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What is the Proper Role for Dispositive Motions in Arbitration?

To achieve speedy resolutions, and to resolve matters as cost-effectively as possible, arbitrators should be careful in allowing the filing of dispositive motions. They make sense for gateway issues, but not for issues going to the substance of the merits. Allowing such motions generally would lengthen the time required to resolve cases, and multiply discovery to the magnitude needed in Federal courts. When trials are held on affidavits, the parties need a lot of depositions because that may be their only opportunity to examine the other sides’ witnesses. Ruling out trials by affidavits in the bulk of cases allows the promise of arbitration–faster, cheaper and fair resolutions–to be realized. Parties need to know at the outset what will and will not be allowed, so they that can cut their discovery needs. Continue reading

One Defendant Compels Arbitration, Others “Wait and See”

When a plaintiff sues a company or agency and its officials, and only the company or agency compels arbitration, does the arbitration-losing plaintiff get a “second bite at the apple” in the lawsuit, against the officials? Or do the officials get a low-risk chance to get out of the lawsuit without ever getting to the merits? And what happens if plaintiff wins the arbitration? Read the blog post for the answers. Continue reading

Is Your Employer Cheating You On The Time Clock? Clue #3: Changing Time Records

Please read Clue #1 first.  This clue does not repeat the situations illustrating the differences that arise because of pay rates close to the minimum wage, or the differences between overtime/and no-overtime claims. Clue #3.  You punch a time clock, and your time is captured by a computer that calculates your hours and your pay.  However, you think you worked longer hours than the company’s time records show. One Important Fact:  It is a crime under Federal law, and under many State laws, to alter an employee’s time records to deprive the employee of the pay to which he or she is entitled. Another Important Fact: It is perfectly legal for employers to “round up” and “round down” time on time clocks if they do so in a neutral manner, benefiting the employee sometimes and the employer sometimes, and by similar but small amounts. Example 1: Helen routinely clocks in…
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Is Your Employer Cheating You On Your Pay? “Meal Break” Clue #1

Clue #1:  You’re an hourly employee who often has to work through lunch, but your employer automatically deducts half-hour “Meal Breaks” from your time, Federal law: the Fair Labor Standards Act, requires that you be paid at least minimum wage (or overtime) for all working time.  If your employer knows or should have known that you did not take a half-hour meal break, it breaks the law in deducting that time if the deduction means that your average pat was less than the minimum wage when your pay rate for that week, dividing total pay by hours actually worked, is less than the minimum wage; or if you worked more than 40 hours that week, because the deduction means that you did not get time and a half for all hours worked over 40. State law: Many States have wage payment laws requiring employers to pay the agreed hourly rate…
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