On February 9, 2018, Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber") and Waymo LLC ("Waymo") announced a deal in which Uber will pay Waymo 0.34 percent of its equity to settle Waymo's claims that it stole trade secrets and infringed patents related to Waymo's proprietary laser system used to help guide driverless vehicles. At a $72 billion valuation, 0.34 percent of Uber's equity equates to approximately $245 million. As part of the deal, Uber also has agreed not to incorporate Waymo trade secrets into its autonomous vehicle hardware and software.
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.
What's in store on the American labor front in 2018?
On January 10, 2018, supply chain company, Geodis LLC ("Geodis"), announced a proposed deal in which it will pay approximately $2.9 million to settle employment claims brought against Ozburn-Hessey Logistics LLC ("Ozburn-Hessey") ("Defendant"), which was acquired by Geodis in 2015.
On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, a class of employees led by former United baggage handler, David Johnson (collectively, the "Plaintiffs"), sued United Airlines Inc. ("United" or "Defendant") under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act ("BIPA"). The suit claims United's timekeeping system, which requires employees to clock-in and clock-out using their fingerprints, does not comply with BIPA regulations.
You may not go through life with the idea that you will one day be a whistleblower. However, depending on the circumstances of your employment and what happens around you, you could find yourself in this position at some point.
With 2017 fast disappearing and the New Year close at hand, we submit at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, that it might to timely to make a few year-end points regarding the realm of employment law.
On Monday, November 20, 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied a petition for certification filed by Best Buy Co. Inc. ("Best Buy") to review a state appellate panel decision regarding a former employee's age discrimination lawsuit on the grounds that the ex-worker, Kevin Dugan ("Dugan"), never explicitly agreed to a policy that such disputes be arbitrated.
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 reasons why an employer in Connecticut or elsewhere might want to classify a worker as an independent contractor are precisely the same reasons why many workers want to avoid the tag and be termed as regular employees.