Articles Tagged with Chicago Class Action Attorneys

Arbitration and the enforceability of arbitration provisions have been hot topics in employment and consumer litigation for a number of years. Over the last decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued numerous opinions on the subject as well have a number of state supreme courts. In Shockley v. PrimeLending, 929 F.3d 1012 (8th Cir. 2019), the federal appellate court of the Eighth Circuit recently held that an arbitration provision in an employee handbook was not binding on the employee.

The plaintiff, Jennifer Shockley, was employed by PrimeLending from June 2016 through July 2017. After leaving the company, Shockley filed a collective action lawsuit against PrimeLending in federal court for allegedly violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). PrimeLending moved to compel arbitration on the basis that a provision in its employee handbook required all disputes to be decided by binding arbitration. The District Court denied PrimeLending’s motion. On appeal, the Eighth Circuit affirmed.

PrimeLending maintained an intranet accessible by its employees, which contained employment-related information, such as its new hire policies and its employee handbook. The employee handbook contained an arbitration provision which provided:

If the dispute cannot be settled through negotiation, you and the Company agree to attempt in good faith to resolve the covered dispute exclusively through final and binding arbitration in accordance with the terms, conditions, and procedures of this Arbitration Clause. Continue reading ›

The Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted in 1970 to protect consumers from being unfairly denied a mortgage, rental apartment, or job based on incorrect credit histories. With the advent and growth of the Internet and social media, the Act has all sorts of applications that its creators could never have dreamed of.

Although, like most social media, LinkedIn provides many of its services for free, it also offers a service call “Reference Search” to its premium account holders who pay a monthly fee. This service allows an employer or recruiter to generate a list of people in its own network who worked at the same company at the same time as a job candidate. It also allows premium members to contact the people who appear on those lists using the site’s messaging system. All this can be done without the job candidate ever knowing.

Tracee Sweet, the lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit against LinkedIn, applied for a job at a hotel chain via the social media site. She claims she was denied the job because the hotel company, without telling her in advance, used the site’s reference search to locate references on her.

Joseph Roualdes, a spokesman for LinkedIn, said the company takes its member privacy very seriously and that it intends to fight the lawsuit, which it insists has no merit. He said that, “A reference search, which is only available to premium account holders, simply lets a searcher locate people in their network who have worked at the same company during the same time period as a member they would like to learn more about. … A reference search does not reveal that member’s nonpublic information.” Continue reading ›

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