Polsinelli at Work |  Labor & Employment Blog

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California Court Clarifies Rule Regarding Arbitration of PAGA Representative Actions

California Court Clarifies Rule Regarding Arbitration of PAGA Representative Actions

By: Brian K. Morris 

On August 2, 2017, the California Court of Appeal issued a decision clarifying the arbitrability of claims under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA), finding that those seeking “victim-specific” relief can be subject to mandatory arbitration.

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For Whom the Class Tolls: “No Piggybacking Rule” Does In Would-Be Class in Ongoing Wal-Mart Saga

For Whom the Class Tolls:   “No Piggybacking Rule” Does In Would-Be Class in Ongoing Wal-Mart Saga

By Kelly J. Muensterman 

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., v. Betty Dukes, et al., decertifying a putative class of approximately 1.6 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees who claimed gender discrimination in wages and promotions in violation of Title VII. 564 U.S. 338 (2011).

 

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Don’t Let Vaccinations Make You Sick: The Interactive Process and Vaccination Policies

Don’t Let Vaccinations Make You Sick: The Interactive Process and Vaccination Policies

Mark D. Nelson

The flu season brings additional challenges to hospitals and other health care providers, as they experience an increase in volume of patients who have the flu or flu-related symptoms or who are at higher risk of serious complications from the flu. Health care providers have implemented flu vaccination polices to protect vulnerable patients as well as employees and their families. However, flu vaccination policies can create a legal risk for health care providers, particularly when those policies mandate vaccination for employees.

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Who Has the Authority to Order Class Arbitration? The Eighth Circuit Weighs In

Who Has the Authority to Order Class Arbitration? The Eighth Circuit Weighs In

By Adam B. Merrill

Several circuit courts of appeal have considered a critical aspect of class litigation: does the court or arbitrator decide if arbitration agreements permit class arbitration (the “who decides” question)? The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet resolved this issue.  However, the Eighth Circuit, in  Catamaran Corporation v. Towncrest Pharmacy, No. 16-3275 (July 28, 2017), joined the Third, Fourth, and Sixth Circuits when holding that courts, not arbitrators, should answer the “who decides” question when the arbitration agreement at issue is silent on the subject.

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Massachusetts Employers May Need to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Users

Massachusetts Employers May Need to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Users

By Michael J. Lorden

Massachusetts and 28 states have legalized medical marijuana, and an additional 16 states permit “low THC” use. Federal law, however, still outlaws marijuana use,  regardless of ailment or disability. In light of these conflicting laws, how should an employer handle a medical marijuana user who fails an employer’s drug test? While courts in New Mexico, California, and Colorado have held that employers are not required to accept an employee’s medical marijuana usage, a recent Massachusetts decision shows that employers should proceed with caution. 

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