NJ Supreme Court Enforces Arbitration Agreement Despite Failure to Specify Forum, Arbitrator, & Governing Law
On September 11, 2020, in a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court found that New Jersey law does not require that an arbitration agreement identify the arbitrator, name the arbitral forum, describe the arbitrator selection process, or provide for the governing law, so long as the agreement to arbitrate includes a clear and unmistakable waiver of the right to a jury or other civil trial of the claims.
Federal Court Judge Block Blocks Temporarily HHS’s Enforcement of Revised ACA Anti-Sex Discrimination Rules, Restores ACA Protections for LGBTQ Individuals
On August 17, 2020 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of N.Y. preliminarily enjoined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) from enforcing provisions of its June 2020 final Section 1557 regulations (“2020 Rules”) which were slated to take effect the next day. The 2020 Rules, in part, interpret the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition of sex discrimination as excluding discrimination based on gender identity and sex stereotyping, which is contrary to the interpretation under the Obama-era rule.
Court Rules that Employees Cannot Disclose Your Trade Secrets, Even to Themselves
On August 10, 2020, the District Court for the District of New Jersey in Bramshill Investments, LLC v. Ashley Pullen, 2:19-cv-18288 (D.N.J. August 10, 2020) recently considered a motion to dismiss a complaint against an employee who allegedly misappropriated Bramshill’s trade secrets. The District Court denied defendant’s motion in part, holding that Bramshill sufficiently pled causes of action for violations of the Defense of Trade Secrets Act, the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act, breach of contract, and breach of the duty of loyalty.
Crossing State Lines: Road Tripping with Amazon and Interstate Commerce
On July 28, 2020, Chief District Judge Freda L. Wolfson from the District of New Jersey denied Amazon’s Motion to Dismiss and Compel Arbitration in Harper v. Amazon. The parties were ordered to engage in discovery to determine whether plaintiff was engaged in interstate commerce to be exempt from arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).
Don’t Fear The Click-Box: NJ Supreme Court Upholds Electronic Employee Arbitration Agreements
On August 18, 2020, in a landmark decision for employers, the New Jersey Supreme Court released its long-awaited opinion in Skuse v. Pfizer (A-86-18) (082509), holding that an employee must arbitrate her employment discrimination claims agreed to in an electronic employee arbitration agreement. The decision reverses the Appellate Division’s January 2019 decision, which had imposed heightened requirements on employers obtaining employees’ assent to arbitration agreements.
New Jersey Arbitration Act Rushes in and Orders Arbitration Where FAA Fears to Tread
In a July 14, 2020 decision the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that the New Jersey Arbitration Act (NJAA) may apply to arbitration agreements even if the parties are subject to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) exemption for transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce.
To Screen or Not to Screen? Amazon Must Face NJ Wage Class Action for Workers’ Post-Shift Screening
On June 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled that Amazon must face a proposed class action alleging violations of New Jersey Wage and Hour Law (NJWHL), which seeks compensation for time spent undergoing mandatory post-shift security screenings and for time spent during meal breaks.
Car Sales Incentives Count Toward Minimum Wage, According to DOL Letter
In a series of opinion letters released Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that car dealerships may use incentive payments from automakers to help meet their obligation to pay salespeople minimum wage.
When Facing a Class Action Law Suit - Don't Initiate; Just Arbitrate
On Monday, a New Jersey federal judge ruled that 151 plaintiffs in a FLSA collective action against Francesca’s must arbitrate its wage and hour claims.
USDOL Approves Use of Electronic Disclosures by Retirement Plan Administrators
On May 21, 2020 the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a new rule creating a voluntary safe harbor for retirement plan administrators who prefer to provide ERISA-mandated retirement plan information and disclosures to participants and beneficiaries electronically, as the default method (“Electronic Disclosure Rule”).