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December 2012 Archives

Unconscionable Arbitration Agreements Are Unenforceable

Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has consistently reaffirmed the Federal Arbitration Act's policy in favor of arbitration. Many moons ago, we blogged about why, more often than not, arbitration is bad for employees. Not surprisingly, employers are requiring their employees to sign arbitration agreements, and thus requiring workers to submit all claims of discrimination, unpaid wages, and other employment disputes to an arbitrator and not a jury. While there are many potential defenses to arbitration agreements available to an individual seeking to bust an arbitration agreement, the most often litigated defense is likely that of unconscionability.

Scott Fiddler Named To 2012 Super Lawyer Top 100 Lawyers List

G. Scott Fiddler has been named by Texas Super Lawyers magazine as one of the best attorneys in Texas for the sixth consecutive year. Texas Super Lawyers' insert is featured in Texas Monthly magazine. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state are named by Super Lawyers, and the selection is made as a result of a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes, among other things, a statewide survey of lawyers and a peer review of candidates by practice area. Scott Fiddler was also named to the Super Lawyer elite Top 100 attorneys list in Houston, reserved for those attorneys who received the most votes among those named to the Super Lawyer list in Houston. The top 100 "Best of the Best" list is reserved for the top 100 attorneys in Houston, Texas as determined by the Texas Super Lawyer process. The Top 100 "Best of the Best" list can be found here. This honor follows Fiddler's selection by H-Texas Magazine as one of Houston's "Top Lawyers" and as one of the city's "Top 100 Professionals."  Scott Fiddler's listing on the Super Lawyers website can be found here.

Scott Fiddler Named To H Texas Magazine's Houston's 'Best Lawyers' List

G. Scott Fiddler was named to H Texas Magazine's "Top Lawyers" list for 2012 in the field of Employment Litigation. H Texas Magazine describes the Top Lawyers recognition as reserved for the "top 2% of lawyers that have been voted and recognized as the best in Houston." This is the fifth straight year Scott Fiddler has been named to the H Texas Magazine list. The 2012 list appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of the magazine.

Supreme Court Reaffirms Applicability Of Federal Arbitration Act

Last week, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the authority of the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") over all state and federal claims within its purview. Facts: Eddie Lee Howard and Shane D. Schneider began working for Nitro-Lift Technologies, LLC, in 2008 and 2009, respectively. 273 P.3d 20, 24. During their employment, Howard and Schneider entered into confidentiality and non-competition agreements with Nitro-Lift that contained an arbitration clause. 2012 WL 5895686, at * 1. The arbitration clause in question stated "Any dispute, difference or unresolved question between Nitro-Lift and [the employees] shall be settled by arbitration..." Id.

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Symczyk v. Genesis Healthcare Corp.

On December 3, 2012, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Symczyk v. Genesis HealthCare Corp., 656 F.3d 189 (3d. Cir. 2011). On appeal from the Third Circuit, a Supreme Court decision in favor of the employer could effectively end use of collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). Facts:  Laura Symczyk worked as a registered nurse for Genesis HealthCare Corp. ("Genesis") from April through December 2007. 656 F.3d at 190. During her employment, Genesis implemented a policy of reducing the pay of certain employees for mandatory meal breaks, whether or not the employees performed work during the thirty minute period. Id. As discussed in a previous blog post, such deductions violate the FLSA, and thus Symczyk and other employees may be owed a substantial amount of overtime pay.

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