All posts by Amanda Pickens

Recent Filings – January Digest

View Amanda Pickens’ Complete Bio at robinsonbradshaw.com Not every class action court filing in North and South Carolina becomes a full-length post on our blog. Here is a recap of January’s filings:

Hieber v. The Asset Recovery Group, LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00214 (D.S.C. January 24, 2017) (putative class action brought on behalf of consumers residing in South Carolina alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).

Hart v. Barbeque Integrated., No. 2:17-cv-00227 (D.S.C. January 24, 2017) (collective and class action alleging defendant restaurant failed to pay tipped employees minimum wage and overtime compensation in violation of FLSA and state wage and hour laws).

Foster, et al. v. Livanova PLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00218 (D.S.C. January 24, 2017) (products liability class action lawsuit alleging defendants’ medical device exposed plaintiffs to potentially fatal bacteria during open chest surgery).

Turner, et al. v. Condustrial, Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-00205 (D.S.C. January 23, 2017) (putative class action and purported collective action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws alleging defendants misclassified employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime compensation or providing benefits).

Williams, et al. v. G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc., No. 1:17-cv-00051 (M.D.N.C. January 20, 2017) (collective and class action alleging defendant failed to pay straight time and overtime compensation to non-exempt hourly security officers in violation of FLSA and state wage and hour laws).

Jones, et. al. v. Wectec Global Project Services, et al., No. 3:17-cv-31 (W.D.N.C. January 20, 2017) (putative class action and purported collective action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws alleging defendants failed to pay current and former hourly employees overtime compensation).

Jones v. Wectec Global Project Servs., et. al., No. 3:17-cv-00031 (W.D.N.C. January 20, 2017) (putative class action and purported collective action alleging defendant’s 9/80 workweek plan violates FLSA and state wage and hour laws).

Levy, et. al. v. Charlotte School of Law, LLC, et. al., No. 3:17-cv-00026 (W.D.N.C. January 19, 2017) (in addition to Barchiesi, this is the second putative class action against Charlotte School of Law for alleged misrepresentation of its ABA accreditation status to prospective and current students).

Strak, et. al. v. Managed Recovery Systems, Inc., et. al., No. 6:17-cv-00159 (D.S.C. January 18, 2017) (purported class action alleging Managed Recovery Systems improperly used mail, telephone and facsimile in its debt collection efforts in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).

Cunningham v. ShopperLocal, LLC, No. 1:17-cv-00024 (M.D.N.C. January 10, 2017) (putative class action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act alleging defendant called plaintiffs using an auto-dialer to sell advertising space without plaintiffs’ consent).

English, et. al. v. Café Enterprises, Inc., No. 3:17-cv-00038 (D.S.C. January 5, 2017) (putative class action and purported collective action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws alleging defendant restaurant failed to pay tipped employees minimum wage while performing side work at the beginning and end of their shifts).

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U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Circuit Split: Are Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements Enforceable?

View Amanda Pickens’ Complete Bio at robinsonbradshaw.com

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court granted three petitions for certiorari to determine a quickly developing circuit split. The question before the Court is whether the National Labor Relations Board is correct in its interpretation that class action waiver provisions in certain employment arbitration agreements are illegal under federal labor law. Since 2011, when the U.S. Supreme Court permitted such waivers in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, employers have relied upon them to require that disputes be resolved through individual arbitration. The NLRB over the past few years has issued numerous decisions invalidating arbitration agreements because they contained class and collection action waivers. The NLRB has stood its ground and routinely stated that such waivers violate employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act and are unenforceable.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases. Each involves the question whether the NLRA prohibits employers from requiring the non-management employees covered by the NLRA (employees not defined as “supervisors”) to arbitrate their work-related claims individually rather than as a class. The three cases come from the Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits.

The Fifth Circuit, in Murphy Oil USA, Inc.v. NLRB, overturned the NLRB’s decision that Murphy Oil had unlawfully required employees at its Alabama facility to sign an arbitration agreement waiving their right to pursue class and collective actions. The Fifth Circuit held that the pro-arbitration policy of the Federal Arbitration Act overrides federal labor law interests and requires enforcement of the class waivers. On the other side of the circuit split, the Seventh and Ninth Circuits have held that corporations cannot require employees to give up their rights to pursue work-related claims on a class-wide basis. The U.S. Supreme Court will review Lewis v. Epic Systems Corp., a case in which the Seventh Circuit held that an arbitration agreement precluding collective arbitration or collective actions violates federal labor law and is unenforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. The Court will also hear Morris v. Ernst & Young, a decision from the Ninth Circuit invalidating Ernst & Young’s mandatory arbitration agreement because it required employees to bring all claims in arbitration and limited such claims to those brought on an individual basis. These decisions put the Seventh and Ninth Circuit squarely at odds with the Second, Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuit, with more yet to weigh in.

The Fourth Circuit has not addressed this issue yet, although it has held that the availability of class arbitration under the terms of the arbitration agreement is a question for the Court, not the arbitrator, to decide, as we discussed last March. North Carolina courts have not addressed the NLRA waiver issue, nor are they likely to have the opportunity, although the Court of Appeals did follow the U.S. Supreme Court in holding that contractual waivers of class proceedings in arbitration agreements are permitted in North Carolina.

Stay tuned for further developments from the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Recent Filings – December Digest

View Amanda Pickens’ Complete Bio at robinsonbradshaw.com

Barchiesi, et. al. v. Charlotte School of Law, LLC, et. al., No. 3:16-cv-00861 (W.D.N.C. December 22, 2016) (putative class action against Charlotte School of Law for alleged false and misleading representations related to the school’s failure to provide current and prospective students with information about its noncompliance with ABA standards for accreditation).

Whitehead v. Lutheran Homes of South Carolina, Inc., No. 3:16-cv-03937 (D.S.C. December 16, 2016) (putative class action and purported collective action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws alleging defendant failed to pay healthcare workers overtime).

RJF Chiropractic Center, Inc., v. BSN Medical, Inc., et. al., No. 3:16-cv-00842 (W.D.N.C. December 14, 2016) (putative class action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act alleging defendant faxed advertisements without plaintiffs’ consent).

Hebert, et. al. v. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., et. al., No. 1:16-cv-01390 (M.D.N.C. December 7, 2016) (putative class action alleging tobacco company deceptively marketed their Natural American Spirit cigarettes as “natural” and “additive-free”).

Triplett v. Rooms To Go North Carolina Corp., No. 5:16-cv-00926 (W.D.N.C. December 1, 2016)  (putative class action alleging breach of contract and UDTPA claims brought by North Carolina customers owning furniture that was not professionally treated with a leather or fabric protectant, despite purchasing an add-on fabric or leather protection plan from Rooms To Go).

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Recent Filings – November Digest

View Amanda Pickens’ Complete Bio at robinsonbradshaw.com Not every class action court filing in North and South Carolina becomes a full-length post on our blog. Here is a recap of November’s filings:

Anstrom v. Best Logistics Group, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-01365 (M.D.N.C. November 29, 2016) (purported class action and collective action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws by freight brokers alleging defendant misclassified employees and failed to pay overtime).

Pasqual v. Cempra, Inc., et. al., No. 1:16-cv-01356 (M.D.N.C. November 22, 2016) (putative class action filed on behalf of shareholders of Cempra, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, against the company and its officers and directors alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act arising out of a one-day stock price decline of 61% after the FDA issued a report analyzing Cempra’s clinical development drug).

Autry v. Charlotte Palm Corp., No. 3:16-cv-00797 (W.D.N.C. November 18, 2016) (purported collective action and class action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws by servers and bartenders to recover alleged unpaid wages, overtime pay and tips).

Fitzhenry v. Guardian Protection Servs., Inc., et. al., No. 2:16-cv-03597 (D.S.C. November 9, 2016) (order transferring to South Carolina a putative class action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for unsolicited phone calls).

Mullis v. Wings Over Spartanburg, LLC, et. al., No. 2:16-cv-03578 (D.S.C. November 7, 2016) (purported collective action and class action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws by bartenders for an improper “tip credit”).

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Recent Filings – October Digest

View Amanda Pickens’ Complete Bio at robinsonbradshaw.com Not every class action court filing in North and South Carolina becomes a full-length post on our blog. Here is a recap of October’s filings:

Stephens, et. al. v. Shoretel SC LLC, et. al., No. 4:16-cv-03515 (D.S.C. October 28, 2016) (purported collective action brought under FLSA alleging customer service representatives were not paid overtime while working for defendant’s call center).

Blunt v. Belk, Inc., No. 3:16-cv-00745 (W.D.N.C. October 27, 2016) (notice of removal of putative class action brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act alleging Belk failed to provide proper notice required under the Act before obtaining background checks on individuals applying for jobs).

Smith v. American Health Associates, Inc., No. 6:16-cv-03480 (D.S.C. October 25, 2016) (purported collective action and class action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws by phlebotomists alleging AHA failed to pay overtime and improperly deducted wages for mileage reimbursement).

Humphery v. Fluor Enters., Inc., No. 0:16-cv-03474 (D.S.C. October 24, 2016) (purported collective action and class action brought under FLSA and state wage and hour laws alleging defendant failed to pay manual laborers overtime wages).

King v. Check Recovery Bureau, Inc., No. 6:16-cv-03357 (D.S.C. October 11, 2016) (putative class action brought on behalf of consumers residing in South Carolina alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).

Phillips v. Smithfield Packing Co., Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00834 (E.D.N.C. October 4, 2016) (asserting collective and class action claims under FLSA and state wage and hour laws brought by workers of a pork processing plant alleging that defendant failed to pay workers overtime).

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