffs") asked the Honorable William M. Conley, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, to approve a $1.5 million settlement for claims that Wyndham Vacation Resorts Inc. ("Defendant" or the "Employer") had a policy of requiring employees to perform work off the clock, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA").
On Friday, September 29, 2017, U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa of the Southern District of New York allowed a proposed class action over an alleged brake defect in certain Hyundai Sonata sedans against Hyundai Motor America ("Defendant") to move forward. The Court found that although some of the drivers' claims should be thrown out, others deserve to proceed.
On Friday, September 23, 2016, Yahoo Inc. ("Yahoo" or the "Company") was hit with three proposed class action lawsuits, two in California and one in Illinois, just one day after the Company announced it had been hacked in 2014. The Company revealed that over 500 million people had their personal information, including names, passwords, security questions and answers, dates of birth, email addresses, and telephone numbers stolen from Yahoo's online database. The Company believes that the hack was executed by a state-sponsored actor - in other words, an unidentified foreign government.
A proposed class of drivers appealed the lower court's decision requiring them to arbitrate their wage claims on an individual basis against the ride-hailing company, Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber" or the "Company"). Specifically, U.S. District Court Judge James S. Moody Jr. rejected all three arguments made by the drivers, that: (1) the arbitration clause was unconscionable; (2) the provision requiring drivers to split the cost of arbitration was unlawful; and (3) the forum selection provision was unlawful. Coming before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the drivers have now argued that the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") bars the arbitration clause in the user agreements.
Between mid-2007 and early 2011, SunTrust Banks ("SunTrust" or the "Company") was accused of improperly handling its employees' 401(k) plan by purchasing its own common stock with the employees' retirement funds. Given the large stake in the subprime housing market (one of the main contributors to the Great Recession), SunTrust's employees filed a lawsuit in mid-2008, alleging that the Company's actions were imprudent and that it breached its Employment Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") fiduciary duties, which require SunTrust to act solely in the interests of the 401(k) plan members. The employees further claimed that SunTrust breached its fiduciary duties by failing to disclose how it was using the employees' retirement savings.
In light of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposal to ban arbitration clauses, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff recently denied Uber Technologies Inc.'s ("Uber" or the "Company") push for customers to arbitrate their claims with the Company.
The connotation of the word "natural" may be followed by images of flowers growing in a large field or a glacial waterfall rushing down a forest mountainside. So, naturally, consumers may be surprised to see synthetic ingredients such as Methylisothiazolinone or Benzisothiazolinone on their natural-labeled products. In fact, a class action lawsuit against Seventh Generation Inc. ("Seventh Generation" or the "Company") accused the Company of illegally misleading consumers by labeling its cleaning products as "natural," despite its use of synthetic preservatives.
Many consumers would be thrilled to find they get a free trial subscription for Sirius XM's ("Sirius") satellite radio with their car purchase. But once the free trial is over, many of those same customers who did not continue their subscription become less than pleased to receive phone calls from Sirius encouraging them to re-subscribe. At least, that is what happened to Francis W. Hooker Jr. ("Hooker"), who filed a class action on behalf of himself and others similarly-situated against Sirius for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA").