So-called non-compete agreements have become something of a pariah in the business world in recent years, suffering from a barrage of complaints that tag them as repressive instruments that unfairly burden workers. One recent article penned by a U.S. Department of Labor attorney calls them "overbroad, blunt instruments" that are far too often used in lieu of other means of balancing the employer-employee relationship.
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.
"[W]hen employers deliberately misclassify employees in an attempt to cut costs, everyone loses."
Companies coast to coast are finding out that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is more than willing to go to bat for corporate whistleblowers who are retaliated against for exposing business fraud.
The ubiquitous public transportation company Uber certainly had reason to cheer in the immediate wake of a settlement it forged this past April with many thousands of disgruntled drivers .
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 our previous post, we began looking at the newly passed Defend Trade Secrets Act, which creates a federal cause of action for businesses wanting to enforce trade secrets in federal court. As we pointed out last time, the law will certainly be beneficial to businesses looking to protect confidential information from misappropriation, but it will also require businesses to think carefully about which forum will be best for each case.
Readers may have heard about the recent passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the new federal law which establishes a federal cause of action for trade secret violations. Previously, businesses which had been harmed by a trade secret violation were only able to pursue such claims in state court except in very limited circumstances.
Employees participating in employer-sponsored benefit plans governed by ERISA have wide-ranging protections against wrongful conduct engaged in by so-called fiduciaries.
It can be easy to forget when we all go to our jobs day in and day out that there is a complex web of laws and regulations that are at work regarding our employment rights. If you are fortunate, you've never had to question whether your employer has paid you what you deserve for hours worked, for example.