2013CAR_small.jpgBy Lorie Almon, Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., and Ian Morrison

On February 27, 2013, we hosted our annual workplace class action litigation webinar. Over 1,000 clients attended. If you missed it, attached is the audio and the PowerPoint deck from the presentation.

As discussed at the webinar, the past twelve months represented a landmark year for complex employment-related disputes and portends an array of developing trends for employers to monitor in 2013, led by a dramatic “halo effect” from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011).

The webinar focused on a changed national landscape of “bet the company” employment disputes fueled by an aggressive plaintiffs’ bar and invigorated federal and state enforcement regimes. We discussed the new parameters for Rule 23 standards and workplace class arbitration defenses created by Wal-Mart and AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, and how employers can continue to prepare themselves for litigation in light of those decisions. Some of the trends we focused on included:

•  The impact of the Supreme Court’s opinions in Wal-Mart and Concepcion and the creative case law theories that will continue to evolve and impact employers in the defense of their cases in 2013.

•  The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s focus on systemic lawsuits and how government enforcement activity is expected to accelerate even more in 2013.

•  The influence of Wal-Mart on settlement strategies for workplace class actions and how the plaintiffs’ class action bar is “re-booting” its approach to class-based litigation.

•  How the sluggish U.S. economy during 2012 fueled more class action and collective class action litigation and how this trend will continue in 2013.

•  Why wage & hour litigation continued to outpace all other types of workplace class actions in 2012 and is expected to grow again in 2013.

•  How the plaintiffs’ class action bar has moved to respond to Wal-Mart and craft new approaches to class-wide theories of certification, liability, and damages related to the Rule 23 developments.