Employment and Labor Law

Authors: Jeremy Mittman and Samuel Richman

In a blow to the transportation industry, last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the trucking company, New Prime Inc., cannot compel arbitration in a class action alleging it failed to pay independent contractor driver apprentices minimum wage.  In New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, the Court held that transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce, including those classified as independent contractors, are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (the “FAA”).  Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the Court’s 8-0 opinion (Justice Brett Kavanaugh was recused from the case).

Read more: Keep On Truckin': New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira

In a case closely watched by the transportation industry, this morning the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira.

The case involved the exemption from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) for “contracts of employment” with “transportation workers.” Mr. Oliveira worked as an owner-operator under lease to New Prime and later sued the company, claiming he had been misclassified as an independent contractor. (For more background on New Prime, we previewed the issues presented in the case here, and we recapped the oral argument here.)

Read more: U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Declares Owner-Operators Exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act

Author: Tim Forer

It's being hailed by the Government as the "largest upgrade in workers' rights in over a generation", taking forward almost all the recommendations of the Taylor Review, but are the proposed changes really as dramatic as that? We consider the main proposals and how significant they might be.

Read more: Proposed reform to Employment law rights – what are the most significant?

Recent amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law now place a primary duty on each party in the chain of responsibility to ensure the safe operation of heavy vehicles.

Partner, Maria Capati, and Special Counsel, Ben Motro, review these changes and what it means for the transport industry.

Recent amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) in Queensland from 1 October 2018, now place a primary duty on each party in the chain of responsibility (CoR) for a heavy vehicle to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of the party’s transport activities relating to the vehicle.

This is a significant development as it now provides that heavy vehicle operators can be liable for failing to implement CoR practices, irrespective of whether an accident or incident has even occurred. For that reason, it is imperative that all parties within the chain understand the obligations imposed upon them by these amendments.

Read more: Amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law - Understanding your role within the Chain of...

An applicant whose claim was “doomed to fail”, and was pursued by her to inflict as much damage as possible on her former employer, has led to severe consequences when the Fair Work Commission ordered her to pay indemnity costs to her former employer.

Partner, David Ey and Senior Associate, Gemma Twemlow review the decision.

The Fair Work Commission has ordered indemnity costs against an office manager who pursued an unfair dismissal claim that was ‘doomed to fail’ and was motivated by trying to inflict maximum harm and seek revenge against her former employer.

Read more: Rubbing salt into the wound of an applicant in unfair dismissal proceedings