"Class-Action Waivers: A New "Magic Bullet" To Prevent Devastating Wage/Hour Lawsuits?" E-Briefing

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Date   Jul 21, 2011
Time   1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern

About the Program
Wage/hour class actions are the lawsuit du jour in the U.S. – bad news for employers, as this type of litigation can involve literally thousands of plaintiffs and expose you to millions of dollars in potential liability for unpaid wages over a period of several years.

Case in point: A federal court in California recently approved a staggering $10 million settlement for a class of approximately 11,000 exotic dancers who claimed they had been wrongly classified as independent contractors, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Plus, the Obama Administration continues to be staunchly pro-employee in this area, ramping up the Department of Labor's enforcement efforts with additional field investigators. There's even a new iPhone app that employees can use to track their work hours to ensure they're properly being compensated under the FLSA.

But…there's some hope for employers: The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that class-action waivers are valid when they're written in a way that's fair to the party agreeing to arbitration.

Now, the Supreme Court case involved a consumer case rather than an employment law case, but it's very likely the ruling means that you can bind employees to arbitration (so they can't come after you in a massive group lawsuit) for alleged wage/hour violations under federal law. The catch – it would seem – is to make sure those agreements are fair to your employees.

What's fair? Join us on July 21 to find out. Our expert – a seasoned labor and employment attorney – will explain how to use class-action waivers as a tool for insulating your organization from huge exposure to liability, and the practical steps that go into making these waivers a success.

You'll learn:

  • Why obtaining class-action waivers for wage/hour claims - especially from independent contractors - is a no-brainer
    • Best practices for drafting arbitration agreements that legally stick – and how to tell if certain provisions in your existing agreements could be voided as "unconscionable"
      • Sample waiver language to incorporate into existing arbitration agreements
        • The practical steps involved in incorporating class action waivers into your arbitration agreements
          • The game plan for rolling out arbitration agreements and waivers to current employees – and whether you need their actual signatures as consent to the terms
            • What you need to know about how state laws may interact with the Federal Arbitration Act
              • The practical risks you need to weigh before obtaining class-action waivers – and why our expert doesn't recommend them for certain employment-related matters

              This program has been approved for 1.5 recertification credit hours toward PHR and SPHR recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).