Labor & Employment Law Update, April 2009






Supreme Court Upholds Collective Bargaining Agreement Provision Requiring Employees to Arbitrate Claims of Age Discrimination

By Julia H. Halbach

On April 1 2009, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett.  In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court found that a provision in a collective bargaining agreement that clearly and unmistakably requires union members to arbitrate claims of age discrimination is enforceable.  Continue

Ability of Federal Courts to Compel Arbitration May Be Found in Underlying Claims
by Carrie L. Zochert and Ashlee M. Bekish*

On March 9, 2009, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Vaden v. Discover Bank, holding that a federal court can “look though” a petition to compel arbitration brought pursuant to section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) to determine whether the underlying controversy “arises under” federal law.  If the underlying claims arise under federal laws, the court may issue an order compelling arbitration of the dispute.  Continue

A Final Look at the United States Supreme Court’s 2008 Term
By Bruce J. Douglas and Ashlee M. Bekish*

This past October, the United States Supreme Court began its 2008 term.  In two previous alerts, we provided a brief look at some of the interesting cases the Supreme Court agreed to hear.  Since the Supreme Court continues to accept new cases throughout the term, this alert provides a look at some of the final cases that have been added to the Court’s docket.  Continue

Overly Broad Confidentiality Provisions May Violate the Law
By Chris M. Heffelbower

Many employers include a confidentiality provision in their employment agreements or employee handbooks.  Employers can get into trouble with the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when these confidentiality provisions are overly broad and can be construed to prohibit employees from discussing the “terms and conditions of their employment,” including wage information.  Continue

President Obama Signs Four Pro-Labor Executive Orders Impacting Federal Contractors
By Chris M. Heffelbower

President Obama signed four Executive Orders that may have a significant impact on the rights of employees of federal contractors, reversing many of the Bush administration policies.  Continue

Minnesota’s Alternative to Layoffs
By Sejal Desai Winkelman

During the current economic recession, many Minnesota employers are faced with difficult decisions about laying off employees in order to sustain their business.  Minnesota, along with approximately 15 other states, offers a Shared Work Program that can offer alternatives to employers faced with a layoff situation.  Continue

Obtaining Motor Vehicle Information Under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act
By Chris M. Heffelbower

The United States Supreme Court recently denied certiorari (decided not to a review) a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which held that a Union violated the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act by wrongfully obtaining driver’s license information for the purpose of union activities.  Continue

Revised I-9 Form for Employee Eligibility Verification
By Chris M. Heffelbower

The USCIS recently published a rule that makes changes to the Form I-9.  Continue

Business Litigation Anti-Trust: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Price Squeeze Claim in Pacific Bell v. linkLINE.
by Peter A. T. Carlson

On February 25, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. linkLINE Communications, Inc, No. 07-512.  The Court unanimously rejected plaintiffs’ allegation that Pac. Bell Telephone Co., (“Pacific Bell”) violated § 2 of the Sherman Act, by engaging in a “price squeeze” in the DSL market in California.  


Our Practice:

The Larkin Hoffman employment law team identifies and resolves workplace issues in this rapidly evolving and highly regulated area.  Our attorneys provide counsel and advice to employers.  We represent employers in state and federal courts and administrative agencies including the EEOC, MHRA, NLRB, OSHA and DOL.

Contact our Labor & Employment Attorneys: 
Dayle Nolan                     
Email 952.896.3275           
Christopher J Harristhal  
Email 952.896.3312
Bruce J Douglas  
Email 952.896.1569
Daniel J Ballintine  
Email 952.896.3288
Chris M Heffelbower    
Email 952.896.1543
Sejal Desai Winkelman     
Email 952.896.3325
Carrie L Zochert    
Email 952.896.3353
Julia H Halbach    
Email 952.896.3264
Peter A.T. Carlson  
Email 952.896.3239          Attorneys                         


This alert is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates.  While the information provided in this publication is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.