Liss-Riordan is tired of hearing that labor laws should adapt to accommodate upstart tech companies, not the other way around: "Why should we tear apart laws that have been put in place over decades to help a $50 billion company like Uber at the expense of workers who are trying to pay their rent and feed their families?" -- Meet "Sledgehammer Shannon," the labor rights lawyer who took on Starbucks and FedEx, and now, Uber, in defense of their workers.
With a clause in complex contracts that few people read, corporations have insulated themselves from lawsuits and locked Americans into a system where arbitrators overwhelmingly favor business. (SLNYT)
The controversial form of scheduling locks staff into shifts that can be canceled at the last minute, with no pay. [more inside]
Meet the lawyer taking on Uber and the rest of the on-demand economy. Shannon Liss-Riordan has filed lawsuits against five of the largest "sharing economy" start-ups (Uber, Lyft, Homejoy, Postmates, and Caviar), contending that they pay the people who supply the equipment and manpower that power their businesses like independent contractors, while burdening them with the work expectations of employees. Previously.
Eight former National Football League players have filed a class-action suit against the NFL for illegally pumping them full of painkillers and other drugs to keep them playing. [more inside]
This afternoon, the City of New York announced a $98 million settlement in United States of America and Vulcan Society, Inc. v. City of New York, a federal class action lawsuit that alleged that the New York City Fire Department engaged in discriminatory hiring practices, using written examinations with discriminatory effects and little relationship to the job of a firefighter to select more than 5,300 candidates for admission to the New York City Fire Academy in 1999 and 2002. [more inside]
The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a class-action gender-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart cannot go forward as the class of plaintiffs affected is "too large." All Things Considered summarized the facts of the case last March; Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog reported on the key issue of "class commonality" during oral arguments. The full opinion, authored by Antonin Scalia, is here. Previously.
Third, class arbitration greatly increases risks to defendants. Informal procedures do of course have a cost: The absence of multilayered review makes it more likely that errors will go uncorrected. Defendants are willing to accept the costs of these errors in arbitration, since their impact is limited to the size of individual disputes, and presumably outweighed by savings from avoiding the courts. But when damages allegedly owed to tens of thousands of potential claimants are aggregated and decided at once, the risk of an error will often become unacceptable. Faced with even a small chance of a devastating loss, defendants will be pressured into settling questionable claims.—Justice Scalia delivers the opinion of the Court, and a knife in the back of class-action suits. [more inside]
The Strange Saga of Milberg Weiss. It started with a bitchslap in Cleveland and may end in the downfall of the largest securities class-action law firm in America.
Another class action suit, another lousy settlement. Are or were you a member of Netflix? Sign up for your benefits under the class action settlement, and receive a free upgrade (or for former members, a free month) of service. That is one whole extra DVD at a time per month. Doesn't sound so hot? It gets better. The next month, they'll keep you on the upgraded plan and raise your bill to match it! Class action settlement, or class action fleecing?
Who here hasn't been a bit short before payday? Jacob Ayrton of Calgary took out a payday loan of $500. Two weeks later he owed Payroll Loan Canada $606.32 (a $95 "brokerage fee" and 59% interest for a whopping 15,000% per annum charge.) Yesterday, an Alberta judge certified a class-action suit against so-called payday lenders with Mr. Ayrton as lead complainant. "These companies really exploit people who are vulnerable," said his lawyer. A fast-growing franchise opportunity for investors, payday loan operations are facing increased scrutiny in Canada and the U.S. (NC, NV, IL.)
Got certain DVD ? Join class action, get replacement ! Apparently MGM mislabeled (or simply sold ?) from 1998 to 2003 a few hundred DVD titles as Widescreen format while they were not really Widescreen. As one must respect MPAA they must respect our looking in this list to see if our dvd titles are in the list and our joining class action. Let's not be on the receiving end for a change ! (via HardOcp (SFW))
Consumer Power! Not only can you register to join dozens of pending or proposed class action lawsuits, but you can try to convince an attorney to start a new one just for you. A welcome alternative to the Better Business Bureau or a sign of the approaching demise of Western civilization?
Reparations Sought From U.S. Firms for Slavery. Big U.S. companies were named in a lawsuit on Tuesday filed on behalf of black Americans descended from slaves, the first-ever class action seeking reparations from firms for profiting from slavery. Is this really sensible?