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

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?

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

Before it had a chance to come into full effect, the South Australian government has announced that it is scrapping the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017.

Emily Haar, Senior Associate, reviews the announcement.   

In 2017, the then South Australian Labor Government passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (SA) (the Act).  The Act was one of a number of similar pieces of legislation introduced in Australia as a result of a Four Corners investigation alleging the exploitation and underpayment of migrant workers in several industries including produce picking and food factory work.  The investigation revealed that migrants were being employed (and underpaid) by labour hire contractors, who then sold their employee’s labour to farms and factories at low cost.   

Read more: South Australia Leaves Labour Hire Licensing Behind

Authors: Jeremy Mittman and Erica Parks

In his final bill-signing period as governor, California Governor Edmund G. Brown signed into law numerous employment-related bills and vetoed others. One bill that passed significantly  expands the scope of required sexual harassment training for employees in California.

Currently, the relevant provisions of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), sections 12950 and 12950.1 of the California Government Code, require employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training for all supervisory employees. SB 1343 amends these provisions, instead requiring employers of five or more employees—including seasonal and temporary employees—to provide sexual harassment training for both supervisory and non-supervisory employees by January 1, 2020.

Read more: California Expands Sexual Harassment Training For Employees